Apponequet Regional High School, Lakeville, Massachusetts
Laura Chiuppi, Molly Fisher, Meghan Couet, Caitlin Sula, Elizabeth DesRoch, Andrew Dixon, Ruth Ward
Loon Pond is a small spring fed pond about thirty-two feet deep. The pond’s surface area is 0.69 square miles and the sub-basin is 3.10 square miles. The deepest point is thirty-eight feet. The pond provides the residents with recreational opportunities, such as swimming, fishing, and canoeing. Loon Pond’s shore is a mixture of forest and low density residential. There are 35 homes around the pond, the majority being summer residences.
This past summer (2003) the pond was closed to swimming due to an enterococci count of 121 colonies/100ml as reported in the New Bedford Department Laboratory Division Recreational Water Examination Report.
Overall, we found good water quality. The pH was about 6.1, which is close to normal for fresh water in Massachusetts. Freetown/Lakeville residents obtain drinking water from private wells. The well water has previously been tested and had an average pH of 6.5. These two pH values are similar because Loon Pond is spring fed from ground water. The DO and temperature also had a diurnal curve that was consistent with the time of year. The reactive phosphorus and nitrogen/nitrate levels were below detection limit and considered to be in normal ranges.
We tested for fecal coliforms at all three sites on April 7,2004. The test results were zero colonies per 100ml of water. The lack of fecal coliforms could be attributed to the fact that residents had not yet started using their summer properties. Also, there were no pond related activities at Ted Williams camp.
It is the opinion of town officials that the cause of the enterococci counts in July, 2003 were due to Title V violations from the homes around the pond. Since the pond flows from west to east, this seemed to be a plausible explanation. However, use of Ted Williams Camp beach during the summer should be considered. The enterococci count dropped immediately after the beach was closed. It remained very low until mid August. If Title V violations were the cause, the enterococci counts should not have changed, but remained constant due to continued use of the summer properties. The increase in August can be explained by residents swimming at their “own risk” during hot weather, disregarding previous warnings.
Apponequet Regional High School, Lakeville, Massachusetts (2004). Do We See Feces?: Loon Pond 2003-2004. In Watershed Access Lab Projects. Project 6.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/wal_projects/6
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