Water Report - 2011

2011 Thorndike Pond Water Quality Report

Jim Banghart

 

We continue to sample the water in Thorndike Pond three times per year, once each in the months of June, July and August as part of the State’s Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP).  In addition the state’s Department of Environmental Services (DES) participates in one of the water samplings during which they make additional tests.  180 of the 900 lakes and ponds in the state participate in the program.

There were three changes to the program in 2011:

  • The passing of the State Limnologist, Jodie Connor who was replaced by the Watershed Management Bureau Administrator, Ted Diers.  Ted is not a Limnologist but he is a good administrator and he continues with a good staff.  He is trying to take the water quality reports away from just collection and more into dissemination of actionable data.
  • There were budget cuts to the program which reduced the state’s level of testing.  Because we coordinate our sampling with Gilmore Pond, the state benefits in the efficiency and continues to visit our ponds annually.
  • We continue to get data on our pond but the reports are now done on a regional basis rather than on individual water bodies.  This gives us better visibility into the water quality ponds in our region, but not quite as good of visibility into our pond.  There are seven regions in the state, we are in the Monadnock Region.

The report for 2011 was released in May, 2012, we received it in mid June.  It is available for review in its entirety at the NH DES website.  Water quality is similar to past years, there is no reason for concern.  The reports shows exotic aquatic plant infestations in many water bodies in our area, but not in Thorndike Pond.  We should be thankful to the NH Lakes, Lakehost program and our point person Evie Hammerman because infested water bodies in our area create risk to our pond.

An interesting observation in the report for us, supporting the importance of water quality, is the assessment by a consultant that a one-meter (three foot) drop in water clarity can lead to a 1-6% decrease in property values.  Taking the middle of that range suggests that the average property value on the pond could drop by $10-20,000 if our water quality deteriorates.  It makes our $75 annual dues seem pretty cost effective.  I personally believe that the effect of a milfoil infestation could be worse and our dues also support the prevention of that.