Reports Detail Solar Construction Site Runoff/Erosion into Sutton Wetlands and Manchaug Pond- Headwaters of Mumford River

South end of Manchaug Pond at Torrey and Holt Road, December 11th at 2:44 p.m. See Instagram and Facebook @ManchaugPond for full post.

Are you furious or crying for our Manchaug Pond?

All are encouraged to attend tonight’s Sutton Conservation Commission meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Sutton Town Hall/Municipal Center.

Severe erosion into Manchaug Pond from Oak Street Solar, currently being constructed on Oak Street in Douglas, resulted in heavy sediment/clay flowing into Manchaug Pond and downstream into Stevens Pond – impacting both lakes which are headwaters of the Mumford River, a tributary of the Blackstone River system.

Reports/site inspections are attached for your information:

23.1223 ConCom Site Walk Agenda

Construction Monitoring 45 Oak Street Report 2023.12.11

Douglas 45 Oak Monitoring Report #10

12-15-2023 Erosion Control Markup Douglas

Douglas 45 Oak Monitoring Report #11

45 Oak Street Runoff Letter

Reports of two events occurring December 11th and again on 18th, detail major erosion problems of the Oak Street Solar construction site into water resources causing flooding and sedimentation of Oak Street, Douglas and Holt Road, Sutton and a heavy, steady flow of sediment into a Sutton woodlands, wetlands, and Manchaug Pond visually turning the entire area brown from the dam to the channel/causeway including the state boat ramp and the public campground. Oak Street roadside catch basins – previously funded and installed through an EPA/DEP s.319 NonPoint Source Pollution grant of the Manchaug Pond Foundation – have been overwhelmed with additional flow extending down the road, through the campground, and into Manchaug Pond.

Earlier this week Douglas Conservation Commission discussed at their meeting and have scheduled a follow-up site visit for Saturday, December 23 at 8:00 a.m. Before the Commission, in addition to two Oak Street neighbors, Manchaug Pond Foundation President Phyllis Charpentier presented testimony to the Commission and three solar company representatives informing as to the extend of the sediment now reaching from the causeway channel to the dam and downstream well into Stevens Pond. She asked for immediate action to stop the flow and prevent another event from occurring, and that the impact be assessed both to the ecosystem of the lake and to the once healthy wetlands with spring peepers, wood frogs, and spotted turtles. Specifically, she called for measures to stabilize the area, testing for turbity, contaminants and bacteria, and that cleanup measures be identified and approved by both Douglas and Sutton’s Conservation Commissions for the neighboring properties, wetlands and both lakes.   Additionally, she expressed concern for a stream certified by Mass Wildlife as a coldwater fishery stream which flows into another area of Manchaug Pond –  if a breach or overtopping of the basin at the entrance of the site was to occur, flow over Oak Street and down the steep neighboring driveways, would contaminate the stream and another portion of Manchaug Pond.

Additionally, a Sutton Conservation Commissioner was first on the scene and reporting, the Board of Health office sent an agent on Monday the 11th, and Mass DEP is investigating.

Thanks to the many members of the Manchaug Pond Foundation for posting photos and videos to the Manchaug Pond Facebook giving us a record in real time of the event.

Flow over Holt Road, Sutton at wetlands and Manchaug Pond

Flow over Holt Road, Sutton at wetlands and Manchaug Pond, December 18, 2023. See Facebook @ManchaugPond for full reader post.

Facebook post by reader on December 18, 2023 from Holt Road, Sutton of sediment runoff entering Manchaug Pond. Dam/Torrey Road in background.



Manchaug Pond Foundation Inc. is an environmental conservation 501(c)(3) public charity of volunteers dedicated to the welfare and correct use of Manchaug Pond and its watershed. In advocacy, education, and action, we work together on issues and needs including water quality, dam and waterlevel, watershed conservation, priority habitat for endangered species, safe boating and public access.

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