Monday, May 7, 2018

Lake Springfield trash pick-up can improve drinking water

Saturday, the Lake Shore Improvement Association spent the morning picking up around Lake Springfield.

It's their annual clean-up day, but they say it means more than just beautifying the area. It's a place for fun and fishing, but there's a problem with Lake Springfield. "There's always debris,” said John Aiello, Lake Shore Improvement Association Clean-Up Day Chairman.

Dozens joined the Association's to pick up trash through the morning.

Anne-Marie Hanson of the University of Illinois Springfield was there to help. "Trying to get an idea of the plastic pollution and overall marine litter in central Illinois water ways,” said Hanson. 

Hanson came with Tom Rothfus to help in the clean-up, learn about pollutants, and raise awareness. Rothfus is the Director to the Therkildsen Field Station. "A lot of these things, the plastics in particular, just don't go away,” said Rothfus. “They continue to break down they get smaller and smaller and find ways to cause problems with filtration systems, getting into drinking water other issues like that, and so we really need to make people aware that what they're doing every day is having an impact of how they're living their life later on."

They specialize in environmental studies and work to connect UIS with lake concerns. “We're finding chunks of plastic in there and I don't think people realize how big of an impact this has,” said Rothfus. “And how it can trickle up the system and affect us."

Volunteers picked up garbage to prevent it from getting in the lake.

This story aired on Fox 55 Illinois on May 5, 2018.

Watch the story online.