About Ry Rivard

Ry covers water for the Explorer. Before coming to New York, he reported on water and energy for Voice of San Diego.
He can be reached at ry@adirondackexplorer.org.

Reader Interactions


  1. Susan Weber says

    Excellent piece about a vital subject. Since the algal blooms last fall, despite much discussion about causation –failing septics, failing treatment plants in Bolton & Lake George, etc, I’ve seen nothing about the vast increase in rental boats on the lake in recent years. Mostly pontoon boats, which groups of people rent by the day, they have no toilet facilities. Large groups go boating, drinking, picnicking and swimming with no place to deposit their bodily waste except in the lake. Further, there is no inspection of the heads of large vessels berthed at marinas to assure compliance with the “sealed heads” regulations. Rental pontoon boats are the elephants in the room of Lake George’s water woes! Let’s hear something about this!

  2. William says

    The harmful effects on humans and wildlife that algae blooms and cyanobacteria have need to be told. Deadly effects.

    In public health fields, there is growing awareness of the links between harmful algae blooms (HABs) and neurological illnesses. ALS (Lou Gehrigs disease), alheimers, Parkinson’s disease, and others are linked to exposure to BMAA, the toxin found in these algae blooms. Studies all over the world show increased risk and incidence among those exposed, by water, air, and through foods watered from tainted waterways.

    The documentary Toxic Puzzle about the collaboration of researchers led by Paul Cox that have confirmed these HABS and human illness connections. In settings all over the world, the research behind the paper published by the Royal Academy [Sweden] is presented. The film is a must see to grasp the unseen importance of reducing run-off and nutrient inflow that cause HABs. Climate change is also accelerating the increase in this threat to water and health.

    For water bodies having a bloom, some species die quickly when exposed: birds eating tainted-water fish, for example. Dogs are a sentinel species, as they can die from just swimming in tainted waters. Look at the information that other states, like CA, WA and others give the public about the threat. Search articles. Look at the evidence. Tell others. Several lakes in the region have clusters of cases as noted in published research.

    Here’s a Riverkeeper article, from Florida, one of many: https://waterkeeper.org/magazines/be-the-change-volume-16/poison-blooms/

    Take steps now to turn back this toxic threat–the human health cost won’t remain hidden, but it’s way too late to save your health once symptoms show.

    Thank you for another informative and timely article.

  3. GB says

    Old school summer cottage septic systems recover over the winter. The big problem that no one will dare speak is the increase in year round residences. Our grandparents visited in the summer then left the lake and land to recover for ten months. The boomer generation moved in year round and that is why the lake is suffering. Of course little boats and old summer cottages will get the blame and more rules. And the lake will continue to get worse, while everyone pretends they don’t know why.

  4. Bill Larzelere says

    In lake Placid the SOA annually does free septic inspections. Either a system is sized properly or not. Either the leach fields work or do not. If you want to save the lake, and I have been going to LG since 1957 you have to play hardball. All those little shacks that are mc mansions should be made to comply with health department code. And by the way, if you cant pass a percolation test then you must have a holding tank. With all the free money from the democrats the state should provide loans to people that cannot fix their system now. This is all so basic but it takes guts to say it has to stop. As for storm drains, the state and county and villages should be mandated to review all of them and make repairs as necessary. That will be a start. And by the way–forget the climate change links or you lose half the population’s interest.

  5. Judson Witham says

    Seems remarkable that I worked for many Lake Front Contractors and installed lots of Septics around the Lake. You’d think there would be many questions BUT Chirp Chirp just Crickets …

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