The Hot Potato - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2159982

The Hot Potato

Before anyone votes yes on an increase in the sales tax to fund more clean water plans [“Lawmakers, Water ‘Czar’ Pitch Clean Water Plan at Summit in Southampton,”, May 10], I would draw their attention to an April 15, 2008 article archived on this website. “Dredging and stormwater management could be the one-two punch needed to restore Southampton’s ailing Lake Agawam to a natural balance” is how the article begins.

Studies of Lake Agawam showed that the three primary culprits causing its toxicity are stormwater runoff, nitrogen in groundwater and muddy sediment.

Dredging Lake Agawam was considered imperative to any effort to clean the lake. Rerouting groundwater was/is a hot potato, and putting in septics wouldn’t remove nitrogen that will apparently be in the groundwater for decades to come. I’m not a scientist, but this jibes with what people have been saying for years.

I remember the old-timers claiming that dredging the lake was the only real option to regenerating the life cycle between the sun and the lake bed.

Not sure why those studies were ignored, but 15 years later the lack of tax proceeds and grants isn’t why Lake Agawam remains one of the most toxic in the state.

Kevin Luss