City of Orlando Lake Formosa Cleanup/Maintenance

—–Original Message—–

I looked at lake Formosa yesterday and there is a heavy algae bloom which is the result of a combination of high temperatures and excess nutrients. Otherwise it looked healthy from a wildlife standpoint. I saw a pair of otters and numerous fish feeding on minnows, in the short time I was out there. base on this I would say that there has not been any type of illicit/toxic discharge to the lake

I’ve looked at the long term data on Lake Formosa and the type of algae blooms that is occurring on Lake Formosa currently, has happened over the past. Our data indicates that the frequency of these undesirable algae blooms has gone way down compared with the late 1980’s and early to mid 1990’s.

I’m sure Lisa Curtin who is involved with our programs to monitor and maintain water quality and John Evertsen who oversees aquatic plant management, can coordinate to let you know when we are doing large scale treatments for hydrilla. John can also provide you information on the details of our most recent treatments. Your right that it would be useful to include this information on your Lake Watch data sheets so that the U of F folks can see what factors may have affected the lakes water quality. We would also be glad to come to a neighboorhood meeting and discus all of these issues in person and provide information on what residents can do to improve water quality.

Please feel free to call or e-mail me if you have any questions. If you would like to set up a informational type meeting with the residents around the Lake, our Pubic Awareness Specialist, Katie Kulbaba is available to assist you.


—–Original Message—–
From: J. G. Spears []
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2007 11:04 AM
Mills, Louise P21324
Subject: Spraying for Hydrilla in Lake Formosa

Ms. Curtin,

I am a neighbor of Louise Mills and share her concerns about the health
of Lake Formosa. We certainly understand the necessity of erradicating
nusiance exotic species like Hydrilla from the lake. But I’d also like
some more information on the herbicides used and their affect on other
benneficial native aquatic vegetation and annimals:

What is the herbacide used?

Is it harmful to humans or animals such as the otters that frequent the
lake or the apple snails which seem to have been making a comeback in
the lake?

Is the herbicide used specific to Hydrilla, or does it also kill the
Vallisneria americana, Ludwiggia repens, Ceratophyllum demersum, and
other benneficial native submergant aquatic plants which grow in Lake

If the herbicide used to kill the hydrilla also kills the benneficial
aquatic vegetation, does the City have any plans to revegetate the lake
with benneficial species?

Thanks for your time taken in keeping us informed, and thanks for your
continuing efforts in keeping our lakes clean and safe.

Gordon Spears
1626 Baltimore Avenue
Orlando 32803

—–Original Message—–
From: “Mills, Louise P21324”
08/09/2007 10:19 AM
SubjectRE: Lake Formosa Water Quality


Thank you for the feedback on this situation.

It would be nice if the City could inform at least myself, the Florida LakeWatch volunteer for Lake Formosa, with a “heads up” email when it is deemed necessary to defoliate certain plant species from the lake. At least I would have some knowledge that the lake has been impacted and is in process of rebalancing itself — enough to at least hold knowledge of that in the event neighbors ask me what is going on with the lake.

In addition, you would be helping Florida LakeWatch. As a routine during my monthly sampling, I complete a questionnaire I send in with my water samples. One of the questions I am asked to answer is whether herbicides have been applied recently in the lake. How would I ever know that the City had done this to be able to answer the question correctly ‘yes’ and what chemicals were applied, when, and for what reason?

I do not know how chemicals are applied to attack hydrilla but I am curious as to how this is done. Do you spray the surface of the water? Spray underwater where there is an excessive amount of plants? The shoreline? So we know, it would be great if someone could explain this. Near the inflow from Lake Ivanhoe on the West side of Lake Formosa, it appears the embankment areas where the wading birds (snowy egrets, great blue herons, and wood storks) routinely feed is toasty brown. Did you spray these areas too?

I am not sure of the exact date the chemicals were applied, but it appears the lake is not yet in balance nor has it appeared to be in balance for the past 8 to 10 weeks. Not knowing how long this situation could continue, it makes sense to me that you might flush the water by an increased inflow from Lake Ivanhoe. I do not have expertise in this area, but based on your suggestion it would make sense this would help quicken restoration of the lake water quality.

Thank you again for answering my inquiries. I hope to hear back from Kevin McCann or someone who knows answers to the remaining questions in this email.

I appreciate your support.


Secretary, Lake Formosa Neighborhood Association
Volunteer, Lake Formosa, Florida LakeWatch Program

—–Original Message—–
From: []
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2007 8:07 AM
To: Mills, Louise P21324
Subject: Re: Lake Formosa Water Quality

Hello Ms. Mills,

Thank you for bringing your concern to our attention… We are aware
that the lake color is not normal, however, there are several factors that
maybe contributing to this situation. Recently, our City crews applied a
chemical to kill the invasive plant, hydrilla. As you may already
know, aquatic plants, whether invasive or native, have the ability to uptake
some nutrients out of the lake. Because some of this plant material is no
longer living/present and helping to remove these nutrients, the lake is
experiencing a situation where extra nutrients are present in the water
column. Combined with the very high water temperatures, it appears that
the phenomenon you see occurring is an algae bloom, as you projected.

We will consider looking into adding more water from Lake Ivanhoe
(upstream) to slowly “flush” the lake.

Please contact Kevin McCann at 407-246-2234 x 34 is you should have
additional questions regarding the possibility of adding more water into
the system since he will be the City representative making this


Lisa Curtin, Stormwater Compliance Program Manager
City of Orlando – Streets and Stormwater Division
1030 South Woods Avenue
Orlando, FL 32805

Office 407.246.2234 ext. 33
Fax 407.246.4050

Jim D Hunt/STW/PWK/Orlando
To “Mills, Louise P21324”
08/07/2007 02:41 PM
cc Kevin D McCann/STW/PWK/Orlando@Orlando, John A Evertsen/STW/PWK/Orlando@Orlando, Lisa A Curtin/STW/PWK/Orlando@Orlando
Subject Re: Lake Formosa Water Quality

(Document link: Lisa A Curtin)

Louise, this isn’t isolated, and I have seen it on other lakes as well. It’s probably a combination of the heavy rains we received up until last Thursday, coupled with the heat. I would imagine the problem is transient, but have copied some folks here, any one of whom is going to be more knowledgeable than I am.
Jim Hunt
Streets & Stormwater Division Manager
City of Orlando
1010 Woods Avenue
Orlando, FL 32805
(PH) 407-246-3646
(FAX) 407-246-2241

—–Original Message—–

“Mills, Louisr P21324”
08/07/2007 12:37 PM
Subject Re: Lake Formosa Water Quality

Good afternoon:

I am the Florida Lake Watch volunteer for Lake Formosa. I have been asked repeatedly by several of my neighbors in recent weeks why the water in Lake Formosa has become greenish-brown and opaque over the past 4 to 6 weeks. Normally we see some small degree of this is the summertime, but this year it seems to be lingering for a longer period of time.

The water sampled from my last round of Lake Watch work in July 2007 was thick with green algae. So much so, that it took longer than normal to create the filter samples.

So that I do not make a mistake when answering my neighbors, I would like to ask if you or anyone at City of Orlando Stormwater can explain the cause of this lingering change in the water quality.

I know the cause of some of it must be from algae bloom exacerbated by pesticides/herbicides, detergents, and other matter that washed into the lake with rain and storm events. But I wanted to be sure there wasn’t an extenuating circumstance perhaps caused by unknown substance inflow from Lake Ivanhoe or for some other reason.

Please advise when you get a chance.

I appreciate your time and consideration.

Best regards,

Louise Mills
Secretary, Lake Formosa Neighborhood Association
Volunteer, Lake Formosa, Florida LakeWatch Program

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