In a letter sent to the town Thursday, state investigators concluded after reviewing fish necropsy results, as well as data from water quality samples taken prior and after the alum treatment and alum concentration samples, that the fish likely did not die as a direct result of the alum treatment but possibly from the ongoing algal bloom in the lake associated with elevated pH levels.
The investigators said based on the timing of the fish kill, that the alum treatment might have placed additional stress on the already impacted fish. However, no confirmation of this was evident in the data.
"We are hopeful the reduction in pH following the initial alum treatment will lessen the potential for additional fish impacts," said Interim Deputy Director Jim Gregson in the letter.
Staff from the Division of Water Resources will be present during the remainder of the alum treatment to collect additional water quality data as well as monitor for distressed or dead fish. If any dead fish are found in the treatment area, alum application will be suspended.
Earlier this week, the alum treatment process was halted by state environmental officials after thousands of dead fish washed ashore at White Lake.