HOBO members receive water monitor training

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

The Lay Lake Home Owners and Boat Owners Association is comprised of over 400 families who are committed to keep the lake a clean and safe environment for all its inhabitants: Human, fish, birds and all wildlife.

ADEM water monitor trainer and AWW founder Patti Hurley front left with HOBO members Donna Harper, Aprille Hayes, Karen Jenson and Taylor Steele from Birmingham Botanical Gardens. (Contributed)

ADEM water monitor trainer and AWW founder Patti Hurley front left with HOBO members Donna Harper, Aprille Hayes, Karen Jenson and Taylor Steele from Birmingham Botanical Gardens. (Contributed)

Lay Lake, which borders five counties Shelby, Chilton, Talladega, St. Clair and Coosa, covers 12,000 acres with a shoreline of 289 miles. The lake was formed in 1914 when Lay Dam impounded the Coosa River, one of the earliest concrete dams built in the United States. Named for the first president of Alabama Power, Captain William Patrick Lay, the dam was the first hydroelectric plant built by Alabama Power Company.

HOBO provides many services to its members and for the lake. Cleanup Chair Judy Jones and Alabama Power representatives organize the massive annual cleanup each April when volunteers spend a week cleaning trash out of the lake. John Hicks and Wayne Horton are building six osprey nest platforms. Joe Sullivan organizes the annual Christmas Boat Parade. The Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 88 patrols the lake for safety and HOBO publishes a bi-yearly newsletter.

Another important task since 2000 is the lake’s water monitoring. Jones supervises HOBO volunteers who monthly test the lake’s water in various locations. Jack Kalin purchases the monitoring supplies and keeps the inventory current for the volunteers.

Recently HOBO sponsored a water monitoring workshop in Shelby Shores, where volunteers received training from Patti Hurley of Alabama Department of Environmental Management and Taylor Steele from the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Jones organized and catered the event. Hurley created the Alabama Water Watch with Auburn University in 1989. Volunteers test sediment levels, turbidity, pH and levels of dissolved oxygen. The monitoring results are published for the public at Alabamawaterwatch.org.

Five new volunteers were certified: Aprille Hayes, David Gustin, Henry Nunnelly, Sammy Lee and Teresa Scalco. Recertified water testers were Jim and Donna Harper, Elaine and Michael Russell, John and Sheila Campbell and Kalin.

More volunteers are needed. If interested, please contact Jones at jonesfl@bellsouth.net or 669-4865. To join HOBO, contact HOBO President Art Giddens, artgiddens@yahoo.com or 669-7765.

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

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