Murky Ocean Water after Draining Lake Powell

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Imperialegg, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Imperialegg

    Imperialegg Beach Comber

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    So, we have been informed that after a lot of heavy rain, some quantity of Lake Powell has to be drained into the ocean. Apparently this just happened recently within the last few day, and now the beautiful beach water around Inlet Beach is pea green instead of the usual crystalline turquoise. Does anyone know how long it typically takes for the gulf beaches close to Lake Powell drainage site that were affected to returns back to its cleaner, clearer state after a drainage event?
     

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  2. justhavinfun

    justhavinfun Beach Fanatic

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    Mother Nature will decide as depends on winds, tides, currents etc etc
     
  3. EZ4144

    EZ4144 Beach Lover

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    Go to the east side.
     
  4. Imperialegg

    Imperialegg Beach Comber

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    Right I know that, but I am asking if anyone knows the TYPICAL amount of days it takes to clear up from previous experience.
     
  5. Lady D

    Lady D SoWal Insider

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    When is this picture from? Doesn't really look that bad.
     
  6. Imperialegg

    Imperialegg Beach Comber

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    Its VERY bad and its from TODAY, right off the live web cams from this website.
     
  7. Jimmy T

    Jimmy T Beach Fanatic

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    They had a no swimming health advisory at Grayton Beach today. High bacteria levels. Happens when we get lots of rain and the lakes break through to the gulf. Hope things clear up soon!
     
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  8. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Once the outfall stops flowing it can clear up quickly.
     
  9. Lady D

    Lady D SoWal Insider

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    We've been at Inlet Beach many times when that was open and flowing into the Gulf.
     
  10. Lake View Too

    Lake View Too SoWal Insider

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    Eastern Lake and Deer Lake are having similar scenarios. If these lakes break out in concert with heavy rains, the tannin levels can go from "weak coffee" to hardcore "expresso" very quickly.
     
  11. bob bob

    bob bob Beach Fanatic

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    I like swimming in expresso
     
  12. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    Funny that nobody frets about the lake water appearance when the clear ocean water flows into the lakes.:lol:
     
  13. Freebeachfan

    Freebeachfan Beach Lover

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    It all works out in the end.
     
  14. deborsk

    deborsk Beach Lover

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    It's Mother Nature at work. Have patience.
     
  15. jeanne17

    jeanne17 Beach Comber

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    A little late in reply I suppose, but in case you're still wondering for future reference - weeks, usually, sometimes even months. Lake Powell doesn't open on its own very much. It's opened mechanically due to a special permit that was obtained by folks with houses on/near the lake. And they've lowered the trigger point over the years so it happens quite frequently. I know this because I'm over in Pinnacle Port and we see it constantly. They bring in heavy equipment and open that sucker up. I wish they'd let it be natural and open and close on its own, but apparently development is too close to the water so when water levels rise.....

    To see the permit, it was last renewed in 2012: ftp://ftp.dep.state.fl.us/pub/ENV-PRMT/bay/issued/0293538_Lake_Powell_Outfall_Maintenance/002_JM/Final%20Order.pdf - note that at that renewal, the trigger point was lowered to 2.4 (originally, years ago was 3 something, then lowered to 2.9 and now it's at 2.4, or if someone thinks it might get to 2.4 due to incoming storms...

    Also, originally were supposed to test water with each opening. But sometime back in 2015 I think? They petitioned to only test it once (once) per year.... Yep.. (sigh): ftp://ftp.dep.state.fl.us/pub/ENV-PRMT/bay/issued/0293538_Lake_Powell_Outfall_Maintenance/003_JN/Final/Lake%20Powell%20Outlet%20Channel%20Water%20Quality%20Modification%20-%200293538-003-JN.pdf

    Anyway, seems to be open more than closed these days. The outfall is actually quite lovely to hang out at...I do wish it was on a natural cycle. Is what it is.

    Last but not least? That pic you posted - actually not bad at all. We jokingly call it black water when the tide turns out (even when the lake is open, if high tide pushing gulf in the lake, your beach view will be fairly normal - clear water - but when the tide reverses, the lake spills into the gulf, and depending on how close to the opening "event", it can look quite dark. Harmless, pine needle tannin color, but dark nevertheless.) Next time you are at beach while lake is open, if you like clearer water, try timing beach time with high tide (that is, if your dates comply...sometimes high tide is 3 am ;-) )
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019

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