Water Quality

"Water issues are the largest and most immediate environmental and public health challenges affecting the world right now." EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Wheeler Center, Remarks on Global Water Issues, March 2019.

Keeping Manchaug Pond clean and healthy continues to be our goal to ensure it will remain this way for generations to come.

Since the beginning of the Manchaug Pond Association's, now Foundation's, existence we take a multi-level approach to the lake’s water quality through monitoring and testing, surveys and clean-ups, and securing and completing two s. 319 Non-Point Source Pollution (NPS) Grant Awards from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) and pursuing a third in 2020.

Monitoring and testing includes:

  1. Water quality testing and monitoring
    1. In-lake at deepest depth from May through October
    2. At the inlet and outlet and upstream at Hotel Pond, in cooperation with/by the Blackstone River Coalition/Blackstone River Watershed Association at three locations monthly from April through November
    3. Of the major watershed streams feeding Manchaug Pond (currently in development)
  2. Secchi disk testing for water clarity
  3. Weed Watchers/Aquatic Plant Surveys
  4. Submergent and emergent weed mapping
  5. No Invasives! Early invasive weed and species detection & eradication
  6. Fall and Spring lake and watershed clean up along roads and shoreline
  7. Installation of structural BMP's of catch basins, filter systems, rain gardens, and more through two S. 319 Non-point Source Pollution (NPS) Grants
  8. Educational resources targeting special groups and offering a specialize website page:

The NPS Grants are designed to help abate pollutants that do not come from one source but many sources within our watershed. The pollutants we are concerned about are nitrogen, phosphorous and total suspended solids (TSS) that carry nutrients, all of these pollutants actually stimulate weed growth in the lake. Water running off our lawn, roads and other surfaces picks up nutrients, bacteria and chemicals and then deposits them into a watershed stream or lake through direct contact or storm drains.

Simple but important things that lake and watershed residents can do to reduce pollutants:

  1. “Buffer zones” of plantings at a water’s edge
  2. Rain gardens and/or rain barrels to capture roof runoff to filter nutrients from roofing materials – For more information see the Living in a Watershed link below.
  3. Limit usage of fertilizers that do not stay in a lawn but quickly leach into watersheds, storm drains and ultimately the lake feeding invasive weeds. If you use fertilizers,use zero phosphate brands.
  4. Natural pest management instead of pesticides which kill beneficial insects as well and quickly leach into the water.
  5. Pick up your pet waste so it does not flow into the watershed/lake.

Our “Phase 2” grant also has an educational component to it, which enables us to reach out to watershed residents as well as having a Junior  Environmental Toolbox for grades 3-5 and 6-8 which is on loan through the MPF as well as local schools and libraries.

For further information click on the links below:


Water Quality - The condition of the water including chemical, physical and biological characteristics, usually with respect to its suitability for a particular purpose such as drinking or swimming. Water quality is measured by several factors, such as the concentration of dissolved oxygen, bacteria levels, the amount of salt (or salinity), or the amount of material suspended in the water (turbidity). In some bodies of water, the concentration of microscopic algae and quantities of pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and other contaminants may also be measured to determine water quality.      https://floridakeys.noaa.gov/ocean/waterquality.html

Watershed – An area of lane where waters flow into groundwater, a marsh, stream, river, lake or sea. Everyone is in a watershed.

Best Management Practice (BMP) - ways to manage your land or your activities to reduce or prevent pollution of surface and groundwater near you.

Invasive Weeds – Plants that are not native to a region and aggressively grow pushing out native species. These include emergent (above ground) and submergent (below water) plants. Visit our Weed Watchers/Aquatic Plant Survey Team page.

Low Impact Development (LID) - The integration of site ecological and environmental goals and requirements into all phases of urban planning and design from the individual residential lot level to the entire watershed.

Non-Point Source Pollution (NPS) – Pollution that is not caused by one source but from a multitude of sources.

Secchi Disk – An opaque disk, typically white, used to gauge the transparency of water by measuring the depth at which the disk ceases to be visible.

Total Suspended Solids – The measurement of particles suspended in water which can be organic or non organic.

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