By DON STINE
Three coastal lakes, including Deal Lake the largest lake in the county, will see their water quality improved under a $735,000 state grant recently awarded to the Deal Lake Commission.
Deal Lake, which borders several towns including Ocean Township and Neptune, Sunset Lake in Asbury Park, and Wesley Lake, between Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, will all see water-quality improvement projects under funding from the state Department of Environmental Protection agency’s 2017 Water Quality Restoration Grant, which is intended to reduce non-point pollution sources going into the three lakes.
The funding has been a goal of the commission for the last 10 years.
“To say we are excited for all three lakes is an understatement. We are thrilled and these projects on all lakes will make an impact,” Deal Lake Commission Chairman Don Brockel said.
The largest of the three proposed projects will be dealing with polluted nonpoint-source water coming into Deal and Sunset lakes from storm water along Main Street and Memorial Drive in Asbury Park. Four manufactured underground treating stations, that will remove, silt, oil and debris from the water, will be installed all the way south to Bangs Avenue. A similar treatment device was installed near the High School on Sunset Avenue a few years ago.
The exact locations where the four devices will be installed is still being determined but Brockel said the commission has been trying to get the devices for about 10 years.
“It is this water source that is the major polluter into Deal Lake. The worse water coming into the lake is by the railroad tracks, near the lake” he said.
A second project will create two floating islands, with vegetation, in Sunset Lake that will be designed to naturally treat water and remove phosphates, nitrogen, and other pollutants. The size of the floating islands is still to be determined and efforts will be made to keep Canada Geese from using wetlands at the lake.
The Wesley Lake project will include building a natural biofiltering system, like a rain garden.
Brockel said it will take at least six months “to get the ball rolling” and that the projects will be done over a three-year period.
(Featured photo above from Deal Lake Commission; deallake.org)