BICA Environment Committee Report

By Chris Redston

We are focusing our efforts on three areas: Water Quality, Invasive Species and Septic Systems.

Water Quality – After many years of testing water in several locations around the Bay, the board has decided to discontinue this program. Data collected indicates that aside from a couple of isolated locations, we are fortunate to have, overall, very good water quality. We are encouraging BICA members to test their own drinking water to ensure that their water treatment systems are functioning properly. Information on how to test your drinking water has been posted on the BICA website. Lindsay Richards and Martha McLellan have agreed to serve on a Water Quality Sub-committee to increase awareness and develop actionable plans to continue our efforts to maintain and improve water quality in the Bay.

Invasive Species – We will continue to raise awareness about Invasive Phragmites and encourage BICA members to be on the lookout for any new stands of this plant in the water and adjacent shoreline of public and private property. In August 2021, we organized teams of volunteers to cut back stands of Invasive Phragmites on public land on the river in Whitefish Falls and the S-turn off the main channel. We will continue to monitor and cut back these stands in the Summer of 2022. It is each members responsibility to look out for and address any new stands of this plant on their own property. The BICA board can assist with help in identification and recommendations on how to eradicate the Phragmites before they become huge stands that are very difficult to control.

Septic Systems – Properly functioning septic systems play an important role in preventing sewage runoff and degrading water quality. One of the best ways to ensure a properly functioning septic system is the regular inspection and pump-out of septic tanks. The BICA board is arranging for Ferguson Maintenance to pump out septic tanks during the Summer of 2022. Additional information on septic systems and best practices has been posted on the BICA website.