In the middle of this summer's record heat, the water temperature at Lake Ellyn in Glen Ellyn has risen to 90 degrees at times, leading to the growth of more algae and the death of many fish -- not to mention a foul-smelling odor.
But thanks to some much-needed rain, conditions at the lake have improved, park officials said Wednesday.
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"I was at the lake and it appears significantly better in most spots," Executive Director Dave Harris said. "The little bit of rain we had assisted that. It caused some movement and cooled off the lake."
The lake, located north of Glenbard West High School and the village's downtown, is a stormwater basin for a 1-square-mile area, and only receives water when it rains.
It discharges stormwater through underground pipes to nearby Perry's Pond and the East Branch of the DuPage River.
But the exceedingly dry conditions have caused the water to become stagnant.
The park district contracts with a maintenance service to treat the lake every two weeks from May to October to limit algae and chara growth. That company says it's not unusual for the lake to be in such a condition during hot weather, Harris said.
Park district crews have been removing dead blue gill, carp and bass from the lake over the past few weeks. The lake is about 5 feet deep, and larger fish have a harder time surviving with the lower oxygen levels, Harris said.
The park district hasn't stocked the lake in years, he said, so any fish in it are due to natural reproduction.
Harris said there aren't any coming events scheduled at the lake that are in jeopardy of being canceled.