Odor lingers around Campus Lake

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By Anna Spoerre, @ASpoerre_DE

The cooler fall weather has yet to cause a significant change in the odor surrounding campus lake, according to residents of Thompson Point. 

Since June 19, Campus Lake has been closed because of toxic algae blooms, a bacterium contaminating the body of water, expected to dissipate with colder temperatures. The closure has affected students on campus, especially those living in west campus housing.

“I like the surroundings, but it smells really bad,” said Dominic Petta, an undecided freshman from Peoria living at Kellogg Hall. “It’s just foul.”

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Petta said he wishes he could fish and use the boat dock. He likes to play basketball outside, but said sometimes the smell wafts over to the court.

“I honestly can’t describe the smell, it’s just bad,” said Jacob Selsor, a sophomore from Auburn studying political science, who has lived at Smith for more than a year. 

Selsor said he notices the odor often when he walks or jogs around the lake. But he said it can also be picked up inside his dorm room at times.

“During the summer sometimes the air [conditioning] wouldn’t work, so I’d have to open windows to keep my room cool, but then my room would smell like the lake,” Selsor said. “I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.”

He said though the lake smelled last year, he notices it more this year. 

Craig Bartelsmeyer, a first-year graduate student in mathematics from Herrin, said he likes to walk around the lake a couple of times a week. He said he also used to paddle boat on the lake. 

“I think it’s a shame it’s closed,” Bartelsmeyer said. “I wish they would fix the lake.”

Corne Prozesky, associate director for facilities and operations at the Recreation Center, said the walking path around the lake and the Frisbee golf course remains open, but the boating dock is closed.

Prozesky said the boat dock’s closing has not affected students’ jobs.

“We have increased the hours of the indoor pool so the lifeguards could pick up their hours here,” Prozesky said.

He said they also added another guard position at the pool. 

The university is continuing to investigate the increased levels of bacterium in the lake. 

Anna Spoerre can be reached at [email protected] or @ASpoerre_DE

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