Drought problems and certain farming practices could be why nitrate levels are rising in Lake Springfield.
“This is a scientific program to understand what’s going on in the watershed, how it’s working, and make recommendations for people in the watershed to change management systems if they need to,” says Mike Plummer of the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices. “It’s not a mandate program.”
Plummer attributes most of Lake Springfield’s problems to 2012’s drought.
He says Lake Springfield is not in terrible shape, as some lakes statewide have higher nitrate levels. Plummer says the main dangers from nitrates are in pregnant women and young children — he says those who get water from Lake Springfield shouldn’t worry.
CWLP is expected to toss in around $270,000 over the next three years. Agricultural retailers, farmers, the Sangamon County Soil and Water Conservation District and Lincoln Land Community College are also involved.