ST. CLOUD -- We first told you last week that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is recommending that Lake George in St. Cloud be removed from the state's impaired waters list.

Noah Czech is a Stormwater Compliance Specialist for the city. He has been leading the multi-year effort to clean up the water starting in 2018. He says the time and money spent on the project is all worth it.

The centerpiece of the city is Lake George.  Hockey Day Minnesota was hosted there, the Governor's Fishing Opener brought events there, Summertime By George, you name it everything seems to happen and revolve around Lake Geroge.  So, having our centerpiece be an impaired water made us want to clean it up.

Czech says they take water samples every two weeks, which indicates the quality of the water has been improving. But, he says, it's the comments from the residents walking around the lake that mean the most.

We've had several people that walk the lake daily or weekly and they've stopped us and talked to us and say, "what are you guys doing to the lake it looks so much better?  I can see the fish when I'm standing on the fishing pier."

The MPCA says the phosphorus levels have been reduced from 45 parts per billion down to 18 ppb. And the water clarity has improved from 5.8 feet up to 10 feet currently.

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Czech is hoping Lake George will officially be removed from the impaired waters list early next year.

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