Johnson County should protect resources

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: February 10 2014 | 3:30 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:26 am in

The Lake Macbride Conservancy urges the Johnson County Board of Supervisors to reconsider the “Land Use Plan” as it applies to the immediate surrounds of Lake Macbride.

There is an obvious conflict between the cluster development encouraged by the plan and the board’s mission of “Proactive Protection of the Environment.”

Johnson County should be a leader in protecting the fragile resources of Lake Macbride’s natural


In 1937 the Cottage Reserve constructed a central wastewater treatment facility, remaining state DNR regulated. No sewage flows into the lake.

With the increase of the size of the lake after construction of the Coralville Dam and Reservoir in 1957, additional development around Lake Macbride was possible. Approximately 850 dwellings now exist around its perimeter, the size of a small city, and most of them use separate septic tank systems.

In 1968, Johnson County Board of Health adopted a wastewater treatment requirement, praised by the State Conservation Commission, that effectively limited lot size to five acres per dwelling in the Lake Macbride watershed.

Through changes in the state’s definition of private sewage disposal systems, four dwellings are now allowed on those same five acres.

More dwellings and people in the watershed will inevitably change the environment. This may be legal, but is it the right way to proactively protect the Environment of Lake Macbride? Visit our website at

Bob Burns, Chair

Lake Macbride




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