For Your Lake’s Sake . . .

For Your Lake’s Sake . . .

What can be done? Everyone can contribute by following the suggestions listed below. The goal is to preserve or mimic as many natural processes in the watershed as possible; let nature do the purification which it does so well. For example, leave buffer strips along the edges of lakes, tributary streams, and seasonal, intermittent streams or plant vegetation which will slow surface runoff; minimize disturbance of natural soil. Direct surface runoff into natural depressions where the water can seep into the ground slowly, and keep use of chemicals and other harmful substances which cannot be removed by nature to a minimum.



Land Use/Land Area
Site Disturbance, Yardwork, Clearing, Landscaping
  • Do keep site disturbance to a minimum, especially removal or natural vegetation and exposure of bare soil.
  • Do seed and mulch bare soil within two weeks of clearing and install hay bales downslope of cleared areas.
  • Do leave naturally vegetated areas (buffer strips) along lake shores, streambeds, road ditches, intermittent streams. Leave at least 25 feet of undisturbed buffer, with more on poor soils or steep slopes.
  • Do plant deep-rooted, woody vegetation along lake shores, streambeds, road ditches.
  • Do preserve natural topography and natural drainage systems.
  • Do use fertilizer sparingly and in multiple applications. Hay mulch is preferable.
  • Do use organic fertilizer.
  • Don’t use herbicides and pesticides in excess on your garden and lawn. Avoid their use if possible.
  • Don’t put grass, leaves, branches, or any kind of organic material into the lake.
Shore Frontage
  • Do leave existing rocks in place along shore. Add rip rap if erosion control is necessary (DEP permit required).
  • Do minimize shoreline alteration such as removal of vegetation construction of piers, breakwaters, etc. (Shoreline alteration on lakes requires a Winchester Inland/Wetlands permit.)
Tree Cutting - Forestry
  • Do leave trees along the shoreline or streamfront. Consult with Winchester Inland/Wetlands laws before cutting—harvesting limitations may apply.
  • Do use non-phosphate detergents such as Ivory Soap.
  • Don’t wash cars near lakes, streams, or drainage ditches.
Surface Runoff from Developed Areas (driveways, roofs, lawns)
  • Do prevent water from running directly into lakes and streams. Detain in depressions or divert flow to flat, wooded areas.
  • Do plant vegetative buffer strips along road and stabilize road ditches by seeding or rip-rapping.
  • Do keep catch basins clear.
  • Do obtain a P&Z permit for the building of any structure within the Highland Lake district (1,000 feet from shoreline).
  • Don’t allow water to run directly off roads into lakes or streams.
  • Don’t build new beaches (new beaches require a DEP permit). Use temporary docks as an alternative.
  • Don’t fill or dredge unless necessary. Both activities require a permit from DEP.
Storage of Hazardous Materials
  • Do store hazardous materials in a contained area.
  • Do utilize the Regional Refuse District hazardous waste collection every fall.
  • Don’t dispose of paint thinners or chemical products on the ground.
  • Don’t feed wildlife, particularly ducks and geese, as this entices them to breed here and further pollute the lake.
  • Don’t boat within 100 feet of docks or shore.
  • Don’t use waverunners (jet skis) within 200 feet of docks or shore.
  • Don’t allow animal waste in or near water.

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