Monday, December 11, 2017

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Water Quality Updates

The Belgrade Lakes Association continues to both lead and support a range of efforts to preserve and protect the water quality of Great Pond, Long Pond, and the Belgrade Lakes watershed. Our programs address key water quality issues including gloeotrichia, phosphorous, swimmer’s itch, and invasive plant species such as milfoil.

  • Ongoing Water Quality Efforts. We continue to support ongoing joint efforts by Belgrade Lakes Association, BRCA, DEP and others to preserve the water quality of Great Pond and Long Pond, including:
    • Lake Smart Program – The Belgrade Lakes Association had been working with the DEP on this program to evaluate water quality impacts from properties, recommend improvements to reduce runoff and phosphorous inputs to the lake, and reward property owners for participation.  For 2013, the program will be administered by COLA with Belgrade Lakes Association's continued support.
    • Conservation Corps - provides landscaping services to property owners to reduce erosion and impacts to water quality.
    • Invasive Plant Patrols – we conduct periodic surveys for invasive plant species in the lakes.
    • Courtesy Boat Inspections for Invasive Milfoil – The Belgrade Lakes Association provides paid and volunteer staff to perform daily boat inspections for milfoil at all public launches on Great and Long Ponds.
    • Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program – a state-wide program to collect lake water quality data.
    • Swimmer’s Itch Program – The Belgrade Lakes Association leads a program to inoculate and relocate mergansers, which serve as hosts for the swimmer’s itch parasite.
  • New Watershed-Based Management Plan. The Belgrade Lakes Association is working with BRCA and DEP to develop the Watershed-Based Management Plan (WBMP), which will identify specific measures to address phosphorous sources in Long Pond and Great Pond. The WBMP, completed in May, 2009, described actions needed in the watershed for the next 10 years to improve water quality, including non point source remediation projects; land use planning; community outreach; and improved water quality ordinance enforcement. The WBMP will provide the platform for a series of grants for phosphorous source abatement projects. This is a great step forward in taking action to reduce sources of phosphorous inputs to the lakes, the principal cause of gloeotrichia blooms.

 


Gleotrichia echinulata, a blue green algae


  • Gloeotrichia Projects. Your Belgrade Lakes Association has completed a range of continuing and new activities to evaluate the occurrence, causes, and solutions for blooms of gloeotrichia and other cyanobacteria in Great Pond and Long Pond. The analysis of the results of this work is currently being finalized and we expect to communicate our findings thorughout 2013. 
    • Ultrasound Field Trials. Back in 2008 we completed a 3-month in-lake trial of three ultrasound devices at the North end of Great Pond as one potential mitigation technique to address gloeotrichia blooms.
    • Noise Level Measurements (dB measurements). We performed underwater noise measurements to determine the strength of the ultrasound signals.
    • Non-Targe Effects Evaluation. Working with BRCA and DEP, we collected over 10 sets of samples of zooplankton and phytoplankton to evaluate the acute and chronic effects of ultrasound on these and other non-target organisms in the lake.
    • Microscopic Identification. Great Pond resident and Belgrade Lakes Association member Sarah Melvin has examined over 70 samples of gloeotrichia in water from various locations in Great Pond and Long Pond and has taken over 5,000 photographs of the samples under microscope to identify the types of organisms present and the effects of the ultrasound treatment.
    • Deep Hole chemistry Study. Working with BRCA, DEP, and Colby College, we collected over 120 water samples from three deep hole locations in Great Pond on 12 different dates in June, July, August, and September to evaluate water quality and phosphorous concentrations which could contribute to gloeotrichia blooms.
    • Volunteer Gloeotrichia Observation Program. We continued the volunteer observation program, started in 2005, and through the help of a great team of volunteers, recorded over 500 observations of gloeotrichia density from over 30 locations in Great Pond and Long Pond over a 3-month period. The Volunteer Observation Program will be continued in 2013.
    • Continued Research of Solutions. Reduction of phosphorous and other pollutants entering the lake is recognized as the most important long-term action to address gloeotrichia blooms and preserve overall water quality. We continue to coordinate with scientists, regulatory agencies, and other Lake Associations around the country to learn more about other potential solutions, including in-lake mitigation approaches such as ultrasound.  
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