"If we don't take care of it, we won't have it:" Keeping the waters clear at Lake Country Clean Water Festival
PEWAUKEE -- We're well into festival season in Milwaukee and many of the events are focused around food or music. However, a festival in Pewaukee is working towards cleaner water in southeast Wisconsin.
It was a perfect Saturday to enjoy the sun and sand at Pewaukee Lake.
Many began the morning with a pancake breakfast and dancing at the annual Pewaukee Kiwanis Beach Party and Lake Country Clean Water Festival.
"We love the music, the family atmosphere, it's a lot of fun," said Jenny Bernicky, festival goer.
But this festival is as much fun as it is educational. Their goal is to raise awareness of the importance of clean water.
Lake Country Clean Water Festival
"It is a natural resource that if we don't take care of it, we won't have it," said Jeff Lee, President of the Pewaukee Lake Water Ski Club.
Several booths were set up to teach the community about water safety and how it effects animals and what we can do to preserve our water ways.
"Every day that we don't do anything, it gets worse. By focusing on the efforts now, we can start to make a dent quicker," said Lee.
In 2010, the beach was closed about 50% of the season due to E. coli bacteria from the seagulls that used to fly around the area.
Seagull deterrent system
"People feed them, so then they hang around, the defecate on the beach and when it rains it goes into the water," said Lee.
The Pewaukee Lake Water Ski Club wanted to change that, so they created the Clean Water Association and threw their first festival in 2011. They raised enough money to buy a seagull deterrent system.
"They're solar powered spheres that spit around on a motor and the light is an irritant to the gull," said Lee.
And since their installation, the beach has never been closed.
The Bernicky family comes to the beach every chance they get, and knowing it's clean makes the mom of 3-year-old, Mason, feel at ease.
Clean Water Festival
"It's very reassuring knowing that he's safe," said Bernicky.
The festival wrapped up Saturday evening with a water ski show and live music.
Since 2011, the Clean Water Festival has raised more than $32,000 that went towards clean water efforts.
To learn more about the Clean Water Festival, CLICK HERE.
If you would like to learn more about the Clean Water Association, CLICK HERE.