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Being a Good Neighbor

PRESERVING AND PROTECTING THE LAKE

Living at Lake Oscawana, owning property, welcoming friends and raising families has given each of us an opportunity to be landlords of the present and stewards for the future. 

In order to protect the health and condition of the Lake the following best practices have been developed. Most of them are common sense. Most of them require no additional financial output. And all of them will bring rewards many fold in the days and years ahead. 

DOS FOR LAKE LIVING

Protecting the Lake

  • Have your septic system pumped out periodically - usually once every three years. Note: legislation is pending before the Town Board to require pumping every three years by landowners within the Lake Oscawana District. 
  • Use no phosphate or, if unavailable, low phosphate products, in all cases. In February 2010, Putnam Valley adopted a regulation prohibiting the use of lawn and related fertilizers containing phosphorous. 
  • Create a natural buffer of water’s edge plants where possible. 
  • When remodeling or building within 100 feet of the Lake seek a septic upgrade to current environment standards. Set an example. 
  • If someone helps with your property maintenance remind that person that you want to do your part to keep the Lake healthy – that means no dumping of leaves and grass, no activities which would create run-offs, and support for incorporating the best practices listed in this section. Find out, too, what your professional can recommend to you to stay with the program. This is a team effort! 
  • Before launching your boat, clean the bottoms and bilges, particularly if you have been on other waterbodies, so as not to introduce alien species such as milfoil and zebra mussels into the lake and, under no circumstances should you ever place into the lake any live animals (e.g. snakeheads, acquarium fish or mollusks) or plants.

Boating and Swim Safety (additional requirements can be found in the Town Code)

  • Do observe speed restrictions marked on buoys throughout the Lake. Maximum speed is 5 MPH within 150 feet of shore or another boat; maximum speed is 35 MPH elsewhere. 
  • All boats pulling skiers must have an observer as well as a driver. 
  • Carry an approved life preserver for each passenger in a boat. 
  • License all boats as required.
  • Teach all children how to swim. Learn basic lifesaving techniques. Always swim with a buddy.

DON’TS AND HAZARDS

Don’t Damage the Lake - Help Keep it Healthy 

      • Don’t dump any waste into the Lake. If you use the Lake in the winter for ice fishing, for example, clean up and remove any debris left on the Lake
      • Don’t spill gasoline or oil into the Lake
      • When you are cleaning up after your dog, please do not dispose of any waste into the Lake
      • Don’t truck sand to the Lake to create a new beach without first checking with the Town Building Department or the Wetlands Inspector. 
      • Check Town Hall – there will shortly be new regulations on the use of lawn fertilizers. Minimize any fertilizing of your lawn especially if on the Lake front – the grass will grow green naturally. Mother Nature will see to it!

      Fire Safety 

        • Consumer fireworks are dangerous and illegal. Enjoy them instead at Town Day! Do not store fireworks on your property and do not ignite fireworks. The use and possession of fireworks is regulated by the NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control. Make your celebrations on the shores of the Lake safe and happy events. 

        Boating and Swimming

        • Do not swim in open waters (150 feet from shore) unless accompanied by a boat within 15 feet of the swimmer. 
        • Do not permit children under the age of 15 to operate a power boat without a supervising adult on board.

        Winter on the Lake 

        • Don’t go out on the frozen Lake alone. Always have a buddy whether you are ice skating, ice fishing or enjoying other sports or activities. Be mindful of the noise and danger associated with snowmobiles and ATVs on the Lake.

          LOCA would be pleased to make specific recommendations for products, store locations and approaches to help protect the Lake.