Businesses worry about salt problem in Mirror Lake

Published: Apr. 18, 2019 at 5:12 PM EDT
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The AuSable River Association has a new report on Mirror Lake's water quality. For the third year in a row, it shows high salt levels which the association says is killing the lake.

Business owners told our Kelly O'Brien why the lake is so important for the village's economy.

"The lake is one of the most important parts of the community," said Edwin Weibrecht of the Mirror Lake Inn.

Important to the community and those who travel to it. The Mirror Lake Inn one of many businesses in the village that rely on the lake for business.

"The lake's economic impact for us is huge," Weibrecht said.

But with the way road salt is being used, Weibrecht is concerned.

"It's the centerpiece of the community and if it became dead or polluted, it would be devastating," he said.

A petition in the village urges immediate action to address the road salt problem-- 165 people signed it and so did 85 businesses, including the Mirror Lake Inn.

"This past winter was particularly harsh and we recorded the highest concentration of salt that we've measured to date," said Brendan Wiltse of the AuSable River Association.

Every two weeks, the AuSable River Association gets on the lake and collects water samples for the yearly report.

"From the surface of the water to the bottom," Wiltse said. "We also deploy sensor technology that allows us to look through the whole water column."

Wiltse says there's plenty of blame to go around.

"It's not a matter of the town or the village, the state independently doing enough. We all need to start working together to reduce our salt load and protect Mirror Lake," he said.

They monitor other areas where lakes have died due to salt and now the push is on to use less salt here.

"We aren't suggesting we need to go to a no salt solution. What we need to do is start looking closely at how much salt we are applying and if we can be more efficient with that application," Wiltse said.