Minutes Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee November 25 2013
Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
Monday November 25, 2013, 7:00 PM
Middlefield Community Center
1. Call to Order
Meeting called to order by Amy at 7:10pm.
2. Members present
James Irish, Lucy Petrella, , Daria Vander Veer, Robert Poturnicki, Amy Poturnicki, Craig Lundell, Jon Brayshaw (Ex Officio), Dick Boynton. Also present, Mark June-Wells, (NEE) and Matt Sanford (Milone & MacBroom)
3. Approval of Agenda
The Agenda was approved with unanimous consent.
4. Approval of 9/23 Minutes
Motion by Dick Boyton to approve the minutes of the 9/23/13 without changes. Seconded by Robert Poturnicki. Motion passed unanimously.
5. Public Comment
Irene Angiletta handed out brochures for CT Federation of Lakes for the information of committee members.
6. New Business
Matt Sanford went over M&M’s current status in terms of the lake management plan.
Data collection was obtained identifying watersheds, stormwater outfalls-noting their size and condition, catch basins that were contributing to each outfall location-part of this information is used to determine locations of stormwater sampling. The stormwater sampling component has not been completed due to insufficient rainfall. With 5 inches below normal rainfall, the soil has been so dry that the drizzle that we have received absorbs into the ground without generating sufficient runoff. Runoff samples must be acquired after a 72 hour dry spell, collecting only the first flush and then received by the lab within a 6 hour window during their hours of operation. There is still potential to collect samples during an upcoming rain event that might work to capture stored nitrogen and phosphorus, but this late in the season it may not generate ideal data (people aren’t fertilizing lawns, etc., at this time), and the cold weather will have killed a lot of the bacteria off. If the rain starts at midnight, the first flush/inch or so is most revealing, so they will miss the opportunity to get the best sample.
M&M have calculated water quality volumes for each of the outfall locations that will be used to determine options for treating water. Previously discussed-green control measures (bioswales, rain gardens) instead of just vortechnic units and inline structures.
They performed sediment probing before the drawdown at 4 locations. The places with the most sediment correspond to the storm water outfalls and confluence of main tributaries. This is common. They took samples from these locations, including one at the north end of the lake (2-3 ft), and north end of the beach (large delta of sand, 2-3’ deep) and western and southern Powder Ridge end of the lake. Both of those areas also have 2-3 feet of sediment.
Results: Small hits of pollutants (ETPH, PAH’s, leachable lead, vanadium) common to road runoff/road sand. Even in small concentrations, DEEP views them as pollutants. What does this mean for us? These findings are in the spaces we were most thinking of removing material.
One option is to request a “maintenance activity” to remove the accumulated road sand; the town can treat it as such. The DEEP has specific parameters for performing this type of maintenance if you are a municipality; the guidelines are less strict than those for handling polluted dredge material. For instance, you cannot take polluted dredge material and spread it on nearby ground; it would have to be disposed of in one of the few landfills in CT. That adds cost to the project.
But if we get permission to treat it as road sand, Public Works can bring it to a specific site, stockpile it, screen the silts and clays that carry the pollutants, and re-use it as road sand. After a grain size analysis, this might work because the materials they found were about 70% sand.
Matt mentioned, however, that if we took that route, we would only be allowed to remove road sand material. We would not be able to remove any kind of organic muck. If you excavate below the original lake bed area, increasing the cross-sectional flow, you need a diversion permit from DEEP. That would trigger additional requirements from the DEEP, and may significantly increase the cost for both permits and additional work.
Jon Brayshaw asked whether it might be useful to take additional samples to determine how large the plumes of materials are, and Matt said he would recommend that before doing any kind of excavating work. Dick Boynton suggested also sampling the northwest stream into the lake, which carries farm runoff, and the spot just south of the beach where there’s a large plume.
Craig asked if removing the sand, thus exposing the organic layer, would promote plant growth (thinking of the invasives). Matt said he thinks the depth of the water is more what’s encouraging the plant growth; Mark June-Wells agreed but added that it can affect the types of plants that are growing there but generally speaking if there is light there, and not much disturbance, plants will be there.
Next Steps: Matt recommends we give M&M permission to talk to Chuck Lee, DEEP and find out what information they would need for us to be allowed to treat this as a maintenance activity to remove the road sand. If Chuck agrees that maintenance is appropriate, he’ll want to see our sampling results and will be the one to work with the remediation group within the DEEP. They’re the ones we need to convince that this is maintenance work versus dredge work.
Jon Brayshaw asked whether we have the right timing to get this work done in the right time frame. Matt said it would be best for Jon to stay on top of Chuck to keep things moving, and there is no reason this couldn’t be done in December.
Daria Vander Veer asked how we can afford to do all this work. Jon Brayshaw said the town could do much of the work with their own staff and stockpile at least some of the materials in the town gravel pit. Matt added that the town would have to do it, since DOT would only be interested in clearing out the storm drains near the main roads (and would not want to clear out the areas near the lake). The road sand, if mixed with other materials, can be made into topsoil. But we would have to go in assuming that we will have to keep all the materials in the town. Amy asked if there is a limit to how much road sand can be removed. Matt said we need to be reasonable with how much remediation we are asking DEEP to approve. M&M did quick calculations estimating (very roughly) 800 cubic yards of materials, if we did a 50x50 area at each of the four outlets.
Amy Poturnicki asked about permitting options and fees. Matt indicated that in the best case scenario, there would be no fees. Permission from DEEP is in the form of a letter only; no fee. The Army Corps of Engineers would probably consider it a “no permit” situation, since there’s no deposition of fill in order to get the work done. There shouldn’t be a fee from IWWC, since it’s the town doing maintenance.
Matt agreed it would be advantageous to do additional sediment sampling in a larger area outside the current spots. To save some costs, he could send just one M&M staffer and use a committee member as assistant. The lab work is the most expensive part, however. The samples would go to CTL; Mark June-Wells asked about sending the samples to DEEP instead. Other options include doing focused screening instead of broad-spectrum tests, potentially saving money.
Matt also mentioned that Chuck might let them forgo additional mapping if the work is truly maintenance, which would also save some costs.
Motion by Amy Poturnicki authorizing Matt to take additional soil samples as needed to persuade DEEP that the materials proposed to be removed are in fact road sand. Seconded by Craig Lundell. Motion passed unanimously.
Mark June Wells talked about the 319 grant in progress to tackle the water quality issue. He asked the committee for permission to ask Chuck whether the historical data he has compiled and analyzed will be sufficient to make an argument for aeration systems.
Mark has been in conversation with John Tucci of Lake Savers about aeration systems, trying to determine whether all of the technology he’s providing is effective for our needs, specifically questioning the additional use of enzymes. Tucci may be willing to donate the enzymes to test, as a result of Mark hitting him directly with the question of if the enzymes work. John acknowledged that there’s currently no data proving they are effective. Removing that cost may help reduce the quote. Mark mentioned that we will have the option, at the end of two years, to have the equipment removed if we are not satisfied. Mark is continuing to negotiate the best set up for a system within parts of the lake that need it most. (anoxic areas of the lake having 3 ft plus of muck)
Rob Poturnicki mentioned that he has heard that Lake Waramaug’s particular aeration system is not as effective as they had hoped. He urged that research be conducted on a variety of systems before we approach Chuck.
Motion made by Rob Poturnicki authorizing Mark June-Wells to approach Chuck Lee about the adequacy of the current lake water quality data to support the necessity of aeration. Seconded by Dick Boynton. Motion carried unanimously.
Mark suggested that the committee start thinking about the water quality monitoring program; he suggested that the program should start as soon as the lake begins to fill and suggested that one of the best ways to manage a lake system (in his opinion) is to stay on top of the water quality from the outset through the seasons. This establishes a baseline, in order to be able to detect subtle changes and approach problems before they become big problems.
Jon Brayshaw suggested reaching out again to Rosa DeLauro and Richard Blumenthal for funding and support. Amy mentioned DeLauro and DEEP is waiting for the watershed study.
7. Chairman’s Report
Meeting adjourned at 9:00pm.
Daria Vander Veer
Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee
Brief of Progress
Jon Brayshaw and our limnologist, Mark June-Wells met with Commissioner Dan Esty & Rob LaFrance (DEEP); Senator, Dante Bartolomeo and State Rep, Buddy Altobello concerning funding to help with Lake Beseck projects. The recreational value of the lake and issues involving invasive plants was discussed. Funding for projects at the time was not encouraging, but DEEP representatives were enthusiastic that the Town was moving forward with the storm water study and lake management. They advised to talk to them again when we have stormwater data.
Historical data compiled
Mark has put together years of lake data from various sources and compiled into a historical data report.
Drop Box for lake data
An online drop box has been created by Mark to place lake data.
EPA 319 Grant submitted
The 319 grant application was improved and submitted to DEEP by Mark.
Lake Savers aeration plan
Last year’s aeration plan has been reviewed by our limnologist. He has been in contact with John Tucci regarding re-working the aeration proposal to target areas of high Phosphorus loading. Once we have dialed in on our target area and get another estimate, we can use the plan for the STEAP grant application.
Sediment probing and soil samples collected - report received
Milone and MacBroom did sediment probing along north, west and south sides of the lake and soil samples were then collected from potential dredge areas to obtain baseline soil data. Soil report has been received.
Lake bed cleanup
A community service project was held involving the cleanup of accumulated garbage on the lake bed. Over 50 volunteers came out to help, including Middlefield Troop 33 Boy Scouts, Durham Pack 27 Cub Scouts, Lake Beseck Association, Middlefield P&R. The Town crew loaded the piles of garbage and brought to transfer station.
In the works
Stormwater data collection pending rain event
A worksheet to better organize ideas and expenses involved with each
Discussions with Wesleyan about utilizing lake for teaching
STEAP Grant application