Bob Wallace cringed.

He knew this particular house was getting painted, but he never imagined what would happen when the job was over.

In an unlikely location, he spotted a paint splash. It seems someone found a creative way to dispose of the excess.

“Somebody finished painting and decided to pour the paint down the storm sewer, which goes right into Silver Creek and eventually out into Green Lake,” Wallace said. “That’s in Ripon. That’s stupid.”

But the biology professor has noticed other examples.

“I’ve seen people with pooper-scoopers for their dogs, picking up the poop and dropping it into the storm sewer,” he said with a hint of frustration. “That doesn’t go to the wastewater treatment plant; it goes to the lake.”

Certain choices like these are contributing to the environmental challenges Big Green Lake faces, even though it’s several miles from Ripon. Silver Creek is a one-way highway that ends at the Green Lake inlet.

Wallace shared these thoughts during an Earth Day program at the college April 21 in a joint talk with Alison Thiel, project manager with the Green Lake Association (GLA). “Discover Green Lake: A Local Gem in Our Big Backyard” focused on what makes the lake unique and the issues it faces.

Read about Big Green’s environmental challenges and thoughts on a turnaround time in the full article, only in the May 5 issue of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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