Trouble brews beneath the surface of Ashley Pond

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By Kirsten Laskey

Every town has a center, a location that is the hub of activity and a source of community pride. Ashley Pond could certainly be considered Los Alamos’ center; however, beneath the placid surface of the water trouble is brewing.
Los Alamos County Parks Division Manager Richard McIntyre said the pond is dying as a result of eutrophication, a process in which oxygen is depleted from the water by the decomposition of large amounts of organic matter. McIntyre said eutrophication is caused by a number of things – overpopulation of fish, fowl and a lack of circulation that keeps water moving around in the pond.
It is not unusual for this problem to occur, McIntyre said, and there is an effort underway to improve Ashley Pond.
An application to receive funds for a study phase in the county’s capital improvement project (CIP) process has been submitted.
The CIP Oversight and Review Committee will rank and score this and other applications Thursday. Los Alamos County Council will discuss the CIP proposals on Dec. 7.
The goal for the pond CIP, McIntyre said, is to get a team together to get input and direction on improvements as well as hire a design team. The pond will not be redesigned, he said, but rather re-fitted.

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