Lake Beseck Living

~All things Lake Beseck brought together in one informative space~

Whether you are interested in family activities in the area, efforts being made toward issues such as weed control and algae of the lake, becoming a volunteer, or you want to stay on top of crime events in the area, this is the place to be.

Minutes of the Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee: January 27, 2014


Middlefield Community Center


Amy Poturnicki called the meeting to order at 7:07pm.

In attendance:  Daria Vander Veer, Craig Lundell, Amy Poturnicki, Rebecca Adams, Edward Bailey, Jim Irish, Jon Robert Poturnicki, Lucy Petrella, Dick Boynton, and Randy Bernotas. Also present, Mark June-Wells, (NEE) and Brian Curtis, Nathan Jacobsen & Associates.

 Amy Poturnicki made a motion to approve the minutes with an amendment to page 4 substituting   “STEAP” for “319 grant.” Randy Bernotas seconded and all voted in favor other than Dick B who abstained. 

There was no public comment.

Chairman’s Report

Early Refill of Lake

In Dec we heard rumors that DEEP could begin to refill the lake as early as March 2014.  In Jan, it was confirmed with Ted Rybak, who is the DEEP Project Mngr of the dam, IF the weather remains favorable to working conditions.  Given this would have impact our sand removal project, we needed to move fast.  Since then, we have learned that there have been a few issues with the dam project that may buy us a few more weeks.

Legislators and Chuck Lee, DEEP

Our legislators have stepped into the picture and are working with Chuck Lee, DEEP in an effort to move things along.

Chuck was told that it could take up to 3 months for project paperwork approval unless he "walked it through" the various DEEP departments himself, which he is currently working on.  Our legislators offered to assist with any delays.  Chuck spoke with Mike Payton, Boat Safety who said that the boat launch project is far enough behind that DEEP will not wait for this project before refilling the lake. (the project consists of paving the launch, placing cement piers and a dock at launch)  He will reach out to Jennifer Perry who may have influence on when the lake is refilled, if we need to delay further.  He will also bring Ted Rybak in the loop with our project.

Milone & MacBroom

Additional road sand measurements were taken to determine that about 1400 cu/yards sand needs to be removed from outfalls.  Stormwater samples were collected on Jan 14.  Results are still pending.  On Jan. 14 the Land Grant Request paperwork was submitted to DEEP by M&M.  This triggered them to submit an inquiry to CTDEEP Natural Diversity Database, which takes two weeks to review.  Matt Sanford presented the road sand removal project to Inland Wetlands on Jan. 15.  The project was deemed a matter of right activity by the commission and was signed off on. Matt also met with Brian Murphy CTDEEP fishery biologist for a site walk on Jan 21. Brian is on board with the sand removal and will recommend to Chuck Lee that a pre-construction meeting be held with DPW and road sand removal limits be staked before any work is completed by the DPW. Darin Overton-M&M and Selectman, Ed Bailey presented the sand removal project to Planning & Zoning on Jan 22nd.  The meeting went well; no special permit is required, they are scheduled to go back before the board on Feb. 12 with additional info. 

Mark June-Wells, NEE

Mark has been working on the STEAP grant and has written it as to not include aeration, based on feedback from Chuck Lee.  Mark requested approval of 5 additional hours for a NEE team to review the STEAP grant application to give us the best chance for funding.  The hours were approved by Lake Ad Hoc subcommittee - Amy Poturnicki, Jim Irish, Ed Bailey and additionally approved by Jon Brayshaw.  With approval of additional hours toward STEAP it still leaves $6,205 in the budget equal to 51 hours.  The STEAP grant application is currently under review by the NEE team and Joe Geruch, Middlefield Finance Director.  After critiqued, it will pass through Ad Hoc committee for final review.

Selectman Ed Bailey provided his report:

He passed around a map of the lake showing the results of testing the amount of sediment at the outfall locations.  There are 6 areas totaling 1400 cubic yards of sediment to be removed; 3 locations in the northern lake, 2 at the beach, and 1 in the southern lake.  The outfall marked as “Area D” has a total of more than 500 cubic yards.  The plan is to scale back removal of sediment at that site so that only 500 or fewer cubic yards will be removed and a special permit will not be needed.  Once the material is removed from the lake, appropriate fill sites will need to be identified.  The Town cannot just fill any site in town with more than 500 cubic yards of sediment.  Looking at the town garage, gravel pit, other town owned lots, the dam area, and DMIAAB as potential locations for the fill.  These areas would provide temporary staging locations for processing of the sediment to separate out the sand from the other material.  Milone & MacBroom’s analysis shows that 83%-88% of the material is sand that can be recycled.  There is a possibility that it could all go to the town garage for processing.  When the sand is recycled, the remaining material will need to be properly disposed of as well.  There is a possibility that the sediment in the South end of the lake will not have to be processed.  Craig asked about processing at the Coleman Farm.  Ed stated that it is a possibility but would involve trucking the material from place to place which will increase the cost.  We need to assess the equipment and number of staff needed to accomplish the processing.

Craig Lundell asked Mark June-Wells about the possibility of removing the bio-film layer that is peeling off on the dry lake bed now.  Mark said that he did not think it would hurt but that it would not solve the problem.  Dick Boynton proposed that we rake it all up and burn it.  Amy Poturnicki asked if the material was really dry enough to burn and Mark stated that it was not.  Daria Vander Veer and Rebecca Adams pointed out that the lake bed is State property and it might not go over well if we went onto the property and burned it.  Other ideas were hand raking, York Rake, making it a Parks and Rec activity.  Amy offered to put an inquiry into DEEP.

Concern was raised over excavation work exposing further nutrients to the lake, as well the earthen wall of the dam possibly contributing the Ellen Doyle looking like chocolate milk.  In a conversation between Ed Bailey and Ted Rybak, Ted stated that there wasn’t a wash out of any of their materials and that it was just discolored water.  Ted stated that after the rain event, they dug the pit area out in front of the dam to further reduce the amount of wash out from the lake entering the drain pipe.

Ed Bailey and Amy Poturnicki discussed coordinating efforts with Brian Curtis.  Going forward we should document what we have done and apply for approval of a maintenance plan for the regular drawdown years.  We need to determine what would be required for such a permit, what the timing would be, and whether we can obtain a multi-year permit. 

Craig Lundell asked about sediment basins at the outfalls which would make maintenance much easier because the material would deposit there before getting pushed out further into the lakebed.  It could be scooped out of those each year without much trouble.  Amy Poturnicki said that this was discussed with Chuck Lee.  His response was that he heard that one or more vortechnic units were not working properly and does not want to discuss until he knows that the vortechnic units are all working. 

Ed Bailey pointed out that if we had to postpone removal of some of the sediment, we could wait on the sites marked “A” and “B” because that work can be done in regular draw down years.

Randy Bernotas asked about buying the lake back from the State.  We will take it back and they can have the dam.  What did the State pay for the lake?  Dick Boynton explained why the industrial users, including those who operated out of his current house, sold the lake to the State.

Back on the topic of filling the lake so much sooner that DEEP originally planned, in the most recent converstion with Ted Rybak, Ed said that Ted expects to start refilling late in March or April.  To what depth, is unknown. Inland Fisheries has influence on lake level, with habitat protection in mind.  Jon Brayshaw will submit formal request to State to maintain water level at or lower that current in an effort to complete project.

Jim Irish asked about the boat launch project and whether that will go forward.  Ed said that the boat launch will get done it is just way behind and DEEP Mngt isn’t going to wait and hold the lake level down and that it will likely be done during one of our regular drawdowns.

Amy covered the Milone & MacBroom summary in her Chair’s report.

Brain Curtis explained the status of the DEEP consent order.  The work to comply with a supplemental environmental project is complete.  The hope was to install a vortechnic unit at the lake on Mattabeseck Rd. After further investigation, a unit at this location would have put the project cost way above what was allocated. Of the three locations approved, a unit was instead installed on Jackson Hill Rd.  The town is required to conduct storm water sampling once per year from 4 residential water sheds and 2 industrial watershed sites in town.  They could shift the residential testing locations to help with data collection of the lake.  Mark June-Wells said this would be great.  Coordinating this work will generate more data and be very helpful for ongoing maintenance.  He said that working with Brian will be a quick and efficient way to identify water quality issues and parameters for further testing.

Dick Boynton asked about the Lakeview Estates storm water drainage.  Brian stated that a state of art system has been installed.  There are 4 water quality basins for sediment removal and a level spreader discharge to the old beach.  The overland flow travels through wetlands before reaching the lake.  Fertilizer mngt guidelines are also in place.

Ed Bailey asked Brian about what Chuck Lee could mean when he says that there is a malfunctioning vortechnic unit at the lake.  Brian was not aware that there was one.  Chuck is saying that he does not want forebay until after the unit is fixed.  Brian will check on that.

Report of NEE – Mark June-Wells:

 1.      STEAP GRANT – He has revised the application, as we discussed earlier, to remove aeration as a component of the work.  DEEP will not approve an application for aeration in Lake Beseck.  We would then have to apply to OPM to revise the scope of the grant and might not be approved.  Mark could not confirm that the Lake Savers technology is useful.  In addition, aeration and mixing equipment and products are very large investments and DEEP is very unlikely to permit.

2.      Phase I: Nutrient Management (Algae management).  Mark June-Wells is looking at alum treatment to handle the internal nutrient load.  He consulted with Ken Wagner who is an authority on alum treatment.  This treatment is non-toxic to humans and animals yet would require having people and boats stay off the lake in order to be effective.  With the help of Ken Wagner, Mark is developing a dosing technique for an alum treatment for Lake Beseck.  These treatments provide 13 to 20 years of phosphorus management.  Once the initial dosing is complete, maintenance could be handled for approximately $10,000 per year.  They are easy to obtain permits to perform, similar to those required for herbicide applications.  This type of liquid alum treatment is a very technical treatment involving significant assay procedure to determine the proper dosing rates based upon measuring the amount of bound phosphorus.  What the gel treatment does is bind the loosely of unbound phosphorus and maintain that bond so that the nutrients are not available as nutrients.  The treatment would be done throughout the lake in May during a dry week.

Dick asked about applying it to the dry lake bed now.  Mark explained that when you apply the treatment in water, the chemicals floc and settle down in flakes on top of the nutrient rich soil and then sink in.  Dick Boynton discussed the issue of pH fluctuations in the lake and the effect on fish.  Mark explained that the lake is well buffered that helps with pH swings..  Also that the application would not all occur on one day to allow the system to remain neutral.  Mark is consulting with an applicator about the process.  There will be an RFQ and RFP for those services.

 Mark said that we will need to keep traffic off the lake for a week.  This is not because the application is harmful but instead because we need the treatment to be allowed to work without being dispersed and disturbed by lake traffic.  Rob stated that the timing would be best if done prior to fishing so that no one was already on the lake.

Phase II: Plant Management.  The invasive plants causing the trouble is the milfoil, being a minor problem in this lake and the curly leaf pondweed being the major.  The group discussed harvesting of the weeds and Marks’ research into industrial style harvesters.  Craig Lundell asked whether the non-snow freezes we have had will kill the milfoil.  Mark June-Wells said that should have an impact but won’t handle it on an ongoing basis.  Continued and consistent harvesting would get the plant pre-turion.  The harvesting is included in the grant application.  Ed asked Mark to be sure to include a component to the grant to fund operation and staffing at least one year.  Mark will add that to the grant application.

Phase III:  Funding for water quality assessments, processing and monitoring

Dick Boynton asked if we have determined that the nutrient loading problem is within the lake rather than from outside sources such as tomato farms, farm animals, and swamps at the top of the mountain.  Mark pointed out that the progression from green to blue green algae at the time when water input into the lake is at its lowest indicates internal loading but that we have not collected definitive data.  The storm water study data will help greatly.

Craig Lundell suggested continuing outreach efforts to the community regarding phosphorus free products and picking up after pets.

Ideas were again tossed around for Lakes Grant application for a point in the future when legislators are better equipped to pursue that funding, pending watershed studies.

Unanimous consent was obtained for Lake Ad Hoc to review STEAP application via email if finalized before next meeting in an effort to expedite application to Selectman and Finance Director for final approval and submittal.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:34pm

Respectful submitted by Rebecca Adams

Corrections made by Amy Poturnicki and approved on 2-24-2014