Water Quality in East Pond: Factors Contributing to Algal Blooms and Strategies for Remediation
Human activity within the watershed can greatly accelerate the eutrophication process by increasing the rate at which nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen enter the lake (Fernandez et al. 1992). Increased nutrient loading causes dramatic increases in algal populations resulting in algal blooms. Many New England lakes develop a greenish tint because of algal blooms during early summer or early fall (Smith, 1992). Populations of bacteria which feed on organic material rise because of increased food supply. Bacterial activity decreases the level of dissolved oxygen in the lake (Henderson-Seller and Markland, 1987). This process has occurred in East Pond and could continue to occur in the future, depending on the activity of local residents. The East Pond Watershed includes the communities of Oakland and Smithfield as shown on the United States Geological Survey topographical maps. The watershed is located in the Belgrade Lakes region of south central Maine.
East Pond has no significant natural inputs, with only ephemeral streams, runoff, and groundwater springs adding water to the lake. Runoff is increased by anthropogenic activities and developments such as roads, residential and industrial construction. Human waste disposal, in subsurface waste disposal systems, furthers the negative human inputs to the lake water. These anthropogenic inputs contribute unnaturally high levels of nutrients and suspended particles into the lake.
The purpose of this study was to assess the current land use patterns and their influences on the water quality of East Pond, as well as to determine potential responses to identified problems. More specifically, five main objectives were established. First, was to determine the influence of current and historical land use patterns on lake water quality. The second was to calculate the water budget and flushing rate for East Pond. The third was to utilize gathered information to construct a phosphorus model, which will enable future water quality predictions to be made. The fourth was to research proposed and potential remediation techniques to determine their applicability. The fifth, and principal objective, was to make recommendations to the East Pond Lake Association, and the towns of Smithfield and Oakland, based on our findings.
Problems in Environmental Science course (Biology 493), Colby College and Colby Environmental Assessment Team, Colby College, "Water Quality in East Pond: Factors Contributing to Algal Blooms and Strategies for Remediation" (1999). Colby College Watershed Study: East and North Ponds (2011, 1999, 1996, 1991). 4.
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Publication Date: Spring 2000
Date of Study: Fall 1999