Don Williams, Water Quality Committee Co-Chair
The Herring Ponds Watershed Association is preparing to receive our SMAST Consultant’s Water Quality Plan study draft report in April. An ad hoc committee, consisting of Board of Directors members Jack Kedian, Paul Denoncourt, Jerry Levine, Don Williams, Geri Williams, Tom O’Brien, Trish O’Brien, and Brian Herrington and the Water Quality Committee members will have the first look at the draft report, develop a list of questions, then meet with Plymouth DMEA members David Gould and Kim Tower before sitting down with the consultant. The study will be released to our watershed residents when it is in final form. We will then host a public presentation by the consultant with our residents to discuss and answer questions.
To determine the source of the cyanobacteria bloom-inducing phosphorus pollutant, the consultant has received past sample data from HPWA, taken numerous monthly (April through October) samples of Great Herring and Little Herring Ponds and their sediments and measured water flow rates. They have carefully reviewed the runoff report previously conducted by SMAST as well as septic system data from homes around the two ponds.
The data will lead to suggestions by the consultant as to what we can do to prevent future cyanobacteria blooms. Our watershed will then hold discussions about implementing these suggestions.
We are currently gathering information to both streamline the evaluation process and assemble as much background information as possible to put cyanobacteria blooms behind us. Accordingly, we have read the Savery Pond Water Quality Plan and are learning about best practice septic system policies, possible large-scale pond treatments, experience of other watersheds with those treatments, phosphorus water chemistry and runoff remediations.
Treatment can be expensive. We do not want to damage our pond flora and fauna. We prefer to attack the problem at its source, if possible. We want to develop a consensus on our way forward. I am happy to answer any questions you may have, email me at Donald_r_williams2003@yahoo.com or call me at 508-833-4355.