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Ongoing Algae Issue Making An Eyesore Out Of North Side's Lake Elizabeth

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- With the city skyline in the distance and the amazing array of trees surrounding it, Lake Elizabeth in West Park should be a postcard waiting to happen.

Donna Brida, of West View, took a look today and came up with this assessment: "Everything else is beautiful, but that's an eyesore."

Dick Daigneau, who lives across the street in the Mexican War Streets, says, "This park has been neglected, no attention paid to it."

And, Josh Pie, who works across the street, added, "It was a pretty place to sit up until a week ago. Now it's a little sad looking."

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Sad because the lake now has no water, making it a real challenge for a mother duck and her brood to get by.

Pittsburgh Public Works Director Mike Gable says, "The algae blooms came up and we dumped the water, and we're going to have volunteers help us clean it up."

Gable says they do pay attention to the park and says there is an ongoing algae issue in Lake Elizabeth.

"We generally do a couple of cleanings a year," he said.

A plan to put aerators in the lake that would have helped prevent the algae issue was derailed by a difference of design opinions and the aerators wound up going to Highland Park.

Gable says, "It doesn't mean aerators can't be put in. We need to find an electrical source, and if they aren't too expensive, we'll throw some aerators in to help with the movement of the water."

More immediately there is the issue of cleaning up the current mess. This Saturday, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy will orchestrate a cleanup of the lake's concrete bottom from 8 a.m. – 12 noon. All volunteers are welcome and everything you'll need will be provided.

Gable says, "Once we get it cleaned out, we'll fill it up with water and it will be a beautiful lake again."

He hopes that will be as early as next week.


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