SUMMER HEAT TAKES A BITE OUT OF MOSQUITO Lake down, stink up
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
BAZETTA -- A hot, dry summer has taken its toll on water levels at Mosquito Lake.
Soaring temperatures in the 80s and 90s have clung to the Mahoning Valley in recent weeks, warming waterways and spurring evaporation.
Teamed with a lack of rainfall, hot weather is being blamed for an increase in algae and a slight odor from dead vegetation.
Water loss: Park manager Bob Powers said the lake loses 30 million gallons of water on a hot day through evaporation.
The lake is experiencing a large algae bloom, which happens when water heats up, usually in August, he added.
That's not causing major problems, Powers said, but large amounts of algae could give off an unpleasant smell.
Mosquito Lake supplies drinking water to Warren and other Trumbull County communities.
Drinking water: A chemist with the city was unavailable Tuesday, but Manuel Michelakis, Warren's water department director, said drinking water will not be compromised because of problems at the man-made reservoir.
Powers said water samples are taken five days a week to check for E coli and other bacteria. Recent test results have been favorable, he said.
The reservoir's dam, completed in 1943, is part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' flood control system for the Beaver and Upper Ohio rivers. Berlin and West Branch reservoirs are also part of the system.
Another reason the lake is receding is that the Corps drains some water to prepare for winter. Powers said this was done the second week of July.
Rotting vegetation left exposed by receding waters also is responsible for an odor at the lake. Park officials said they have not received complaints from the public about the smell.
Low rainfall: Rainfall levels are down this year, and the park is asking that speedboats stay in the middle of the lake, where there is 20 feet of water or more.
"Precipitation is important," Powers said, "because we rely throughout the summer on rain events to maintain water in the reservoir."