team photo

Figure 1
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Environmental Engineering
Team 1

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Reginald Denny
Alex DePasquale
Julia Lineweber
Lauren Roper

Timothy Vadas


Lake Chaffee Improvement Association, Ralph Sherman

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Eutrophication and algal blooms have been an increasing issue for many surface waters. Lake Chaffee, a private, man-made lake in Ashford, CT, has not been immune to the consequences of algal blooms. Eutrophication is typically caused by the abundance of nutrients in surface waters. Residents of the Lake Chaffee community have been concerned about how continued algal blooms will affect the health and aesthetics of their lake. Several sources of nutrient input were investigated. Samples of lake water, stormwater, and sediment were taken at different times of the year to test for phosphorus, ammonium, and nitrate. The state of the residents’ septic tanks were also investigated, as older systems can easily become contributors to the lake’s nutrient load due to their proximity to the water table. Surveys were also distributed to the residents to assess their lifestyle habits, and how they might be contributing to the algal blooms. Possible solutions that were investigated include septic system upgrades, stormwater treatment systems, phosphate control systems, implementing barley straw, lowering the lake levels, and floating islands to mitigate the algal bloom problem. Possible engineering solutions are also accompanied by comprehensive recommendations to the community on how the residents can limit their nutrient contributions through lifestyle choices and property maintenance.