CHIPPEWA LAKE, Ohio - This summer brought the worst flood people in Chippewa Lake say they witnessed in decades and although the floodwaters have long receded there is still concern about the lake's health.
Nate Eppink of the Medina County Park District says the summer got off to a rough start. In June the lake swelled and flooded streets, homes and closed the beach for some time due to safety concerns.
"We first noticed an algal bloom here in 2014, really its been an issue for the last few years where we’ve had to place restrictions on the lake to limit recreation," said Eppink.
He says overall the health of Ohio's largest glacial lake is improving. The park district monitors water quality during weekly tests to identify threats to public safety.
"We’ve had a very difficult time with the lake being closed because we moved here because of the lake and if you want to have friends out you never knew if the lake was going to be open," said Pam Williams about the lake's summer season.
A Save the Lake Coalition was formed dedicated to improving water quality for the fish, birds and people who frequent the lake.
"When the lake has high toxin levels and we can’t use the lake then I’ve avoided my recreational life," said John Sandora a member of the coalition.
While the fight to keep harmful algae at bay is an ongoing issue faced by many lakefront communities, people who live and play in and around Chippewa Lake say seeing it shine is not only beautiful it's critical for the community.
"Our dream was to get the lake back clean the way it used to be and we could enjoy what we moved here for," said Williams.