been more than a year since Dr. Theodora Pinou, WCSU associate
professor of biology and environmental sciences, took on the
enormous project of ridding Danbury’s Lake Kenosia
of environmental pollutants.
Lake Kenosia — situated on the city’s west side
— has long been a gathering place for Danbury residents, and in the
early 1900s attracted weekend crowds from as far away as New York
City. But in recent years, development around the lake has caused an
imbalance that is threatening the health of the fresh-water
environment. The lake suffers from low oxygen and invasive plants
and periodic algal blooms.
Thanks to numerous grants and donations,
including one from Danbury-based Bedoukian Research, Pinou and her
team have spent the past 18 months collecting water samples to
determine how and where to put a drainage system that would
alleviate runoff that is toxic to the lake.
“The idea was to find the right place for a
drainage system so we can maintain the water in
Kenosia for recreational
purposes,” Pinou said. While the team had anticipated the most
runoff at the lowest point of the water source, the study reached an
unexpected and opposite conclusion.
“It was kind of odd,” Pinou said. “We need more
long-term monitoring because we thought we’d get a higher
concentration in a lower sampling site than a higher sampling site.
We need to determine whether the numbers are true or an anomaly.
It’s a question of where the best place is to put a treatment
The Western research team will conduct further
analysis of Lake Kenosia water samples with the goal of determining
where a drainage system should be placed. “We will be able to
continue our research through the summer,” Pinou said. “At that
point, we’ll know whether we have a site.”
The research, which has been assisted by an
environmental consultant and Danbury’s Greenway consultant, Jack
Kozuchowski, has provided a great research opportunity for two
Western graduate students: Nicole Stiteler, of Newburgh, N.Y., and
Aaron Ferraro, of Brentwood, N.H. The students have worked
consistently to collect water samples at the lake for laboratory