Monday, July 31, 2017

Testing the Waters

At the last Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) board meeting, board member Bart Delaney suggested that HDC should seek grants to improve Oakdale Lake. Delaney, who grew up in Hudson, said of the lake, where he spent time as a child, "It just looks worse and worse. People don't go there because they think it's not clean."

Nick Zachos, youth director, who was present at the meeting, took issue with Delaney's negative assessment of the lake. He maintained that Oakdale Lake, a spring-fed lake, is remarkably clean. In fact, it is one of the cleanest lakes in Columbia County. "Right now," Zachos explained, "there is very little algae in the lake. There is vegetation that looks like algae, but it's not. It feeds the fish in the lake."

Recently, the lake was tested by the New York State Department of Health (DOH), and this morning Zachos shared the results with Gossips. Ecoli is 9 parts per 100 milliliters; the acceptable level for New York State is anything less than 235 parts per 100 milliliters. Coliform was so low it did not even register on the test; the acceptable level is less than 1,000 parts per 100 milliliters. 

Zachos summarized:
According to the DOH these are especially low numbers, but in line with their view of Oakdale as one of the cleanest lakes in Columbia County. Oakdale is unique in being an urban lake with a very small watershed which is fed by natural springs, one in the pond and another that feeds in from the east (think Spring Street, which directly abuts the City's property). These factors combine to give us a remarkably clean lake for swimming, fishing, and boating.
We were obviously very excited to get these numbers from the state, because we were eager to see how our new nontoxic treatment regime was working. The new treatment is an enzyme-based liquid that starves out the algae and bacteria by consuming nitrogen from the pond.
We are trying to get the word out to the community about just how clean Oakdale is and to remind people that this amazing municipal resource is open to the public.

The park at Oakdale Lake is open to the public, with lifeguards on duty, from noon to 6 p.m. every day until the end of August. So make haste. You have just one month left this summer to enjoy this natural gem in our community.


  1. I swim in Oakdale daily. It's great to have a natural swimming area so well-maintained right here in town. We're very lucky.

  2. Where can I get the enzyme based treatment?

  3. Thank you Nick Zachos for setting the old school believes to rest.

  4. I don't question native Bart Delaney on the difference between Oakdale lake then and now (and there's always room for improvement), but I have been going to Oakdale for 20 years (ten of those with my son) and it remains an amazingly unique fresh-water swimming resource within the City limits. A jewel. The Youth Center offices, which move to Oakdale (from their 3rd Street HQ) in the summer, have been improved since I got here, as have the showers and seating areas. And most amazingly, the building now has a wonderful food counter featuring everything from empanadas to fries instead of just soggy hot dogs! And the beach -- yes, it is a beach! -- remains a jewel of pure white sand for sun-bathers and mothers and fathers watching their children taking swimming lessons -- the Riviera on North 6th Street! The new park and playground facilities, added in the last 15 years are terrific.... When I visited today there were at least 50 kids, ages 5 to 12, engaged in a full summer camp program -- with a small army of high-school age counselors. All in all, this is one of the best recreational bang-for-the-bucks in all of Hudson. --peter m.