A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Waverly Lake: Why equipment was off

Written May 20th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

The Waverly Lake fountain was working fine on Sunday, May 19, 2024.

The other day somebody wondered on social media why the new fountain and aerators in Albany’s Waverly Lake were not working. But if they were off, it was because the power was out.

“The fountain and aerators have been working as designed,” Rick Barnett, the Albany parks and facilities maintenance manager, said today. “The only time I am aware that they were off was during a couple of power outages, unrelated to the park. They kicked back on when the outage was finished.”

The Albany Parks Department had the aeration equipment installed to cut down on the growth of algae and other vegetation in the lake during the warm parts of the year.

Last summer the department had a contractor yank out and remove most of the growth in the lake with a couple of floating harvesting machines. Now, this spring, little patches of what appear to be algae have once again shown up.

Here’s Barnett’s email response when I asked him about this.

“It took time to get as much growth on the lake as we had and will take us some time to make it completely clear. After the first bit of nice weather last year the vegetation was already getting heavy. This year is much better. We are planning to have another round of aquatic harvesting done later in the summer. Time will tell but I believe we are on the right track.”

You may also be wondering when the Waverly Duck will return from wintertime storage to its summertime home. Early June is when the duck’s return is planned.

And what about the paddle boats? For paddle boat season on Waverly Lake, the parks department says June 20 is the “proposed opening date.” (hh)

Small patches of growth were visible from the west end of Waverly Lake on Sunday.

7 responses to “Waverly Lake: Why equipment was off”

  1. Julie Corbett says:

    It seemed to me when they constructed the system, that it isn’t enough. I’ve thought they should have built a second one down towards the west end. Honestly, I think their problem is long from over.

    • Coffee says:

      From the looks of Hasso’s photos (thanks, Hasso), I agree with Julie that the city’s problem on Waverly Lake is not over. Maybe if they hadn’t spent 21.5 million dollars on brick pavers on Water Steet and hadn’t made Monteith Park the ugliest park around…with an unattractive, skimpy stage and too much cement, they (meaning the city and CARA, which are one and the same) might have some money to adequately rid Waverly Lake of algae.

    • Diana Margason says:

      I have lived in Albany since 1946-47. I have seen green algae many times over all those years. It always has started on the West end. There is a wetland area or slough behind Costco and going through the subdivision there. We used to swim in it when Waverly Lake was too cold. Woops, the secret is out! Look to that slough as a source of algae. Good show, The Duck is coming back in June, I hope after graduation is over. As my cousin used to say, “Those darn kids ripped off the duck again.”. And then laugh. Since he made The Duck, I think he had a right to laugh.

  2. Ralph Menweg says:

    You should have taken the chemical treatment plan to start off. There are chemicals that are not harmful to the fish, and would do a MUCH better job at killing off not just the visible growth, but the spores that are in the lake bottom. The lake already looks terrible and we should not have it that way while it “gets cleaned” in stages.
    Someone should look into the chemical treatment right NOW, and then maybe continue with the “cute” but useless sprayer

  3. thomas earl cordier says:

    There is only one “fountain” shooting water in the air; but there are several aerators that can be seen at water level around the lake if you look carefully.

  4. Marion Fisk says:

    I have lived in Albany since 1961 started grade school at Waverly grade school. And as a child Used to fish, swim,and row my rubber raft in Waverley lake. It seems like back then in the 60s and early 70s the lake was pretty clean. I think the problem is the creeks that feed Waverley lake doesn’t have the water flow like it did in the 60s. it looks like nowadays, there’s not much water spilling out of Waverley lake to the creek that feeds into the Willamette river doesn’t less water flow in and out of the lake mean more of the worst algae bloom?


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