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Minutes Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee September 23 2013


Regular Meeting of the Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Environmental Committee

8 Pequot Road, Middlefield

Sept. 23, 2013

1)      Call to order

Amy Poturnicki called the meeting to order at 7:03pm.

2)      Members Present

Craig Lundell, Jon Brayshaw (Ex Officio), Mark June-Wells, Randy Bernotas, Rob Poturnicki, Ed Bailey, Darin Overton, Daria Vander Veer, Amy Poturnicki .  Lucy Petrella and Rebecca Adams joined the meeting at 7:20pm.

3)      Approval of Agenda

4)      Approval of 8/26 minutes

Changes to August 26 minutes:

Correct name of DEEP Commissioner “Don” Esty to “Dan.” 

Correct Darin’s last name to “Overton.” 

Correct Marianne’s last name to “Nusom Haverstock.”

Motion to approve minutes of August 26, 2013 as amended made by Craig Lundell, seconded by Amy Poturnicki.  Motion passed unanimously, Daria Vander Veer and Rob Poturnicki abstaining.

5)      Public Comment


6)      Review of Lake Manager project hours in need of approval

Mark June-Wells reported on his Lake Manager Project hours.  Thus far 20 hours need to be approved, including:

1.5 hours for work on 319 grant

1.5 to derive information about STEEP funding, housekeeping for funding protocols

Creating a report of the historical data he has pulled & establishing a post-sewer line baseline, including graphics

12 hours to develop a monitoring protocol for water quality

5 hours for writing STEEP grant application (based in part on Bolton’s version) on behalf of the town

Rob Poturnicki asked where the current work and backup information is being kept; Mark will send links to folders in a drop box he has set up.  Rob said Chuck Lee offered some funding to create a place to store this data (maybe on the state’s site?).  It was suggested that we could add the link to the town’s website as well, to allow the public to see the information conveniently.

Ed Bailey mentioned that Joe Geruch is set to pull something together for the town portion of the STEEP grant application.  He just needs the narrative from Mark.  Ed said the state hasn’t set a deadline for STEEP grants yet for this year; Joe told him when they do set a deadline, it will be within 6-8 weeks of the announcement.

Mark said the good news is that we already have an aeration quote from 2012 (Lake Savers) that could be used for the application, but needs to be modified to focus more on the sediment in the center of the lake.  Mark is going to get an assessment of dredge funding and an updated aeration quote and put it all together for the grant application.

Ed Bailey stressed that the most pressing item is to get the 319 app done; he recommended Jon Brayshaw write a transmittal letter so Mark can send it to Chuck Lee, ideally this week.

Darin asked whether this 319 is similar to the Coginchaug watershed plan that was done that includes Lake Beseck; Mark will take a look.  Darin says the plan identified certain water quality issues, mostly bacteria contamination, that are now being worked on.  Mark says the Lake Beseck plan will probably be very similar to Coginchaug’s.

Mark went over the changes he made to the 319 application, as follows

The biggest thing in limnology is phosphorus mediation.  That’s why Bolton was able to get so much funding; they had toxic blue-green algal species.  The dominant species is microcystis, which contain cyanotoxins.  Mark included the same kind of information in our application to increase the power of the application’s language.  The best way to approach it was to gather more information and put together a “EPA Nine Key Element Plan” using “buzz words” to help trigger funding.  He also increased the amount being requested to $80,000.  Plan also includes an outreach/education plan – another item DEEP wants to see.

Motion to approve the Lake Manager’s project hours made by Ed Bailey; seconded by Rob Poturnicki.  Passed unanimously.

Motion to proceed with the 319 application as submitted tonight, and submit to DEEP this week electronically, made by Ed Bailey.  Seconded by Amy Porturnicki.  Passed unanimously.

Amy asked whether the committee wanted to revisit the aeration option.  Mark said that his research tells him that aeration will surely work, but that he wasn’t sure that the enzyme part of it was as essential as Lake Savers was making out.  The plan would be to aerate the deepest parts of the lake, not the entire lake.

The other question is whether the state would allow installation of aeration tubing in a State owned lake and could it be done more easily during the drawdown.  One concern raised is the possibility of it being damaged by boat anchors.  Everyone questioned whether the state will go for that.

Jon Brayshaw asked Mark how he measures algae in a lake.  Mark prefers a diversity approach - # of cells per milliliter, for instance.  He takes samples at multiple points but believes the amounts should be fairly consistent throughout.  Jon also asked about measuring and recording phosphorus.  Mark said it’s measurable and model-able. Randy Bernotas suggested going to some of the towns that worked with Lake Savers and find out how effective the programs have been. 

7)      Lake probing and sampling progress-Darin Overton

Darin updated the committee on the lake probing project.  Sediment probing has been done in areas identified for potential dredging.  Many spots show very little sediment; the higher levels correspond to stormwater outfall areas.  Lucy Petrella asked about the testing of the sediments; there are four samples out to the labs right now.

Darin said all the indicators are that maintenance of sediment at the existing outfalls is what should be done.  That kind of work doesn’t require state or federal permits.  Darin said dredging on that small a scale won’t change the water quality much, although it will improve the aesthetics.  In all likelihood, most of the worst muck has already migrated to the deepest part of the lake; and since mucking the deep parts will be extremely expensive and difficult, aeration is going to be a cheaper and easier way to treat the algae issues.

Darin indicated the map of the storm drainage should also be done sometime this week, showing where the outfalls are, which watersheds have vortechnic units, etc.

Darin asked Milone & MacBroom to hold off on the bathymetry survey until it’s decided where to dredge.  He recommends doing the targeted areas, adding sediment traps near the vortechnic units that would prevent sediment from getting down into the deeper areas of the lake and which could be cleaned out during the drawdown by town crews.

M&M did work like this for the regional water authority in New Haven to deal with urban runoff.  They built pre-treatment areas that help prevent sediment from getting into the reservoir.

Discussion continued on what to do with the outlet next to the town beach, including remove part of the pipe and use the land area next to the town parking lot to build out the sediment trap.  Mark felt the plan to create these traps would make a strong addition to the STEEP grant application to show that we’re tackling these issues on several levels – even if we just do sediment removal this year and build the traps in the coming years above the lake rather than in it.

Rob Poturnicki suggested that we get some more proposals for aeration from other companies.   Once the lake is down it will be hard for companies to gather data to create proposals.  Lake Savers came in at $90,000.  Mark June-Wells says NE works with some vendors who can come up with some additional proposals.

Respectfully submitted,

Daria Vander Veer