Water Quality

Water Quality information and Updates
See Also 2007 Diagnostic/Feasibility Study for most up to date info.

Phosphorous levels

(from 2003 Reclamation Committee Report)

In 2002, after a year of monitoring, it was found that the phosphorous levels were one thousand (1,000) times higher in Martins Pond than in any other pond previously reported in Massachusetts.

Also in 2002 it was discovered that phosphorous levels peaked at the inlet and outlet to Martins Pond and also at Central Street and Rte. 28.

In 2003, it was found that it only peaked at the inlet and the outlet of Martins Pond. It also peaks after heavy rains.

A lot of theories, but more studies are needed to actually decipher what those results mean. Does septic and fertilizer run-off, combined with the thick sediment add to phosphorous levels?

One fact that has been established is that the phosphorous levels do not effect or are not effected by algae levels. It was earlier thought that there was a coincidence between phosphorous levels and algae blooms.

It was also discovered that back in 1994, the phosphorous levels were normal, so why are they 1,000 times higher than any other recorded pond or lake? Failing septic systems, over use of fertilizer, thick, dense sediment? There isn’t a definite answer yet.

Fecal Coliform Levels

(From 2003 Reclamation Committee Report)

Surprisingly, fecal coliform levels within the entire watershed were at their lowest in Martins Pond.

It is known that these levels spike during a heavy rain and then drop within 24 – 48 hours so failing septic systems had been suspected as the culprit but there is no solid proof of that.

There is a test to determine exactly what the source of the fecal coliform is; i.e. horse, dog, geese, human, cow, etc. but it is a very expensive test and has not been performed yet because of the cost

Turbidity Report

(From 2003 Reclamation Committee Report)

This is the clarity, or lack of clarity, of a body of water.

Of course, we know Martins Pond is not clear but this could be construed as a blessing because the turbidity prevents sunshine from filtering down through the water which keeps the vegetation from completely taking over the pond.

If Martins Pond was clear, the milfoil would have taken over the entire pond by now.

Because of this, the question of what to do to clean up the pond becomes problematic.

With few or no exceptions, all methods available are expensive and also, with few or no exceptions, each method fixes one problem just to contribute to a different problem

Sewer Report

(From 2003 Reclamation Committee Report)

This has been an ongoing process for about a year. The discussion, as of now, is on Treatment Plants and where to build them. Two suggestions: (1) the DPW yard and (2) the Berry site. The Berry site will not be available until the new owners begin building and that date has not been established. Right now, it does not seem to be in the near future. There is a need for a third location and that is a problem. The Hillview was one suggestion but Warren Pearce of the NR Community Planning Committee said the soil there was no good for this type of thing.

Two Phases to Sewer coming to NR:
(1) Commercial and (2) Residential

Commercial would be first priority because it would attract new businesses on Main Street and consequently, increase the town’s revenue. Martins Pond should be the first residential area, due to the pond, but the high school area and Town Center are also being looked at.

Proposals will be presented to the NR Selectman, December 11th and then to the NR Businessman’s Association. Mike feels confident that NR will get a sewer system in time. Perhaps 3 – 4 years.