LOP man: Developer needs to clean up act | TheUnion.com

LOP man: Developer needs to clean up act

Kerana TodorovLake of the Pines resident and biologist Glenn Delisle stands by the lake, which he says is getting muddier because of runoff from a DarkHorse development project.
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For the past several weeks, Glenn Delisle has kept water samples he said he collected from two creeks that meander through the DarkHorse development under construction and flow into Lake of the Pines.

“They’re muddy as the dickens,” Delisle said Wednesday, referring to the two water samples he keeps in his Lake of the Pines garage.

A third flask holds water collected from Magnolia Creek, which doesn’t flow through the development, said Delisle, president of the Lake of the Pines Association, so he can compare its clarity with the DarkHorse water.

With each rain, a big flush of sediment-laden water runs into the lake, Delisle said. He’s retired biologist with the California Department of Fish and Games. The first runoffs occurred during heavy rains Oct. 24, he said.

County and state officials can do more to prevent further sediment runoffs into the lake, Delisle said.

“It’s hard to say what they should do,” he said. “What we’re saying is, they should fix the problem.”

Nevada City Engineering Inc. of Nevada City has been hired by the county to monitor DarkHorse. The engineering firm’s contract with the county’s ended Dec. 31 but could be extended, employee Andy Cassano said Wednesday.

Cassano, who toured the site Oct. 31, reported siltation in the lake and recommended that DarkHorse rectify the problem.

Extra bales of hay were brought in, and sheets designed to filter sediments before water flows into the lake were placed along the creek at the edge of the under-construction DarkHorse golf course to prevent further runoffs. Two pumps divert extra water into a pond.

But that may not be enough, Delisle said.

In a Nov. 29 letter to the Lake of the Pines Association, Robert Porta, supervising building inspector for the county, wrote that DarkHorse representatives are following the plan to prevent storm water pollution.

“They have been very responsive to make immediate corrections,” Porta wrote. “Per the California Regional Water Quality inspector, DarkHorse is a model construction site.”

“We’re doing everything we can,” Terry Williams, sales director for the DarkHorse project, said Wednesday, adding that the reddish water that comes down creeks is natural runoff.

Edwin Vitrano, general manager for the Lake of the Pines Association, is concerned about nutrients flowing into the creek which, he said, could feed algae.

The association may need to use more chemicals to control weed growth and algae proliferation. The association spends $25,000 on supplies to maintain the lake, he said.

The DarkHorse golf course is scheduled to open Oct. 15.

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