While washing in Bark-Lake seems mostly out of practice we just want to remind everyone that it is a trend that should definitely not come back. Even if the soap is biodegradable and phosphate-free, it is still terrible for the lake. Soap, an emulsifier breaks the surface tension, necessary for the ecosystems that depend on walking on water. Biodegradable means that the biological system can break down the substance. Why can’t it go into the lake? The “biodegradable” label actually refers to biodegradable in your septic systems. It still has a negative impact on the chemistry of the lake and the animals living in it. The organisms that you are feeding are the bad ones, like algae and milfoil. So even if you choose the “less negative option” by choosing a more natural soap, you are still endangering the lake. The lake’s water and its quality affect us all, so please be mindful. If you must continue this tradition, skip the soap and use a washcloth instead to rub off dirt. The other option is to climb over 30 m from shore and wash yourself over a 6-inch hole so that the bacteria in the ground can break it down before it reaches the water.