In his May 28 column (“Will Lake Auburn suffer the China Lake syndrome?“), Ben Lounsbury makes some of the best constructed points I have heard yet, against any further development in and around Lake Auburn.

We have already seen Lake Auburn stressed to the point of near collapse, described in Ben’s column as the “China Lake syndrome,” where algae blooms overwhelm the lake.

I would just like to see a balanced discussion of this topic that should include some other perspectives. For example, tree growth is supposed to be a mitigating factor for pollutants around Lake Auburn, so couldn’t development in what is now a barren gravel pit that includes thoughtful placement of trees and shrubs provide that mitigation?

Wouldn’t putting all homes in the development on city sewage eliminate any concerns about leachate from failing septic systems? Could some regulation regarding use of fertilizers and pesticides in certain zones be part of a solution?

In my observation, in my years of walking by the “Outlet,” it is clear that the water quality is declining. You can smell the stagnant, fishy, rotting odor where the water flows over the dam and kicks up some spray.

Additionally, it is clearly observable that the flow over the dam is not what it was when we were kids. These days, the flow in the summer is a mere trickle compared to what I remember in the  past.


The truth is, water lines to Poland, Lewiston and Auburn are sucking the lake dry. The flow simply is not adequate to properly cleanse the lake.

Truth be told, the flow could not even properly support swimming in the outlet as far back as the 1970s when the “ol’ swimming hole” was drastically expanded to create a public beach area. I know, I got serious ear and eye infections to prove it.

But what do I know, I only hold a BA from UMO.

Alan Whitman, East Auburn

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