The link below is for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection web site. Each season we see an increase in algae in our lake that sometime appear similar to balls of cotton candy or just very small, suspended particles. This article reviews the concerns about cyanobacteria (formerly known as blue-green algae). Our Volunteer Lake Monitor, Steve Triggs, periodically measures the clarity of the lake water using a Secchi Disk. As algae concentrations increase, the clarity decreases and the Secchi Disk reading decreases. The article talks about performing a “jar test” to help determine if the algae concentration is of concern. I tried this recently and found the water to be clear, but you might want to try it yourself.
Recently we again have seen a large amount of grass floating on the surface of the lake and washing ashore in large clumps. We also saw this several years ago and it is unrelated to the milfoil removal done in early July. You may gather and compost the grass, if it is a problem on your shoreline, the same as you would collect the milfoil that may float ashore.
Recent web-entered water clarity (Secchi) readings for Collins Pond
We will have a DASH boat working on the lake for the next four weeks, June 13th through July 7th. This will be the 9th year that we have hired the crew from New England Milfoil to assist us in our project to control the infestation of hybrid variable leaf Milfoil. This is a non-native invasive plant that will crowd out the native plants and eventually make the lake unusable for swimming, boating and fishing. It is most obvious in the northern end of the lake where the water is shallow, but if you swim in the lower sections of the lake you may notice that your feet will get tangled up in the plants.
While the crew is working we ask you not to approach the boat too closely as a diver will be under the water. They will have a dive flag out as a warning. We do encourage anyone who wants to spend a little time skimming up any plants that get away from crew to come and help, though. You can use a kayak or canoe to pick up plants floating on the surface away from the DASH boat. Put them in a small container or basket and bring them to the DASH boat once the diver is out of the water. The crew will add them to their haul.
Additionally, we have decided to retire our own DASH boat as of this summer due to various reasons so you will not see our volunteer crews on the lake except to help New England Milfoil.
The following is from the Town of Windham’s web site. The Town Council also sent a mailing that arrived in my box today that is addressed to all Town residents. Between the mailing and the various public meetings you should have enough information to make a decision for the referendum vote on June 14, 2022. You can also vote by absentee ballot so make your voice heard.
North Windham Sewer Project Public Meeting
Thursday, May 19, 2022
Please join us to learn more about the June 14, 2022 Referendum vote on the North Windham Sewer Project.
Join us at a PUBLIC MEETING, on May 19, 2022, at the Windham High School Auditorium, to learn more about the June 14, 2022 Referendum question regarding the North Windham Sewer Project.
Why is the Town in partnership with the Portland Water District proposing this solution? Where will the proposed system be installed? How will wastewater be treated and phosphorus and nitrogen reduced? What is the project cost and what funding resources has the Town been awarded?
On Tuesday April 12th, the final agenda item on the Town Council meeting that evening is the North Windham Sewer Project Update. For anyone not following the progress of this project, it is suggested that you follow the above link and review the project documents. The proposal is to build a sewage treatment plant that would be built on Town property across Sposedo Road from the Manchester School. Again from the above link is the following:
Construct a public wastewater system and remove approximately 100 septic systems which will eliminate 22,000 lbs of nitrogen and 3,000 lbs of phosphorous from being discharged into the North Windham aquifer. o Construct over 3-miles of collection and pumping system to connect businesses and residents to the system. o Treat wastewater through an advanced micro-filtration system. This innovative system will allow for direct drip dispersal on site and eliminate pollution. This project will be the first of this magnitude in Maine and can be a model for other communities who lack receiving waters. • A wastewater system will allow for sustainable economic growth. o Current businesses will be able to grow and new businesses can be sited without further degrading the aquifer and utilizing valuable real estate for septic systems. o The new system will encourage higher density business growth and less sprawl.
The wastewater drip dispersal would be distributed under the playing fields at the Manchester School.
There is a public meeting and information session held by the Portland Water District scheduled for April 27th at 6:30pm that will be held at the Manchester School Cafeteria.
Read the available information and plan to come to the public meeting to get more information.
Little Sebago Lake started its State mandated water level draw down for Winter on October 15th. The water release rate may accelerate over the next several weeks due to needed repairs to their release mechanism. As always, we coordinate with the Little Sebago Lake Dam Keeper to prevent our water level from becoming too high. Also, the Collins Pond water level is annually lowered at this time to lessen damage to the shorelines from ice expansion.
Starting in early July, due to the recent heavy rainstorms, Little Sebago Lake’s Dam Keeper partially opened their Hopkins dam to keep that lake at the State mandated level. We opened the Collins Pond dam in response to try to maintain a constant lake level. On Sunday, 7/25, the LSL dam was closed to only a 5% release. Our dam was closed about 12 hours later, just a little late to maintain the normal level. It is difficult to gage the correct time to open and close and also how much to adjust. Close too early and our lake level rises too much. Currently the level is low but is expected to gradually rise back to its normal level.
As mandated by the State of Maine, Little Sebago Lake will close the Hopkins Dam on April 15th to start to bring that lake up to its summer level. Some years ago an agreement was reached with the State to set the summer and winter water levels on Little Sebago Lake to settle disagreements among property owners. Since this is the upstream water source for Collins Pond, our dam will start to close a few days before this to bring our lake level back up to a normal summer level.
Little Sebago Lake started its State mandated water level draw down for Winter on October 15th. We coordinate with them to maintain a constant level and will be opening our dam today. The Collins Pond water level is annually lowered to lessen damage to the shorelines from ice expansion. This year our draw down will be delayed until after November 6th due to the final week of milfoil removal by New England Milfoil.
Little Sebago Lake had to release some water this week so you may notice the Collins Pond water level vary as we try to match this new inflow. The LSL DamKeeper opened his dam about 5% on 5/14 in the evening and we adjusted about 24 hours later to release some.
As of April 15, 2020 the Little Sebago Lake dam has been closed to bring that lake up to the State mandated summer level. On April 16th the Collins Pond dam has also been closed. Adjustments will be made, as always, to try to maintain a constant water level.