Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

November 11, 2013

Lake Sara board addresses leaf issue

Bill Grimes
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — The Effingham Water Authority Board has a message for those who have reportedly been blowing leaves into Lake Sara.

Don't.

At Monday's board meeting, members noted that the existing ordinance that prohibits placing leaves into the lake will be enforced. Lake Superintendent Mike Dirks said the fine per violation is $75. Board members are concerned the leaves could have a negative impact on the lake's water quality.

EWA said in a news release earlier Monday that landscape companies and individuals have been spotted blowing leaves into the lake.

Board member Jim Boos said he receives annual complaints about leaf disposal, particularly burning after hours. The current ordinance mandates that burning of leaves and other landscape waste is only permitted between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

"There was one guy getting ready for work, and he couldn't see the lake for all the smoke," Boos said.

Lake-area resident Tom Ryan said one viable alternative to burning or dumping is mulching the leaves with a lawn mower into tiny scraps that will decay and enrich lawn and/or garden.

"I've mowed six times already," Ryan said. "Mulching keeps nutrients in the soil."