Water Testing: Results from July 9

Water samples were taken July 9 and had no detectable toxicity due to the current bloom. Both a mixed sample and a surface film (scum) sample were analyzed courtesy of Maine DEP. Nevertheless, it would be prudent to limit exposure to children, pets, and anyone who has exhibited sensitivity during past blooms of the same cyanobacteria. If there is the appearance of a whitish blue scum (the breakdown product of dying cyanobacteria), it would be wise to avoid contact with the water. 

The summary report is available here.


June 14, 2018 - Letter to Georges Pond Stakeholders Regarding the Current Algae Bloom

To all Georges Pond stakeholders,

Like many of you, we plan to spend part of this summer on Georges Pond, the lake we love.

On behalf of the Georges Pond Association (GPA), it is with great sadness and considerable concern that we want you to know that Georges Pond is experiencing an early season bloom of algae (more accurately - cyanobacteria). Georges Pond is not alone.  Other lakes nearby and throughout the Northeast are experiencing the same. 

Pond ecosystems are complex and difficult to predict, but it is likely that as many of us arrive on the Pond this year we will be disappointed and concerned about the water quality. As when asked in the past about related health concerns, we advise you to use common sense and avoid contact if you are concerned.

The GPA is a charitable organization organized to protect the water quality of Georges Pond, to preserve its value and to promote responsible use through communication and education.  We have accomplished a lot in the last year, but the problems that have created this bloom have been years in the making, and there are few immediate easy solutions. (East Pond in the Belgrade Lakes Region raised $1 million to apply aluminum sulfate in early June in order to bind the phosphorous that stimulates algal growth.  East Pond is similar to Georges Pond, but much larger.)

Responsibility for Georges Pond water quality rests with everyone – those who own nearby property or use the lake, local/state governments and related agencies. In this brief letter, we want to point out a few things we are doing to help raise awareness of the situation and to ask for your help.

  • Early this year, our 10-year Watershed-based Protection Plan was accepted by the DEP (Dept. of Environmental Protection) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and we have begun implementation. You can view and download the Plan here.
  • One of our first steps is to initiate a LakeSmart training and certification program on June 30.
    Visit Maine Lakes Society for more information about LakeSmart. 
  • We have taken water quality measurements and are contacting organizations for help and advice.
  • We also expect to apply for a grant (known as a 319 Grant) to help fund any remediation plans we develop.
  • The Town of Franklin approved again replacing the boat ramp this year, which should help reduce pollution.  We want to engage the Town in other ways that will help preserve water quality.

We expect to announce an open forum discussion in early July, and welcome your comments and help.  Please also consider joining the GPA, contributing your thoughts, time and resources.  We hope that with an organized voice, together we can help fix this problem.  The alternative is unthinkable.

Respectfully,

Georges Pond Association Board of Directors