Water-Related News

Some Lake County residents concerned about plans to lower water levels

LAKE COUNTY — Some residents in south Lake County are upset about a plan to open dams to lower lake levels.

Water managers said they have to stop flooding, especially with more rain in the forecast, but residents along the Clermont chain of lakes are skeptical.

Officials said the rules they follow for the water releases have been around since the 1950s, but residents said the lakes are important to the economy and they get nervous when water levels are lowered.

"I think the way they are being maintained (is) at a reasonable level,” resident Chris Bolster said.

Water levels dropped significantly in 2012 and residents fear they’ll see a repeat, but officials said those issues were caused by a drought.

"I think us opening the gates, or the locks, or the dams, is kind of aggravating the eco-system and creates other headaches and problems (for) home owners and people who dwell on the lakes,” Bolster said.

Some residents claimed that leaders lower water levels to protect the Emerald Lakes community, which frequently floods. Officials said that’s not the case.

"The lakes are not managed at all based on concerns about Emerald Lakes mobile home park,” Mike Perry, of the Lake County Water Authority, said.