Olander Park geese can be contentious. They like to hide near the walking path and spook passers-by, primarily by honking and running.
Besides providing a scare for some visitors to the Sylvania park, officials say the geese are also this year having an impact on the spring-fed 28-acre lake — a popular destination for swimming, fishing, and boating — with the waste they leave behind.
While officials stress the water remains safe for swimmers, several spiked water quality readings have been recorded recently in Lake Olander. Higher than normal readings started around the week of May 29, officials said.
Olander director Gary Madryzkowski said at tonight’s park board meeting that the park system has worked with the Lucas County Board of Health and that it has been determined that there are no pollutants flowing directly into the water. But because the geese swim in the water, they are inevitably leaving waste behind, underneath the surface,which is affecting the rating.
“While the E. coli readings are higher, I would have a concern if we were getting upset stomach [reports]. We’re not just looking at these numbers, we’re investigating things. We’re talking to a lot of folks for other ideas and we’re examining issues,” Mr. Madryzkowski said.
He also said the lifeguard at the facility has not reported any illness or problems there, and that there have been no other complaints of common ailments or illnesses.
While the influx of geese is a factor in the spiked water ratings, the weather is also to blame, he said. Since last winter was warmer than usual, most of the geese responsible for the elevated levels didn’t leave the property, as they normally would have.
“We didn’t have a cold winter this year,” Mr. Madryzkowski said. “A lot of geese that were born here last year, stayed.” He said the state has the option of moving the geese to a field, about 150 miles from Sylvania.
Steep temperatures have also had an impact on the natural waters, which still get tested on the record-setting temperature days.
The lake has also been treated with copper sulfate, which can help increase the oxygen level of the water.
“The oxygen in the water seems to be at an excellent quality,” Mr. Madryzkowski said, since the number of weeds has also decreased, because of the treatments.
The director has vowed to keep looking into the issue as the summer closes out, but also reminds patrons that the water is still safe for swimming and recreation.
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