Kevin Faddis waded into the indiscernible muck that somewhat exemplifies Potter Lake. At one point, he became totally submerged, only to think to himself: Someday, his kids will have three eyes.
He wasn’t too excited about that.
“If I get cancer one day, I’ll let you know,” Faddis said.
But he was in there for good reason: KU beat Missouri, and he was retrieving the goalposts of victory from the aforementioned lake-pond. Back in the 2003 football season, KU beat Missouri in the days when Lawrence was sometimes used to leaving Memorial Stadium disappointed. The students enjoyed the victory as is custom by throwing goalposts into Potter Lake. Faddis and his fellow hallmates at Battenfeld Scholarship Hall became dedicated to retrieving them.
Efforts are under way at the university to clean up Potter Lake, so students such as Faddis don’t have to worry about the muck if they dive in.
The responsibility for maintaining the lake falls to three groups: the Office of Design and Construction Management, Facilities Operations and a recently created student group called Potter’s Lake Project.
The Potter’s Lake Project was started in spring 2008.
“Our group was trying to be a catalyst to improve the condition in and around the lake,” said John Kenny, a student and member of the project.
One thing the Potter’s Lake Project was responsible for was adding Asian grass carp to the lake in an attempt to make it cleaner. The fish are herbivores, and group members hope the fish eat the green muck that makes the lake look dirty and overgrown, Kenny said. These fish are 2 feet long, and in two to three years, they’ll become full grown, which could be 5 feet long, Kenny said.
Kenny said the lake is important for the university because it adds to the campus’ beauty.
“We try to be good stewards around it,” said Mike Lang, who oversees landscaping on campus.
That means limiting the use of herbicides and fertilizers near the lake, he said.
Many of the improvements to the lake are cosmetic.
Lang said to his knowledge, the lake isn’t polluted. Faddis should be safe from his goalpost-diving expedition.