The CLA has created this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on our web site to provide Conesus Lake residents with a valuable source of information.
Although the answers are based on the best information we could find about each topic, the CLA is obviously unable to absolutely verify the accuracy of each answer, and is not responsible for unintentional errors or omissions.
You can also use this e-mail address to submit a question or provide us your comments on one or more of our FAQs.
A: Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Conesus Lake Association may call Judy Lyon the CLA Membership Chair at 585-243-4258 for information.
A: Vitale Park Call Shirley Holler with the Town of Livonia at 346-3898
A: Vitale Park, Lakeville (open year round)
A: The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has published data on this subject for nearly 80 years (1930 to 2007). The highest recorded level was 822.50 feet above sea level on June 24, 1972. The lowest level was 816.11 feet above sea level on December 22 and 24, 1988. For additional information, refer to: http://ny.water.usgs.gov/pubs/wdr/wdrny073/0072_04227980.2007.pdf.
A: The Livingston County Water & Sewer Authority (LCWSA). You can reach them during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM to 12 Noon and 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM) by dialing 585-346-3523. In case of an emergency, dial 585-233-9187.
For more information on how Conesus Lake's water level is determined and controlled, see the FAQ on "Lake Levels."
A: Flood zones are geographic areas that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has defined according to varying levels of flood risk. These zones are depicted on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map. Each zone reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area.
To determine the flood risk for your home, and to learn more about FEMA flood maps, insurance, and other general Information see : http://www.fema.gov/hazard/flood/info.shtm
A: The lake level of Conesus Lake is determined and managed by three separate entities: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Conesus Lake Compact of Towns (Compact), and the Livingston County Water & Sewer Authority (LCWSA). The Conesus Lake Association is not a party to the formal lake level management process.
Lake levels during the year are managed within specifications that have been developed by ACE.
NOTE: These specifications are target levels; they may be difficult to achieve during periods of severe precipitation or drought conditions.
Managing the lake level involves attempting to satisfy several objectives. Sometimes these objectives can be in conflict with each other:
LCWSA is operationally in control of maintaining the lake level by making adjustments at the flood control dam at the north end of the lake. The discharge rate of 10cfs is tracked at a Conesus Creek gauging station operated and maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey, but partially funded by LCWSA.
In March 2003, the Compact (Geneseo, Livonia, Conesus, Groveland) contracted with LCWSA for the daily operation and routine maintenance of the flood control dam. LCWSA provides the manpower and daily diligence to see that the levels are kept as close as possible to target levels.
A: The two-year Pilot Test was completed in October 2007. The final report, “Conesus Lake SolarBee Pilot Test, 2007 Monitoring Program Results,” was prepared by Ecologic, LLC and Dr. Isidro Bosch of SUNY Geneseo. The report concluded:
The entire monitoring report is available here: 2007SolarBee.pdf
In addition to the statistical evaluation of the monitoring water-quality data, the evaluation also considered the results of the Lake Users Survey, personal observations of water-quality conditions, anecdotal comments from long-term lake users, and operational factors such as equipment and maintenance costs. The machines were generally durable, except for damage caused by wind-driven ice during spring thaws. The expense and logistics associated with the winter removal, storage, and re-installation in the spring were determined to be major negative factors for any long-term program involving many machines.
The three entities renting the three SolarBees (Town of Geneseo, Town of Livonia and the Conesus Lake Association) terminated the pilot in the 4th quarter of 2007. The SolarBee units were removed from Conesus Lake in December 2007.
A: Many types of algae are naturally present in all parts of the environment, including lakes like Conesus. Blue-green algae (scientific name, cyanobacteria) include many different species considered essential to natural biological and chemical processes that occur in water bodies. Some types of blue-green algae can naturally contain toxins. When these species of algae die, the toxins are released into the local environment. Usually, when small numbers of algae cells die, the concentration of the toxin is too low to cause any adverse health effects.
Under the right conditions, blue-green algae can multiply rapidly forming a bloom. Blooms are noticed as large areas of concentrated algae, looking like green pea soup or spilled turquoise paint. If a large amount of the algae present in a bloom dies at the same time, higher concentrations of toxins may be present and which may become a public and animal health concern.
Conesus Lake has been monitored for algae blooms over the past few years. Small-scale blooms do regularly occur in localized cove areas along the shoreline. Some large-scale blooms have also occurred, but these are rare and dissipate quickly when wind and wave action breaks up the bloom.
The Livingston County Department of Health, working with SUNY Brockport and the Sheriff’s Marine Patrol, have evaluated blooms on Conesus Lake and have taken samples to measure the amount of toxin present when blooms are reported. Samples of water directly from the lake and drinking water taken from the lake have been analyzed. The analysis results are compared to standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO) for both drinking water supplies and for recreational contact to determine if the levels should be a health concern.
If you observe a suspected blue-green algae bloom and are concerned, contact the Conesus Lake Watershed Inspector at the Livingston County Department of Health by calling (585) 243-7280 or (585) 335-1717. The Department of Health can be reached after business hours and on weekends by calling the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department at (585) 243-7100.
If you would like a more in-depth understanding of blue-green algae in lakes please visit either of these websites:
New York State Department of Health Blue-Green Algae Bulletin: http://www.health.state.ny.us/environmental/water/drinking/bluegreenalgae.htm
Tips for identifying blue-green algae: http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/bg_algae/photos.aspx
Photos of blue-green algae blooms http://www.lcbp.org/Gallery/BlueGreenAlgae2008/index.html
Frequently asked questions about blue-green algae http://dnr.wi.gov/lakes/bluegreenalgae/
A: Any and all communications about lost or found items must go through the Livingston County Sheriff's Department. This includes the reporting of lost or found items and the disposition of unclaimed items. Telephone the Sheriff’s Department at (585) 243-7100 and ask to speak with a Marine Patrol deputy. Though the Conesus Lake Association may, at the specific request of the Marine Patrol, communicate information regarding lost/found items to its members, we are not otherwise involved in the process.
A: New York State may follow many other states and ban phosphorous in lawn fertilizers. Many brands of non-phosphorous lawn fertilizers are currently available at stores in our area.
Since phosphorous is a major contributor to algae blooms in lakes, lawn fertilizers with zero phosphorous (example: “20 0 15 “ on the label ) are best to use on your lawn. The new zero-phosphorous requirement will not apply to vegetable and flower gardens, nor to lawns that test deficient in phosphorous.
You should be aware that most soils in New York State naturally have more than enough phosphorous to produce healthy lawns.
A: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has prepared guidelines for preventing the introduction and spreading of aquatic invasive species. The guidelines include:
Detailed information on these topics is available on the NYSDEC’s website. Go to www.dec.ny.gov/animals/50121.html
A: Impervious surfaces are mainly constructed surfaces (e.g., rooftops, sidewalks, roads, and parking lots) covered by impenetrable materials such as asphalt, concrete, brick, and stone. These materials seal surfaces, repel water and prevent precipitation and melted snow and ice from infiltrating soils. Soils compacted by urban development are also highly impervious.
Impervious surfaces allow many types of pollutants, derived from a variety of sources, to accumulate upon them. Many of these pollutants are subsequently washed into water bodies by stormwater runoff which can severely degrade water quality. This type of pollution, known as nonpoint-source water pollution, is linked to land-use activities. Water-quality problems increase with increased imperviousness and the intensity of land use.
Danger buoys use a diamond symbol to convey their meaning. They may be used to mark the location of rocks, wrecks, submerged logs, or other hazards to navigation. When a marker is located near shore, do not pass between the buoy and the shore. A ring of buoys will mark large offshore obstructions while a single buoy may mark smaller obstructions. Always stay well clear of any danger buoy. They are the shorter white buoys with orange markings and are maintained by NYS Parks and Recreation
Speed Buoys are tall with orange flags. These are used to indicate a maximum speed of 5 MPH between the buoy and the shoreline. If your boat is not equipped with a speedometer, you can judge your speed as less than 5 MPH by having no wake. The exception to the law is the dropping off or picking up of waterskiers.