10,000 Give or Take

Posted 6/23/21

By Brian G. Schommer Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” and did you know that there are more than that? Have you ever wondered what determines if a body of water is a lake, pond, or …

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10,000 Give or Take


By Brian G. Schommer

Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” and did you know that there are more than that? Have you ever wondered what determines if a body of water is a lake, pond, or slough (pronounced SLOO) which refers to more of a swamp? From what I could gather, a lake is an area of open, relatively deep water that is large enough to produce a wave-swept shoreline that prevents vegetation from growing along the shore. There also seems to be an unwritten rule that a lake needs to be over 10 acres in size. Well, there are 11,842 lakes in Minnesota that are more than 10 acres and if you add in all the smaller “lakes,” ponds and wetlands, the number is closer to 28,176 according to www. quora.com.

There are 15,074 lakes in Wisconsin and about 40 percent of them have names. I guess the ones that have not been named yet are just called watering holes, not to be confused with the corner tavern. Wisconsin does not seem to have the same unwritten rule as we do in Minnesota, as their lakes range in size from small one-and two-acre bodies of h2o to the 137,708-acre Lake Winnebago. Most people call those little ones “ponds.” Wisconsin just could not sit back and let Minnesota have more of something than them, so they had to try to one-up their neighbors with the lake thing. Come on, you have those NFL Championships, at least let us be #1 with something. It is safe to say, there is no shortage of water in our neck of the woods.

If you are on Facebook and have been to the City of Hastings Government page, you may have noticed posts regarding the critical nature for residents to follow the odd/even water rules. “With the early hot and dry temps, the City’s wells have been pumping more than double the amount of gallons, which puts a strain on our wells and water sources,” according to a June 10, 2021 post. This is not a new rule, in fact I remember back in the day my mom letting me have it for filling water balloons on an odd day. We lived on the even side of the street, and she was a stickler for the rules. She also knew she could be a target of one of those water bombs so this rule could help her avoid the potential prank hiding around the corner. The fact is it is a simple rule to understand. If your house number ends with an “odd” number (1,3,5,7,9), you can use your outdoor water on days that end with an odd number and vice versa for the even side of the street.

A few tips for watering have been offered on the Facebook page as well. One is that a lawn only needs about an inch of water per week. For those who might question this to be factual, I did a bit of digging and found on various sites on the World Wide Web that “the ideal amount of water for a lawn truly depends on a number of factors… but there are some best practices that everyone can follow. First, it is recommended for one week to water your lawn between one and one and one-half inches of water.” It is on the internet so again; it must be true. Being this showed up at many locations, all of which seemed to be legitimate lawncare specialist type websites, I would say that the validity is… well… validated.

Another tip offered is to not water your lawn between noon and 6pm. The air temps are lower and there is dew already on the ground in the early morning. Water evaporates faster when the temperature and humidity levels are higher. There is a better chance of your efforts being fruitful as the dew and water from your sprinkler will more likely be absorbed into the ground. Watering on windy days also increases the rate to which water evaporates, so if it is kite flying weather, running your sprinklers might not make the most sense. Making sure your sprinklers are hitting your lawn and not the sidewalks and or street will also help eliminate wasting water. These points were also verified on several websites so, for those thinking it is just those pesky City Officials trying to run our lives, step back a bit. They are doing the jobs that they are hired to do and trying to keep our community the quality place it is to reside, live and enjoy our daily activities.

Water quality is something that a lot of people think about and potentially, just as many of us take for granted. Up to 70% of the human body is composed of water making H2O one of the most important chemical compounds for human existence. Common sense says that maintaining our water supplies and the equipment that stores, cleans, and delivers something so vital for all life, not just human should be a priority for all. “Common sense is not so common,” according to Voltaire, the prolific philosopher and writer. As I found on the web, “water is the medium through which all essential vitamins and minerals are transported in the bodies of living organisms.” Again, it is on the internet, so it must be true. Water seems to be almost as important as the air we breathe, doesn’t it? It is not only essential to living, but can also provide refreshment, enjoyment, and outdoor activities galore. We seem to be blessed with an abundance of it here in Minnesconsin. If we all just do our part, there should be very few issues… kind of like life in general. We also will be able to continue to Enjoy the Great Outdoors. That sounds like a “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner;” a bit of foreshadowing for next week.