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Living in a Watershed

Manchaug Pond boat ramp rain garden

Manchaug Pond Boat Ramp Rain Garden

It is amazing the amount of little things we can do to help our Manchaug Pond watershed. We welcome more people moving to the area but as more land around Manchaug Pond becomes developed, there is less “buffer area” to stop pollutants from entering into the lake. The Manchaug Pond Foundation is the only organization dedicated to preserving this 380 acre community lake and offers an environmental focus dedicated to educating people as to the best practices they can use around their home to preserve water quality.

There are several simple things that homeowners can do to help control lake pollution:

Manchaug Pond Boat Ramp Rain Garden - Butterfly Milkweed

Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) flowering in the Manchaug Pond boat ramp rain garden.

  • If you are on the lake, or near a river, steam or wetlands create a “buffer zone” of plants between your lawn and the water resource to filter pollutants. For lake shoreline homes, the buffer offers an added benefit aiding in keeping geese off the lawn.
  • Limit the use of fertilizers using only no-phosphorus brands.  Fertilizers do not stay on a lawn: seeping into the groundwater and/or washing into storm drains becoming fertilizer for aquatic plants if reaching our water resources.
  • A good practice is to perform a soil test each year to see what your lawn really needs.  UMass Amherst offers this service.
  • Only 5% – 15% of insects in a yard are pests with the remaining “good insects” actually control pests. Limit pesticide use as they also kill the beneficial insects as well as create a chemical environment that is tracked into your house by people and pets.  A healthy lawn will tolerate insects but if control is needed use an organic alternatives such as botanical sprays and beneficial milky spore and nematodes to rid your lawn of grubs.
  • Capture roof runoff into a rain garden or rain barrel.  This will reduce lawn erosion, conserve water and you can enjoy a beautiful garden area as well.  UConn offers an excellent rain garden app for your cell phone available for both iOS and Android.
  • If you water your lawn, water deeply and infrequently. Lawns need only 1 inch of water a week.

Irma Jones Road rain garden during rain event

Irma Jones Road rain garden during a rain event.

Clammy Azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)

Manchaug Pond Foundation Water Quality

Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Resources for you!

Below you will find many documents regarding living within a watershed.  From town regulations affecting activities within 200' of the lake and Mumford River to best management practice for lawn,landscape, small farms and more. Lists of native plants, septic system maintenance, pet and livestock waste and pasture management,creating rain gardens are among the resources offered helping each of us to improve water quality by prevent pollutants from reaching our water resources.

Simply click on the document icon you're interested in and it will bring you to a printable PDF file or website for more information.  You can read online, or print it out if you like!



Screen Shot PET WASTE

Pet Waste Pickup


Regulations & Local Town Bylaws

Town of Douglas Links to Wetlands Laws

Town of Sutton Links to Wetlands Laws

Massachusetts Dock Regulations


Landscaping & Native Plants

Click for Native Plant Lists & More!   Trees and shrubs for your lakeshore!


Introduction to Organic Lawn and Yard

Manchaug Pond Foundation Education

Life on the Edge – of a Waterway

Rain Gardens, Rain Barrels & More

Rain Garden Manual

RAIN GARDENS A How-to Manual for Homeowners


Septic Systems

Click to visit the EPA's website information on
"How to Care for Your Septic System."


Homeowner Septic System Checklist

This project has been financed with Federal Funds from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (the Department) under an s. 319 competitive grant.   The contents do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the EPA or of the Department, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.