Lake Protection Projects
- Moultonborough Bay Inlet Watershed Restoration Plan
The Lake Winnipesaukee Association has contracted with FB Environmental Associates, and the Town of Moultonborough to address water quality impairments in Moultonborough Bay Inlet (MBI), the northernmost feature of Lake Winnipesaukee.
Moultonborough Bay Inlet has historically exhibited excessive levels of in-lake total phosphorus (TP) when compared to the other seven sub-basins which comprise Lake Winnipesaukee. In addition to Lake Winnipesaukee’s current impairment for cyanobacteria, several waterbodies within the MBI sub-watershed are listed on the State’s 305(b)/303(d) list for failure to fully support aquatic life use due to elevated concentrations of chlorophyll-a, insufficient dissolved oxygen, excessive total phosphorus (TP), and non-native aquatic plants (milfoil).
The Moultonborough community has made water quality protection a high priority, investing considerable resources (both financial and voluntary labor) over the past five years. To assist the community in focusing their efforts, the Lake Winnipesaukee Association (LWA) has been awarded a NHDES Watershed Assistance grant to begin the development and implementation of a restoration plan that will identify sources of pollutants within the Moultonborough Inlet sub-watershed that have led to the impairments and propose measures to address those sources.
For additional information regarding the project, contact Pat Tarpey, LWWA at 603-581-6632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Funding for the Moultonborough Bay Inlet Watershed Restoration Plan comes from several sources, including section 319 of the Clean Water Act, administered by the NH Department of Environmental Services.
- Lake Waukewan – Lake Winona Watershed Restoration Plan
Prepared by the Lake Winnipesaukee Association and FB Environmental Associates of Portsmouth, NH, the plan is the successor to the 2005 Waukewan Watershed Management Plan, and part of LWA’s lake-wide approach to preserving and enhancing the water quality of Lake Winnipesaukee.
Watershed residents, landowners, business owners, and recreationalists alike have a vested interest in protecting the long-term water quality of Lake Waukewan and Lake Winona for future generations. The goal of the plan is to improve the dissolved oxygen concentrations in the bottom depths by reducing the amount of pollutants, sediments, and nutrients that enter the lakes. The lake study advisory committee chose to reduce the median in-lake phosphorus concentrations by 10% and 5-10% in Lake Waukewan and Lake Winona, respectively, over the next 10 years. This goal can be reached if management actions discussed in the plan are implemented accordingly. Implementation of this plan over the next 10 years is expected to cost $324,200, and will require the dedication and hard work of municipalities, conservation groups, and volunteers to ensure that the actions identified in this plan are carried out accordingly.
This plan was partially funded by a Watershed Assistance Grant for High Quality Waters from NHDES using Clean Water Act Section 319 funds from the USEPA, with additional financial and in-kind services provided by the Waukewan Watershed Advisory Committee, the Windy Waters Conservancy, and the members of the Lake Study Advisory Committee.
The plan can be accessed on line at the Winnipesaukee Gateway website.
- Septic System Improvement Initiative
Improperly functioning septic systems can present a public health risk and degrade a lake’s water quality, particularly when these systems are located near the shoreline. Poorly functioning septic systems can release excessive amounts of nutrients, pathogenic organisms, and pharmaceuticals into a water body. At the same time, it can be difficult to identify problem systems and enforce rules on the local level to repair, upgrade, or replace those systems, largely because of the cost to property owners. Despite these challenges, the town of Meredith and the Lake Winnipesaukee Association (LWA) implemented programs to identify and help homeowners fix failing septic systems near Lake Waukewan, which is Meredith’s public water supply and a regional recreational resource.
In January 2013, the town of Meredith adopted a health regulation that requires evaluation of all septic systems within 250 feet of Lake Waukewan. Also in 2013, The NH DES awarded LWA a grant through the Source Water Protection Program to provide cost sharing incentives to reimburse property owners half the cost of a professional evaluation of their septic systems.
Compliance with Meredith’s health regulation was likely enhanced by LWA’s cost share evaluation program. Sixteen property owners voluntarily participated in the cost share program which was open to New Hampton, Center Harbor, and Meredith residents. Seven septic systems were found to be in failure (44%), and nine passed (56%). In addition, eight Meredith properties had their septic system evaluations done outside of the program; half of which were found to be either in failure or passing with intermittent use only.
For those properties whose septic systems were found to be in failure, LWA offered a second cost-share program toward the installation of new systems. As of the completion date of the grant project, December 31, 2015, fourteen septic systems were upgraded and replaced, resulting in a reduction of 5.3 kg of phosphorus to Lake Waukewan, in addition to a reduction in other pollutants, such as bacteria, nitrates, and pharmaceuticals. Of the 14 new systems installed, LWA provided cost share grants in the amount of $4000 to 9 property owners toward the overall cost.
We are pleased to have been able to offer these much needed cost-share programs to help property owners offset the financial burdens associated with septic system replacements.