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PO Box 370, East Brookfield, MA 01515
Lake Association
Quaboag Quacumquasit

QQLA: Quaboag/Quacumquasit Lake Association
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2012 Events and Activities

President’s Report

2012 was a busy and productive year for QQLA and we look forward to a similar course in 2013. Our activities focused on water quality, invasive vegetation, nutrient loading concerns from the Spencer Waste Water Treatment Plant, town activities and social events.

* Seasonal algae monitoring North Pond – 2012. Urgent coordination with the state and the towns of Brookfield and East Brookfield monitoring results and posting signs prohibiting use of North Pond during the summer of 2012 due to a severe toxic blue-green algae bloom.
* Transport weekly water tests for Brookfield town beach on South Pond
* Tested water quality of two draining pipes along Quaboag Street on North Pond

* GPS mapping of both ponds during summer 2012, same planned for 2013
* Focused herbicide retreatment of ~10 acres of invasive milfoil on South Pond – June, 2012
* After GPS mapping done by June 2013, plan further treatments as indicated and feasible on North Pond shorelines. NUTRIENT

LOADING CONCERNS from Spencer Waste Water Treatment Plant (SWWTP)
* Continued activities by our SWWTP subgroup with input from the QQLA Board on building a coalition of concerned citizens and town and state government officials, as well as other waterway and environmental advocacy groups. We have been in communication as well with the branches of the Mass DEP and Federal EPA involved in the NPDES permit process We have made our scientific data on the performance of the SWWTP available to all groups and the press. We will continue to actively engage the EPA and DEP before and after the draft permit is released (presently pending). Senator Brewer and Representatives Gobi and Smola have been included in our communications.

TOWN ACTIVITIES – Brookfield, East Brookfield and Sturbridge
* QQLA power point presentation in August and September of 2102 to each town's Board of Selectmen, members of the Conservation Commission and Board of Health explaining QQLA's planned Actions in the upcoming NPODES permit renewal process for the SWWTP and the scientific data supporting improved performance standards. Each town's Board of Selectmen wrote a letter to state officials raising their own concerns on the negative effects that the present operations of the SWWTP have on North and South Ponds and their citizens.
* Informational meeting concerning the toxic algae bloom was held at the public boat ramp of North Pond in August run by QQLA vice President Don Taft of Brookfield. Over 50 citizens from the three towns attended as did members of the local and regional press whose reporting was accurate and helpful in distributing the QQLA message and concerns.

Annual Breakfast and Meeting 8/19/12
Booth at Apple County Fair 10/12
Winter Social 3/12
Earth Day lake area cleanup 4/12
Boat Parade 7/1/12
Luminary Night summer 2012

Respectfully submitted, Peter Levine – President QQLA

2012 Fund Raiser Results

Thanks to generosity of our concerned members and the hard work of our fundraising committee this year’s campaign was very successful. A total of $11,340 was raised. That is an increase of almost 60% over last year’s drive.

Our expenses were much higher this year with all the work our organization has undertaken with the Spencer Waste Water Plant permitting. With the added advantage of your donations we hope to impose cleaner water standards on Spencer and in return cleaner water for our lakes. In addition to supporting our efforts with Spencer, we will be able to continue to fight invasive weeds in both ponds and maintain the highest possible water quality.

QQLA would like to thank everyone for their continued generosity and support.

Community Service Initiative

During the summer of 2012 QQLA set out and serviced trash barrels at the Brookfield Town Beach and the boat ramps at Quaboag and Quacumquasit Ponds. This activity was approved and coordinated with State Fish and Game and the town of Brookfield. This is a good example of QQLA’s successful service to the community and users of the ponds.

The barrels were provided with signage and restricted openings in the top and were serviced twice a week. The Town of Brookfield provided trash bags (at no fee) and trash was taken to the Brookfield transfer station. Visitors used the trash barrels and the net result was that the beach and ramps were cleaner and the area was more appealing.

Quaboag (North) Pond Algae Bloom

The summer of 2012 saw one of the worst algae blooms ever seen on Quaboag Pond. In July QQLA became aware of the start of a Blue-Green Algae Bloom along Quaboag Street. Soon the blue green algae became toxic and engulfed the whole pond, with an ugly display of iridescent blue and green color throughout the water column along with white foam, black muck, a disturbing irritating smell, and unfortunately some fish kill.

QQLA took a lead role in notification to the towns of Brookfield and East Brookfield and in posting warning signs, we also took photos and contacted the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). The bacteria count was below toxic levels.

MDPH took over sampling and testing activities and followed through until they did their final sampling and testing in late September when they declared that the Algae blooms are the result of several contributing factors: high nutrient levels of phosphorous and nitrogen coupled with low water levels, elevated water temperatures, limited water flow, low dissolved oxygen.

MDPH reported that this was a bad year for algae blooms throughout the state. With the delicate condition of Quaboag Pond this put a significant burden on the already impaired body of water. QQLA remains committed to trying to reduce nutrient loading of our waters and also to deal with the invasive weeds.

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