Don’t Rake Leaves into the Lake

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| By Holly Odgers: As you’re wrapping up your fall yard work, please remember to rake or blow your leaves away from the lake and not into it. 

Lake Hopatcong

It is inevitable that some leaves will naturally fall into the lake, however, an abundance of decomposing leaves will increase the nutrient levels in the lake which can lead to algae blooms and greater aquatic weed growth near your property. As an overabundance of algae and weeds die, they decay, causing bacteria to use up the oxygen in the water. This can kill fish and other aquatic life.

It is best to rake leaves away from the lake for pickup or even compost them in your yard. For more information about using leaves for composting CLICK HERE.

Please share this information with neighbors and lawn maintenance services who may not know the negative effect that raking leaves into the lake can have.


Local ordinances

Each of the four municipalities around Lake Hopatcong prohibits disposing of leaves in the lake.  Full municipal codebooks can be found online, but here are some examples.

Hopatcong Borough – § 143-3 General regulations.

D. Disposal of leaves and other vegetative material. No person shall deposit leaves or other vegetative materials on roads or within any lake, pond, stream or stormwater drainage system.

Jefferson Township – § 313-8 Litter in fountains and water bodies.

No person shall throw or deposit litter, including leaves and other vegetative or yard waste, in any fountain, pond, lake, stream, bay or any other body of water.

Mt Arlington – § 88-2 Fertilizers, use of – Prohibited conduct.

C. No person shall deposit leaves or other vegetative materials on roads or within or near any lake or storm water drainage system.

Roxbury Township –§ 3-7.10   Litter in Lakes and Fountains.

No person shall throw, sweep or deposit litter in any fountain, pond. lake, stream, or any other body of water in a park or elsewhere within the township.

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