We are thankful that the bacteria tests taken Wednesday and Thursday after the water leak on Tuesday, October 6,  were both clear which allows us to rescind the boil advisory for drinking and cooking water at Lake Panorama.

What’s new–the lake is at its lowest level for now (October 9). The dam’s bascule gate will be raised late Sunday or early Monday to allow the spillway to dry for workers to do their routine repairs on the “dry” spillway. River flow is eight times median flows for this time of year so there may have to be an additional lowering of the lake to give workers more time to complete repairs.

Fall color is finally showing up. Subdued this year due to much rain and cloudy weather, it finally woke up as the sun has poked through this week. The bright yellows are mostly green ash…the deep purples…white ash. Both of these trees are threatened if the emerald ash borer makes it to Guthrie County. You can do your part by not transporting firewood across county lines and not bring ash tree nursery stock from other counties where infestation may already have occurred. The LPN is currently planting trees grown in their nursery in preparation for losing the many green ash that line the course. Several other species are being planted.

While the lake is down is a great time to check the lakeshore riprap. Often one can see plenty of rock that has “oozed” its way into the water leaving less than needed on the shoreline.  To remedy this, re-shaping the shoreline to a broader slope is recommended. The shoreline will handle lake ice better and there will be less downward pressure of the rock stacked for protection. Be sure your contractor (or yourself) finds the proper erosion fabric for the backing of your rip rap to prevent soil erosion behind the rocks. This is critical to long-term viability of rip rap. One can also note that field stone (granite and other boulders) lasts much longer than most limestone type rip rap shorelines. (Special grade limestone does last longer as its denser and less easilty weathered. Of course, it costs much more and is not available close by. Another note:  fieldstone is often more attractive, as well as longer lasting.

Have a safe fall!