Big Lake Water Quality

During the summers of 2004, 2005 and 2009 the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) conducted water quality sampling at Big Lake. The results showed repeated high levels of petroleum hydrocarbons above the State’s allowed threshold. Big Lake was later declared an impaired water body under the Clean Water Act because of this pollution. During the fall of 2010, DEC hired Agnew::Beck to work with the community to develop an action plan for addressing water quality issues, specifically high levels of petroleum hydrocarbons on Big Lake. Over a four-month period, Agnew::Beck organized and facilitated three community work sessions with the Big Lake Water Quality Work Group to develop a detailed action plan for improving Big Lake water quality. The work group was comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders including local residents, business owners, property owners, Mat-Su Borough planners, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation and their concessionaire staff for Big Lake sites, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Wasilla Soil and Water Conservation District. The current action plans provides over ten action items, including a timeframe, lead party and estimated cost for implementing each action.