Lake George Has a Serious Septic Problem

More Algae at Lake George?

It’s an all too common story, heard from neighbors, friends, and visitors alike, "there’s more algae than there used to be, on the lake bottom, our docks, our boats...What’s going on?" Well, while algae growth has so far been limited, providing for the Lake’s exceptional water quality and clarity, scientific studies started in the 1960s indicate that nutrient loading into the Lake has since doubled, feeding algae growth, and, much worse, the potential, for Harmful (or toxic) Algal Blooms. The issue poses one of the most serious threats to the Lake we love, the purity of our drinking water, our property values, and for many, our livelihoods.

Lake George Has a Serious Septic Problem

Among the main sources of increasing nutrients are aging and antiquated septic systems. According to survey and site analyses conducted in the southern Lake George Basin by Lake George Waterkeeper program, two-thirds of local residential systems studied have exceeded their life expectancy of 30-40 years, are designed improperly, and/or suffer from a lack of maintenance — creating what is literally a growing threat to our Lake’s still-pristine water quality.

There are around 6000 private septic systems in the Lake George Basin.

Exlore the map, which provides a dot for each property parcel not in a municipal water treatment district to give a sense for where these systems are. Around 4000 of them may be failing, based on our survey data.

Heat map of the 6,000 private septic systems in the Lake George Basin

Be Part of the Solution!

Whether you’re a homeowner or a small business owner, the solution to the threat starts with you and your understanding of your septic system. You can protect our Lake’s water quality and clarity by maintaining your septic system or installing a system if your current system shows signs of failure. This site shows you how. System-by-system, we can and we will get this done, together!

Get To Know Your Septic System

The Full Safe Septic Guide