Soil erosion, especially from construction and site clearing, is a potential danger to the lake. Stringent precautions are always necessary when the ground is disrupted. Most contractors will be aware of, and use, erosion control measures, but it is prudent to bring this up at the planning stage and to reinforce your concern as necessary.

A recent (2004) hydrological survey of the lake bottom, to evaluate the need for dredging, found that surprisingly little sediment has accumulated in the lake since 1948, and that there is no need for remediation (except for local road gravel washouts). The report credited lakeside residents for their care in this regard but stressed that the main factor in this fortunate situation was that streams entering the lake carry almost no sediment, even after storms, because of the virtually undisturbed forest cover in the 11-square-mile Lake Sagamore watershed. (See Handbook, Part IV, Section D for additional information).

Homeowners with property along the lake front can prevent shore erosion by planting trees and shrubs near slopes subject to runoff. A barrier of plants along the water’s edge is recommended. Grass running to the water’s edge is not. Build steps or a ramp, rather than a dirt path, to get to the water. Although sandy beaches are strongly discouraged, limited areas of beachfront is often necessary in certain instances for residents to maximally enjoy the lake. (Recommendations for the proper construction of limited beachfront may be obtained from the Lake Committee.) Homeowners should consider regrading steep slopes to help prevent soil runoff. Soil erosion can be prevented in these areas by planting slopes and resodding bare spots. Stone coping along the water’s edge can be an effective way of keeping weeds and grass away from the lake and maintaining a neat appearance.

Stated in strong terms, the general principle is that anything that encourages water to seep directly into the soil is good; anything that is impervious to water seepage is bad.