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 Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Committee February 24, 2015

Minutes of the Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee

Tuesday Feb 24, 2015

7:00 PM

Middlefield Community Center


1.       Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Amy Poturnicki at 7:08pm.

2.       Members Present 

Rebecca Adams, Rob Poturnicki, Amy Poturnicki, Mark June-Wells, Matt Sanford, Dick Boynton, Daria Vander Veer.  Ed Bailey joined the meeting at 7:14.  Jon Brayshaw joined the meeting at 7:20.

3.       Approval of Agenda

Motion by Rebecca Adams, seconded by Rob Poturnicki.  Unanimously passed.

4.       Approval of November Minutes

Motion by Rob Poturnicki, seconded by Amy Poturnicki.  Unanimously passed with one abstention.

5.       Public Comment

No members of the public were present.

6.       Chairman’s Report

Rainfall finally allowed the lake to return to its normal water level and also allowed Matt & Mark to complete their studies.  DEEP intends to start refilling the lake from the winter drawdown level after March 1.  Water quality testing will resume in April; Mark June-Wells will add a few additional tests to the regimen. There is no news on the EPA 319 grant.

7.       Milone & MacBroom – Watershed Report

Matt created an ftp site to download the report: .  At home page, in upper right, click on “client login.” Username is “Beseck” (case sensitive) and password is “Lake.”  Download the report to your home computer.  It is too big to email.

Matt last spoke to the committee a year ago; the process began in January 2014 and will run through November 2014.  They have sampled through five stormwater events, and did sampling at six locations & two tributaries.  Sites were chosen based on the highest volume of runoff.  Runoff was tested by MS-4 DEEP guidelines for ph, oil & grease, suspended solids, nitrates, and others.  They tried to cover all seasons.  The findings: water quality is generally pretty good.  High fecal coliform, but nitrate/nitrite levels are pretty good in general. He went over the individual outfall numbers.  He stressed they are seeing trends of high levels of fecal coliform in general in Connecticut.  Median should be 750 or less; some Lake Beseck sites had levels of 2500-5000.  Rob commented on the difference in the various outfalls, and wondered if the higher numbers were for those near the farms.  Matt indicated that it’s possible to test for human vs. animal waste, to determine whether the sewers are a concern; there is a lab in Colorado that can test for human estrogen.  He showed the committee the map of the testing sites and the respective results.  The highest levels were at the outflow next to the beach and near Sibley’s. Matt considers these results “something to consider, not necessarily alarming.”  He also noted some of these numbers may be normal spikes that happen after dry spells.  Ed Bailey mentioned that the town sanitarian has always found low bacteria levels in his in-lake testing.

PH was consistently around 7, which is normal.  Phosphorous was present, but not in high numbers. From a stormwater standpoint, Matt feels the report will be useful in identifying the internal loading culprits and build a case with Chuck Lee for lake management.

Matt’s recommendations (see report for full details):

- Consider implementing low-impact land use regulations, preserving open space, especially in the areas north of the lake.

- Consider including requirements for residents to add mitigating structures when they improve their homes (example: installing rain gardens when they add roof footage).

-Establish routine cleaning of the outfalls that were cleared out this past year; get a long-term agreement with the DEEP to make the process routine.  Same for the vortechnic units.

-Road treatments should move to calcium carbonate instead of salt or sand, at least around the lake itself.

-Continue sampling.  It can be done by volunteers, now that we know which areas need watching.  Having 5-6 years of data would be better.

-Forebays for sediment capture only recommended if the lake is dredged/deepened in future.

- Establish riparian buffers around the lake edge. Anywhere from 2’ to 10’ strips can possibly be added to zoning requirements.  This is a trend in CT lakes; FERC has required the lakes that are energy sources to implement such zones.  Homeowners are starting to need to create natural boundaries (“a living shoreline”) instead of, for instance, seawalls. M&M has a management handbook on their website that describes various approaches.

- Education is key; both new and old homeowners need to understand impacts.  Consider a pamphlet, email bursts, web site, etc. to continue educating people about water quality issues.

-Watch for erosion along gullies and beside roads, and make repairs as needed.  The committee discussed the outfall next to the lake that runs under Lake Shore, including various structures that might slow the storm flow, armoring the stream bed, removing the pipe at the end and installing a forebay, etc.

- Be sure the users of the dog park continue to clean up after their pets.

Jon Brayshaw mentioned that the lake area has a real challenge with the high number of domestic pets in the lake area.  The committee considered some options for educating pet owners about pet waste.

Jon Brayshaw noted that sweeping the roads twice per year, which the town has been doing, produces large amounts of material that’s difficult to dispose of.  The committee discussed various options for disposing of the sweepings and whether it is better to sweep more often/less often, switch to calcium carbonate, etc.

Conclusion: the committee will need to make an economic argument for the benefits of dredging the lake to state officials and local residents alike. It will take “a lot of selling” to get the funding to do the dredging.  Matt estimates a total cost between 3 and 6 million for such a project. He suggested perhaps bringing in the benefits to Powder Ridge as part of the argument.

8.       Mark June-Wells - Water Quality Monitoring Report

Mark’s major conclusion, despite the reduced water volume, was that oxygen levels and internal loading are the primary culprits in water quality.  He agreed with M&M’s conclusions in that regard; early in the season, roughly 3 feet from the bottom of the lake was deoxygenated even in May.  That’s unusually low.  That deoxygenated state persisted throughout the season, getting even lower at 6 feet.  What that means is that as water temperatures increase in June, green algae become the dominant element and use up all the nitrogen. By August, greens die off and phosphorous is high.  Blue-green algaes become the dominant species, and these produce cyanotoxins, making the water unpleasant and dangerous. In September/October a shift back to diatoms occurs.

His conclusion was the “oxygen is the challenge,” which isn’t news.  What he expects to determine next year is the total oxygen demand for the overall lake.

After that, the committee needs to consider options.  They include

-alum treatment ($100-130,000);

-aeration, which “turns the lake over” by mixing top & bottom water layers;

- Adding pure oxygen directly to the lake can be dangerous (stored oxygen is explosive);

-Drawing water from the bottom of the lake and using a waterfall system to cause a dropout of phosphorous.  Very rough estimated cost: $750,000-1 million.

Mark is leaning towards turning over the lake (option 2); he is currently evaluating the system being used at a lake in Beverly, MA.  He hopes to know more about its efficacy soon; if it was the system of choice it would need to be up and running by June 1 and run through September.

Dick Boynton asked about the potential effect of the terrestrial plants on water quality this upcoming spring. Mark agreed that 2015 will be unique in many regards, but stressed that he already has evidence that strongly suggests internal loading is the problem and that we should move ahead with lobbying the state and planning an implementation of the aeration for 2016.

Jon Brayshaw asked whether there would be swimming at the lake given the potential problems with rotting plants.  The beach area has been carefully cleaned, however; Mark indicated that the curlyleaf pondweed may have been knocked back significantly, and he suggested considering using booms to keep blue-green algea blooms, which are largely on the surface, away from the swimming area.

Mark will send a pdf of the report to Amy.

9.       Selectmen Report: 2015/2016 Budget

Jon Brayshaw indicated the budget is almost complete, and it contains $8,000 for this committee to cover limnologist and outreach.  Capital account for the lake will get $27,000; $8,000 for water testing.  If this level of funding continues the committee could have the $100,000 needed for Mark’s proposed project. Ed indicated he doesn’t anticipate problems with continuing this level; the goal is to accumulate funds to use for a project, possibly in 2016.  Ed mentioned that the committee will be appearing before the BOF within the next 6 weeks; it would be good for members to attend.

10.   Adjourn

Motion made by Rob Poturnicki, seconded by Rebecca Adams.  Passed unanimously.


Minutes of Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Committee November 24 2014

Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee

Monday, November 24, 2014


1.       Call To Order 7:10 P.M.

2.       Members Present:  Amy Poturnicki, Lucy Petrella, Ed Bailey, Rebecca Adams, Darin Overton, Randy Bernodas, Rob Poturnicki, Jim Irish (7:15).  Also in attendance:  Jon Brayshaw, 1st Selectman.

3.      Approval of Agenda:  Motion by Randy Bernodas, seconded by Rob Poturnicki, passed unanimously.

4.      Approval of August 2014 minutes:  Motion by Ed Bailey, seconded by Rob Poturnicki, passed, 2 abstentions:  Lucy Petrella & Rebecca Adams

5.       Public Comment:  None

6.      Chairman’s Report:

Terrestrial Plants

Approval was granted by CTDEEP to allow the cutting of weeds from the lake bed, with these guidelines:

-Work up to 100’ out from shore

-Access the lake bed for plant removal

     -Plants should be cut not pulled

-Machines such as weed whackers, chainsaws, and hand cutting tools are allowed

-Can have ATVs present for the purpose of removing cut plant material

Things CTDEEP wants to avoid:

-No large machines should access the lake bed including tractors and brush hogs

    -No more disturbance than necessary to the lake bed

 -No pulling or uprooting of plants – (by steering away from pulling the terrestrials by their roots, it would prevent further erosion, and would avoid making those areas more susceptible to aquatic invasive plants)

Permission has been granted from the Town to pile weeds at the beach for removal. They can be placed at the south end of the beach parking lot, in front of the end pilings.

I followed up with the Boy Scouts with the thought of adopting a waterfront property owner to assist them with weed removal.  While there was initial interest expressed, upon follow up, I have not heard back as to if they have decided to pursue the project.

    Water quality samples Mark June-Wells

Mark has completed September and October’s monthly water samples from the lake to add to our database.  P and blue-green algae remained high into October, but algae is expected to shift to green algae with lower water temps and nitrogen rebound.  Water quality monitoring will resume in the spring.  Mark has decided to start his own company, Aquatic Ecosystem Research.


    Milone and MacBroom storm water study

We are about a year and a half into trying to obtain enough data for the creation of a stormwater report that will determine our direction with improvements to the lake. M&M has expressed difficulty in trying to obtain adequate samples due to lack of rain. These studies are of particular importance in our pursuit of funding and permitting of lake projects focused on improved water quality. The new EPA and STEAP grant applications are out now. Darin will give an update where they stand with storm water sampling.

Stencil Ease – storm drain stencils

I received an email from Stencil Ease that the $288.74 invoice had not been paid by the Town.  Upon further investigation, they did not bill the town, so it will have to come out of our 2014/2015 fiscal budget.  If needed, we can bring the situation to the BOF and ask if they would be willing to fund the amount underspent last year.

7.      Selectmen’s Report:  Jon Brayshaw stated that he received the punch list for the dam project a week or so ago.  It is greatly reduced.   There was an inspection at the dam where approximately 30 people attended.  The two doors were opened to see the weir boards which can be adjusted via an apparatus which can be brought in as needed to open the sluice gate.  The water is now 3’ higher than it was at “low”.   This being an “even year”, the 3’ draw-down level should be maintained until spring (3/15/15).  The weir board is set at this level.   Official letter received from Robert Klee, Commissioner. 

It was determined that this committee is a member of the Federation of Lakes.  There is no annual membership fee, but they do request donations.  It was suggested that a donation be made.  It was further suggested that information regarding the Federation of Lakes be put into the newsletter so that individuals are also encouraged to join/donate.

The Town has installed (and paid for) guard rails along King’s Road to prevent vehicles from going over the edge when trying to back around.

A discussion was held regarding the Aquatic Invasive Species Grant from the State of CT which funds eligible diagnostics.  This grant was not pursued, we did not qualify since the lake is down.  This grant should be re-applied for in 2015 when the lake should qualify.

Jon made known the drainage problem on Lakeshore Drive.  There is a drainage channel under the road that is undermined and could collapse under heavy pressure.  The channel has been inspected and the Town Engineer has drawn up plans for replacement of this structure.  The project will be put out to bid this winter, with work to be done in the spring.  This project will cost approximately $20,000.00 - $30,000.00 and is being funded by the Town road budget. 

8.      Milone & MacBroom Report:  Darin reported that the lake is up due to recent rains.  The 4th storm water sample was take 1.5 weeks ago and the 5th and final sample was take today (11/24/14).   The samples now are analyzed, summarized and a report is being drafted.  Results are expected early to mid-January.  DEEP wants a complete watershed breakdown management plan, including the extent of discharge points.  Testing was done on the lake side and these tributaries and discharge points should be monitored.

The question was raised as to whether the possibility of a State mandate requiring cleanout of catch basins and sweeping of streets twice per year as opposed to the current once per year will have an impact on the report.  Discussion was held regarding the current practice of once per year at the cost of $70,000.00 to $80,000.00 (that includes entire town) plus disposal fees, and the fact that this is an unfunded mandate.  It was decided that for now, the best route would be to be proactive by setting up a monitoring system to watch the basins and see which fill up first, etc., then do work as required.

9.      Miscellaneous:

STEAP Grant – not applying this round. 

The BOS and Finance Director are starting to work on the 2015/2016 Budget.  Funds requests should be submitted soon so that they can be included as budget items.  Include cost of ongoing testing of water quality by Mark June-Wells and a proposal is needed for annual service. 

It was decided that a comprehensive strategy for applying for Grants (Invasive Species Grant, EPA Grant, etc.)  should be put in place over the next couple of years.  When the Milone & McBroom report is received, a better understanding of problems which need funding will be known.  Getting funding from the State is difficult, applications are best used wisely so as to garner the highest yield.  Best to make a realistic plan on what needs are, and then work on how to fund it.

10.  Motion to Adjourn was made by Darin Overton and seconded by Rob Poturnicki, motion carried unanimously.  Meeting adjourned at 8:28 pm.




Minutes - Beseck Public Information Meeting Sept 22 2014


First Selectman Jon Brayshaw introduces panel of experts

Referencing the lake as a cherished body of water that many grew up with, First Selectman Jon Brayshaw opens up the public information meeting with a brief of what has brought everyone together, “Activities of the dam have brought about a change in ecology and we don’t quite know what to do, so we need help”.  We have brought together a group of folks that can help us understand what we are facing so we can make good decisions. 

Senator Dante Bartolomeo

Addressing the large crowd that came out, Senator Dante Bartolomeo spoke of how closely she and Representative Buddy Altobello have been working with the Town, the Lake Association, and CTDEEP on lake projects.  Bartolomeo acknowledges that part of the challenge is that the dam had to be fixed, but we also want to bring life back to the lake that is not just good for the short term fix, but also good for the long term health of the lake. Getting work done on the dam is one thing, but getting it done in a way and at a pace, which allows the lake to come back to life is very important.

Representative Buddy Altobello

Representative Buddy Altobello stated that he has learned a lot about weeds and dam repair in the past two years but advises that we don’t have the exact answers and feels fortunate to have all of the experts at the meeting for information, squelching some of the rumors that have been circulating. He has been at the dam about 25 times and admits that it is coming along very nicely, despite some additional structural deficiencies found along the way.

Robert Klee Commissioner of DEEP

I am happy to be here and glad for the opportunity of exchange in communication, which is really the most important thing to me – bringing the experts that actually know the day to day details and the details on the ground. The one thing that is most interesting that was highlighted by Buddy and Dante are issues that cut across multiple parts of our agency.  Anytime you are dealing with lakes and dams that always does happen…so, from an internal perspective it is about bringing together the Inland Water folks, the Dam folks, the Fisheries folks, the Lakes folks, the Water Quality folks to make sure the solutions we are working on meet the very wide array of needs and environmental concerns that our agency has.  I’ve learned a lot more about this dam and the efforts that have been made here. I know that there have been a lot of smaller repairs, but this repair, a 2 Million dollar project, is really about having a sustainable and long lasting solution that will be good for the next 50 years or more, that you can be proud of having for a long time. 

Schedule is always a challenge, for those that have been involved with even home repairs –construction schedule is always something that comes up as an issue but we are holding the contractor to their Dec 14 2014 deadline, but we are hopeful that they will be done soon. They are in fact done with the structure that is needed to fill up the lake that we have been trying to fill since the beginning of July.of course Mother Nature is in charge of the rain.  We will have our folks from fisheries talking about why when we are waiting for rain and hoping for the lake to fill as fast as it can, we don’t want to kill all the fish in the river downstream. That again is part of our agencies mission, to protect those parts of our natural environment.

We always knew that there would be one summer season impacted that was this summer season but we are working very hard, very diligently that that is the limits of it. There has also been an interest expressed on the lake bottom, and the weeds that are now growing in this exposed land. We are talking internally with our folks and are comfortable with some rules that we are going to outline with having folks go and remove some of those if they would like to.  The science of it, I actually do have a PhD in environmental science - and it is sort of a mass balance, the weeds were growing there in soils taking up the nutrients and if they go back into the lake the nutrient will stay in the lake so it would be kind of a net zero. We are not sure that it would cause much of an impact, but if folks still want to go out and remove some of those materials, we are okay, but not with heavy equipment – we don’t want people driving out in to the muck getting stuck or injured.

Again I want to express that we want to make sure that communication is open; that people feel that they have had a chance to ask questions, they get answers and keep aware of the project. I think that Ted has been doing a good job as our ground person to do the best that he can to make that communication to flow freely, but obviously keep asking questions and keep asking us how we can better communicate with you.


Dam Repair
Ted Rybak DEEP

The concrete work is done on the project now, they have been trying to bring the water up for about 3 months now, have put weir boards in the old structure, the new structure is complete, they are going to start working their way back out to the left side of the road - they have until the end of the year to complete.  Need rain for cooperation to fill the lake.

Dwight Q: How many inches of rain do we predict that it will take to fill the lake?

A: I don’t know how many inches, it is over time. I have to let water go downstream while were refilling.

Q: I just want to know why you are standing out to the end of the year?

A: That is their time on the existing contract.

Sue Q: Do we know why it is taking so long to get the dam repair done, we were talking that it was going to be earlier in the course of events?

Ted A: We had some change orders that was additional time but we are still within the contract limits, they were working when they could be working, they have other commitments, we had a month delay because we couldn’t get the gate in and stopped the work,

Alexandra Q: When you say they have other commitments, does that mean that they are not working full time on this project?

Ted A: No, they are on and off but most of the time, it is full time. 

Sue Q:  We are seeing people working on the weekends, so I’m thinking of the overtime.

Ted A: It is not overtime or anything else, they can work their schedule as it is.

Sue Q: So it will be piece meal from what we can see from across the lake?

Ted A: Like I said they have been working pretty regular, from a couple people to 4-5 people, it depends on what the work is.

Sue Q: So just to clarify at this point in time, it is the end of the year?

Ted A: That is the contract limits, they want to be out of here in another month or so, but they still have grass to grow, they have to run a pump to lead water downstream, they have to get rid of the old intake structure and put water to the new one there is still stuff to do.

Marv Q: The gate is open or closed?

Ted A: The gate is open, but I have weir boards in a slot inside, they leak a little bit just enough to keep the water going down the stream – it is not gushing out.  If you look downstream where the old structure is, it is leaking.

Marv Q:  In other words, if there is rain, it is going to rise?

Ted A: Yes. We received maybe a half an inch of rain the other day and it looks like it came up a little bit, but everything is dry.

Brian Murphy DEEP

I have spoke on the phone a few times with Amy and have also exchanged emails, there were several questions that she had been received from residents that I will go over.  First,

Is there insight on fish survival in the lake? 

We have received information from angler reports, postings on CTFishermen, of anglers catching bass, we know that fish were caught in the ice and cold of last winter.  We did document a spawning of sunfish in the springtime. This population is going to be pretty resilient.  If there is enough area there, you are going to see reproduction going on, although it is going to be in a parcel of limited space.  

Will the decaying terrestrial plants result in a fish kill next year?

We don’t expect to see a fish kill due to decomposition of plant material.  We have observed other drawdowns that have lasted longer than this, Wyassup lake was over 2 years and Higganum Reservoir was down quite a long time before the dam repair occurred.  In need of those situations, we did not see any type of fish kills when the water level was allowed to go back up, so we don’t expect anything to happen.

Will any of the fish be restocked? Which varieties?

The lake will be sampled, assuming that the water level is back up in the springtime.  We typically sample the lake at nighttime by boat, electrofishing in April.  We will compare to 2010 and 2013 samples and will make that determination if we really need to do restocking.   We typically don’t restock warm water fish, but you can’t say never because we will assess what actually happens at that time. So if we see a situation where a desirable fish species is no longer present in that lake, they we will consider restocking, but typically we have never had to do that because we have seen the fish populations rebound.

If DEEP will not be restocking, how long do you anticipate it to take for the fish to actually repopulate the lake?

We see fish that are pretty resilient and repopulate at an accelerated rate because it is almost vacant habitat.  We have lost some fish to downstream, we have had additional predation, so what we do see is good natural reproduction, good survival, and accelerated growth rates because you have less competition between the species and within species.


I heard that Pike have been illegally stocked in the lake and DEEP does not want them in the lake? Why? What do we do if we catch one?

Yes, Northern Pike have been illegally stocked and it is illegal for anglers to catch fish, transport them live to restock them in another water body in the state.  There are reasons for that, you can transport fish that may have disease, you can transport invasive plant species – there are laws against that, you cannot do that and oftentimes you may see an actual impact on fish population if your bringing in another fish species. The Pike are protected by the statewide regulation of 2 fish 26” minimum length. So if you catch pike you can release them back or harvest as long as it is within state regulation. A rumor was circulating that fisheries was telling people to harvest the fish and cut off their heads, we would never recommend something like that – again if you catch fish, you can put them back or remove them based on state regulations.


Are the lake fish safe to eat?

Yes they are, there is no reason just because the lake has been drawn down that the condition of the fish would be impacted where they would not be safe to eat. The existing state regulations have consumption advisories would pertain to Beseck Lake, the same that they do for other lakes statewide.

Will there be catch limits placed on Beseck Lake fish populations until they repopulate?

Based on past experience and until we do our analysis next year, there probably isn’t going to be a need for special regulations, we don’t expect a need for added protection.

Lake Recovery and Terrestrials
Greg Bugbee CT AG Experiment Station

I am from the CT Agricultural Station, I run the invasive aquatic plant program there.  We have conducted surveys of Beseck lake (showing 2004 and 2011 maps that are available online) The purpose is to see how the lake is changing over the years, we know all the plants that are there, they are recorded, we have transects in the lake, we can back to these exact spots where we can take samples and determine the vegetation and see how things are changing. We will be able to se how things are changing after this has all occurred, by going back and doing another survey and let us know has this hurt or helped, especially with invasive species. My personal feeling is that it could help you a lot with your invasive species issues. Most of the areas have been exposed and are dried and now have wetland, terrestrial or wet/terrestrial vegetation growing there.  I think once the water level comes up, the vegetation will die back and at least for a while it will give you a bio-barrier to protect with re-infestation from some of these invasives that’s my thinking on it, we’ll see that works but we will be out there in a year or so after it fills back up and doing more survey work to help to determine how things have changed.  During the last two years we have offered workshops at this very spot on Earth Day to help to learn how to identify invasive species and particularly look for new ones in an effort to solve a lot of problems, so education can help.

Mark June-Wells All Habitat Services

Acting as the advisor to the Lake Ad Hoc Advisory Committee, a committee dedicated to conserving this lake.  As you can imagine, the drawdown of this magnitude to repair the dam structure is a significant disturbance to the lake ecosystem. What your elected officials have been doing is monitoring that lake before and after this entire initiative. We have water quality data ranging back historically that has been summarized as well as water quality data that has been occurring during the drawdown that will continue after this project is complete. Additionally we have been conducting vegetation survey’s, as Greg has mentioned and we have initiated a research program of our own to understand how the plant community is going to shift – the relevant abundance of each species.  Additionally we’ve been looking for grant funding, to fund future initiatives in Lake Beseck management.  The purpose of all of this is so we are able to respond as a town and committee to manage this lake, to conserve its recreational value as well as the ecological value and ensure that it is there for the future generations.

Chuck Lee, CT DEEP

I want to speak about the history that I have been involved with or the agency has been involved with Beseck Lake. The first time I came out was 1995, the lake was drawn down in the winter and the lake wasn’t coming back up and people were disappointed that it wasn’t coming back up to the summer level by the time recreation began. One of the things we know about Beseck lake is that it doesn’t fill up quickly. With average rainfall we would expect to see it refill – it could fill up twice in one year but sometimes we don’t have average rainfall and we have to deal with the lake not flowing as quickly as we would like or as quickly as the calculations tell us it would be.  We have been involved with the lake in a number of different ways, In 1999 or so when the sanitary sewer lines were placed – that was a big project. Att the same time, we provided a little bit of money so that storm water sewers could be put in as well which was a real foresight in doing that while th etwon had all the contractors on site, all the engineering, and surveyors, it was a lot less expensive to do the storm water sewers at that time then to do it at another time. The former selectman had good insight in trying to do that. Around the same time, back in 2000 we were able to do a quick study of the lake through the Lakes Grant Program and look at the water quality, although in my opinion it was still an abbreviated study – we would still like to collect more data on the lake.  It did show that the sanitary sewers at that time [if you believe in those one-shot data points] were showing improvement. We have liked to have more robust data to show our assessments, but that’s what we were working with. I know people have a lot of questions about plants that are growing up and what is going to happen with that. I think the best example I can give you from our experience is Lake Williams in Lebanon.  It was a similar lake because it was more of a wetland or a pasture or meadow before it was a lake.  It was down maybe 5 years or more – [it was not a state owned lake] we were involved with the Town of Lebanon, when that lake came back up, it came back to being a lake, it did not come back as the emergent wetland that they were seeing when the lake was down, it came back up as a lake again. I think you are right in being concerned, anytime you make a drastic change to an ecosystem especially a lake ecosystem, what’s going to happen - our experience is telling us that is going to come back up and we are going to have the lake that we had before in about a year, once we get the water back up. My concern and probably your concern too is that the lake we had before, we would like to improve. We know we have algae blooms at Beseck Lake, we know we have invasive plants that we would like to control and that has been an ongoing battle and we are going to continue to work with that as we have funding and as we work with the Town.  I’m glad the town is showing a strong commitment by hiring Mark to do work for the town – I think that is a very important first step.  We will be working with Mark and we will be working with the town to keep that information going. I know Mark has some information that looks at internal nutrients causing the algae problems; we could also look at a better assessment of what is going on in the watershed. We need to start looking at that, what it really takes to control the nutrients in the lake and in the watershed. We are not going to be leaving after the dam is up, we will still be around coming to meeting and talking about water quality. Again, I think the weeds we are seeing now are not going to be an issue, we are going to have the lake we had before and again, the lake we had before we still want to improve.

Elizabeth McAuliffe, DEEP liaison

I think someone had mentioned it that this was 2 million dollar investment to make in repairing the dam and we understand it is like living in your house when your kitchen is under construction.  It is an inconvenience, but I think the payback will be not having the leakage over the next many years. Not all communities that have dams that need repair have that investment from the state right away, so I think it is a good thing even though it is very inconvenient right now.  I know people had some comment about the boat launch and the individual from boating was unable to be here tonight but the group that is working on the dam is also working on the boat ramp.  Buddy: The “hump” at the boat launch is gone, it is all graded out and it looks terrific. It was something that Ted did as an adjunct to the dam, it wasn’t part of the original contact and somehow he snuck some guys over there and got it for us and we thank him for that. Liz:  I think I heard someone whisper in the front row that I still see construction trucks, I think it is important to stress that the parts of the dam that are critical to getting the water to come up are done, there is additional work that is being done at the dam but it is not related to the ability of the water to come back up, is that right, Ted?  Ted: That is correct.   And I think that is where some confusion is coming in, people are seeing concrete trucks – do you know?...You know, you watch contractors, it is interesting.  Ted: We finished this week the cap, so the top of the dam is complete, the only concrete trucks we will have now will be at the end of this week or beginning of next week, we should be able to get the old intake structure taken down and I have to fill the pipe that runs through there with concrete and there will be no more concrete trucks.

Amy Poturnicki, Lake Advisory Committee Chairman

I would like to thank everyone for coming this evening.  Momentarily you guys will get a chance to ask questions to all of our scientists, so I would like to thank our scientists and CTDEEP, I want to thank you guys for coming to answer everybody’s questions, there are lots of questions that people have so I think we are going to do that, so thanks everybody for being here. 

Additional Q&A

Randy Q: Back in the 90’s Tom Luby took a nice walk in the snow and that spring they were a lot higher that they are this year, I don’t know why or what didn’t take place but they were over my head and they had the DOT come in and clean them up. And I want to know if we can get the nutrients out of the lake why don’t we, we have the opportunity now- let’s get them out!

Chuck A: Back in the 1990’s or thereabouts when the dam was down before, I don’t think it was DOT that came in, I think it was DEP that came in at that time.  I could be wrong but I know we sent a crew down to harvest those plants under the request of Rep Tom Luby. It wasn’t our endorsement, but it was something that was needed that Tom Luby asked and we did at that time. At that time, we were a much larger agency. We are a much smaller agency now, we don’t have those people anymore. It wasn’t our endorsement but we start looking at that and say that we can removed the nutrients, it is always about removing the nutrients but the question is how much of the nutrients are you really removing by that effort, given the whole bio-mass down to that lake, we don’t think it is significant.

Randy Q: At the south end of the lake, the trolley – there was a huge breach, my concern is the silt that collects at the south end that will run right back into the lake. That was almost like containment.

Ted A: The only thing we got rid of was the old trestle and wood that was a boating hazard. 

Randy Q: Ted, when they fixed the dam the last time the spillway was down about 4”.  I have a high water mark on my wall and when the water is going over that spillway it hasn’t gotten up to that water mark and I want to make sure that they have the elevation right this time.

Ted A: I haven’t touched the front part of the spillway so it is the same elevation as it was when I started.

Randy Q: So it is still going to be down 3-4”?  That was a mistake that was made back then.

Ted A:  I didn’t do it in the 90’s. I didn’t happen to make the spillway any larger - it is a high hazard dam due to the roads downstream, your buildings. I didn’t change the front of that because of a lot of the stone work on the dam was starting to unravel. It was not even, it is still not even, it had dips and I followed what was existing with the section that we put back.  There is a low float toward the center and it comes up on each side.

Kathy Q: Mr. Lee, I spoke to you on Thursday or Friday.  I am new at lake Beseck, I just bought a home that we are remodeling and I could maybe fill a thimble with what I know about lakes. Coming from home from my home last week as I see the plant growing higher and higher, I think who do I call for this? It’s got to be DEP, so I go into work and I make the calls, dialing the numbers and hoping to be transferred to the right person. I want to thank you all tonight – I’ve gotten a different opinion than what I had on Thursday. Thursday I was ripped. I had started a letter to the commissioner and the governor and let me tell you a little bit about the way my conversation went.  Do you have any information of Lake Beseck? (I spoke to Dan at the Dam Repair) Dan said, basically quoting him “you people”…which immediately made the hair raise at the back of my neck  “you people should be very appreciative of the grant money that you got for that work that you didn’t pay for that the State of CT taxpayers payed for” I took a second, breathed deep and said would that be the same way I paid my taxes for roads that I never go on, or the people that live on the shore that had the homes washed away that my tax money went for – so yeh, I guess “we people” maybe should be grateful to you. Then I was told “give me a dollar, and the State of CT would be happy to sell you Lake Beseck because it costs us hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, we’d be glad to get it off our back” this man may have amnesia when you talk to him and say this crazy lady stood up and quoted you but I can tell you that conversation happened.  He repeatedly spoke about the people at Lake Beseck as “you people” and then said that “You people never had a good lake to begin with” and then I spoke to him about the plants, he then said “what do you want me to tell you about the plants? should have went for more money – go and find someone to give you more grant money”  Needless to say, something came up on the computer about this meeting and I knew that I had to attend but I thank you all because I do see that there is a vested interest and there is light after this Dan, and do you know who I am talking about?

Chuck A: I know the person.

Kathy Q: well, I have his name at work that is on the Governor’s and Commissioners letter. 

Commissioner Klee: I would still like to encourage you to write me that letter, because I do appreciate that type of feedback. That is something that we are working on and some places need a little more help than others but we are trying to improve our customer relations, and I apologize.

Kathy Q: One more thing I am glad and I hope that what I see a positive step in the right direction for Lake Beseck but I do have a little bit of a concern, I spoke to a couple of environmental engineers (who I don’t profess that they know everything) but they were very concerned about oxygen and the plants which brings me to a think what this gentleman said, “If we know it can be a problem” – so far I have heard “I  expect”,  “it should”, no one has said definitively that it won’t hurt, so if they are there, what should we have to do outside of me going out on a Saturday afternoon, (which I am willing to do) but if you know it could be a problem, why not do something like you have in the  past to make sure they are taken out?

Liz: I just want to make a comment because I had the same concern when I was hearing about these issues, and I think that the point Greg made about the invasives and that it creates a barrier is an important thing to consider because there are now so many lakes that have issues with invasives. I’m not a scientist, but it did strike me as something that was important. You don’t want to create space for them, you don’t want to give them an opportunity.  Someone else was mentioned, can we cut down the trees by the boat launch because people want to fish there. I think when you start removing material, then you start having issues with erosion.

Dante: Permission for Greg to speak more to that question from Kathy about terrestrials.

Greg: Again, this is a biological system. I wish any of us could say this is exactly what will happen, and we just can’t do that. We do know a lot of things. The plants you see will are mostly water, not nutrients, and they will eventually die back.  There will be some nutrients involved, but the question is are these nutrients going to increase the level of nutrients in the water above what they would normally be, and I don’t think that is the case.  I have map with colors marking aquatic plants growing in those areas that are now vegetation that would normally be Eurasian watermilfoil and other plants, many of them do die back. Some of them, like the curly leaf pondweed dies back every year in the summer right at the time when you don’t want nutrients in the water, because it is a plant which has its natural cycle of die-back as it gets warm. You are having that occurring naturally and any addition you would have of these plants is really going to be minimal and like DEEP has said this isn’t the first lake that has been filled with a lot of vegetation. Do you see major algal blooms, that you can attribute to the vegetation?…

Chuck A: After the following year, well, I would say we have or we haven’t.  I’m not going to say that I have assessed all the data bases.

Q: What about the example of the lake in Lebanon, the example that you gave? said they it came back with a stronger, healthier quality of water? Did they remove all of the terrestrials?

Chuck A: No, and you would not have known that that lake was drawn down. If you went to the shores of that lake, you would not have known that there were wetland plants there the year before. 

Marv Q: So the plants simply vanished?

Chuck A: The habitat was too wet for the plants to exist. So once the winter came, the plants never came back the following spring that is how that worked.

Kathy Q: I am wondering about the depths, I mean we are trying to make the lake a lake but we have had a very shallow lake to begin with and I am wondering with the other lake s that you are referring to if there was a depth perspective here that you are taking into consideration? 

Chuck A: Right.  That’s why I referred to Lake Willams as a comparison - we could talk about Wyasuup Lake but that was a deeper bonier lake with a lot more stones. Lake Williams was a lake more a wetland and before they were flooded, they were similar habitats. We have several lake that we have drawn down without a problem, Lake Williams just came off the top of my head.

Brad Q: I would like to comment about an earlier comment about trying to fill the lake. We endure a year of trying to get rid of a leaky dam and now you are in control of the dam, and the water level seems to be going down. One weekend I was very excited that the weeds went away, the weeds were under water - we were going in the right direction and boom, it went down as quickly as it came up. So, I’m wondering if we can reverse that trend a little and let the downstream water fill up a little at the same rate that our lake needs to fill up so we will have a lake next year ‘cause I am really concerned that we are not going to have a lake.

Ted A: I have the weir boards in there, it is a very dry season right now. We are below normal for rainfall.

Brad Q:  I understand that evaporation takes it away, but it seems as though there is enough of a leak to be concerned.

Commissioner Klee A:  Brian may be able to answer that question a more specifically, but there are requirements of the flow that must go down the stream.

Brian Murphy A: It is typical that we do have a down flow stream even when you have normal 3 ft and 6 ft winter drawdowns.  It is always at a level that we are not completely shutting off the valve, when we do that we have a stream fish and natural resources in the Ellen Doyle Brook that would basically end up in a fish kill there because we don’t have the flow going downstream. Really, the amount of flow we have going downstream isn’t significant but yes, that would help the water come up a little bit - but not significantly enough.  The bottom line is we just need rain and we need  to have  a balance between protecting our natural resources and bringing up the lake.

Alexandra Q: I just have a quick question, we keep referring to rain and it seems that summer is not normally a rainy time, so when do the rains come, November?

Ted A: We have had significant rains in Sept/Oct before because of hurricanes or bypassing whatever but it’s just a very, very dry summer.

Brian Murphy A: If you look at map of the state, and look at the gauges of streams that are on the website, you can see that a significant part of CT is really way under normal rainfall conditions and normal stream flow conditions.  We have some major streams in CT that are really now flowing.  In eastern CT we are holding off from stocking some of our streams because there is not enough water to put the trout in, so we are stocking more of the lakes and pond areas.

John Q: I’d like to know what your definition of a trickle is to let water go downstream, because if I go over to the Blackbird and sit on the porch and look down, it is more like a babbling brook – that is our water going down Lake Beseck into the Ellen Doyle. Why is there so much water going out?

Jon Brayshaw A: Maybe I can answer that.  A lot of the water that comes by Blackbird comes down from Toad Ridge, High St and not from Lake Beseck, but north of way Rd.

Brad Q: The point is that if we are getting flow, why can’t we shut off the source from Lake Beseck?

Dwight Q: Can I just suggest that someone look into this and adjust it the way it need to be adjusted make sure it is right?

Ted A: When you look at the outfalls, there is just a little bit coming out.\ and that’s all. I have boards in the slots, and I have plastic in there, I have beet pulp in there and I have all kinds of stuff.  It leaks just a little around the edge and that’s what I got for the flow.

Is it a measurement that is done or do you just take a finger in the air approach?

Ted A: You can measure it at the outfalls, but I’m letting a little bit out, it’s probably not as much as I should be but I just can’t stop it all of the way.

Q: Are there any plans on putting sand where the muck used to be and in the beach area?

Jon Brayshaw A: we put sand in the beach area every year that I have been around. We bring a truckload or two of nice clean sand. (That one area just for you folks, when you were not looking, we took a machine and made some improvements to the beach.) So, yes we will be getting some sand.

Q: Can you bring sand in front of our properties so our kids can walk in the sand and not the muck?

Chuck Lee A: Bringing sand in was not a part of the request.

Mark June-Wells A: We recently filled out permits to allow for a maintenance area around the perimeter of the lake.  The reason for that was, is that if there was a concern of terrestrial plants remaining like the smartweed or the cat tails or some of the other species that are able to deal with being inundated with water, we would be able to remove those plants so there would be access to the lake.  However, we did not at that time include the sand to put into those areas. I don’t know if that is an option in some of those areas, it wasn’t part of our initial permit.

Chuck A: What Mark did was as the town’s consultant was put in a request for activities that could be done on the exposed lake bed for removing the plants, not including putting sand in. I’m not saying that that can’t happen, but the town can make that request and we can review it.  It’s really not a permit actually, it is permission from the agency because the state of CT is the owner of the bottom. So as far as regulating that activity, it would be the local wetland commission. Just because you get permission from them as a property owner, doesn’t mean you have permission from the agency and visa versa.

Randy Q: We have had a hard time getting anything from the State DEEP. People have wanted to repair their walls this year, it was back and forth, we didn’t know what direction to go in.  We told them that if they got permission from the state it would be alright with us, we regulate everything up to the lake.

Chuck A:  Thankfully, you could regulate in the lake, if you chose to.

Randy: I don’t know if we want to.

Chuck :  You could, it is Inland wetland and Watercourses permission.

Randy:  The problems with had with people this year, is inspecting the walls after the fact.  What do you tell someone that put up a $30,000 wall that they have to tear it down? We told them to go back to the state to get some confirming information that it was okay to do that. When they came back to the board we would say that we hadn’t received a definite answer from the state.

Chuck: Well, I didn’t receive any of that but if you have a paper trail you can follow, that would be helpful.

Ed bailey A:  The town did deal with Lee Vito – the Land Acquisitions dept there was a lot of communication with them. That’s how that was handled.

Rep. Buddy Altobello: Did you get anywhere?

Second selectman, Ed Bailey: There was some feedback so that is what Randy is referring to.

Chuck Lee: Well, the Town went through the Land Acquisition to do the dredging, remove the plants, the turions but you are talking about individual which would go to the same agency, the Land Acquisition and Property management, they would be the ones that would review that type of request.   1) Find out if they really did  2) If they are not getting  a response, we want to know so we can figure out why.

Jim Q:  I want to try the weed discussion one more time from a different angle.  I understand Greg’s point about bio-cover and that being a barrier of the invasive weeds, but Chuck had mentioned both the invasive weeds and also the algae bloom.  The algae bloom seems like it is responsive to the amount of the material in the bottom of the lake that is de-grading. If we are going to have an amount of material in the bottom of the lake degrading that it is at least five times what we have with  invasives. So, it seems like perhaps it might have some positive influence to your point on invasives, but the algae bloom toward the end of the summer as the temperature goes up could be significantly worse if my logic is correct and I’m just wondering if you all could perhaps comment on that might be another consideration in regard to removal of all of that bio-mass.

Chuck A: I don’t think there is actually a significant amount of bio-mass in that vegetation.  Those nutrients were already there that was available for aquatic or terrestrial plant growth. I don’t think we are going to see a change. I think the algae blooms at Beseck Lake were bad before- unacceptable for most swimmers, I think.  I think we are going to have the same situation when we get it back.  It’s not going to make the matter worse is my belief, but it’s not going to make the matter better either but I do think basically it is a balance, we have nutrients that were in the system, we are not adding any nutrients into the system by letting the plants grow.

Marv Q:  I would ask this question, if you owned property on the lake, and you had all of the weeds in front of you, would you pull them out or would you leave them there?

Chuck A:  I don’t know, I haven’t even thought about what I would do if that were mine. I would probably leave it there but if you were to look at my lawn, you wouldn’t want me to be your neighbor. I’m not a good person to ask.

Rob Q: Well, if you lived on the lake you thought it was unacceptable for most swimmers, what would you do about that? 

Chuck Q: If I were a swimmer?

Rob Q: Yeh, if you lived on the lake you thought it was unacceptable, what would you do to correct it?

Chuck Q:  The water or vegetation?

Rob: The water quality- you said the water quality is unacceptable.

Chuck A: Oh yeh, I hear that question and that is probably a bigger question than an individual  because you are talking about algae bloom throughout the whole lake, how one individual would handle that problem.

Rob Q: Let’s say you are in charge of the lakes for the State of CT, what would you do to help them?

Chuck A: That is a good question, well what I think needs to be done is pretty hard to study when we  have to take it so far, one that would really look at both all of  the nutrient budget of the lake comprehensively, and look at internal loading and we would have to come up with some answers and I think that stormwater infrastructure needs reviewed, the one that went in during the early 90’s to see how effective it has been working, it may not be I heard some reason it may not be. I think all of that needs to be reviewed.  I think we need to maybe be doing more educating with homeowners and how they can keep more water on their property with rain gardens and I think we need to look more at what we can do in the lake.  Options for in the lake would probably be aeration, dredging or alum.  My preference, if I had all the money in the world, would probably be to dredge first and then let’s measure the water quality and see what would happen from that point. The reason we are not talking about dredging is we are probably talking about a 10 Million dollar project – if I had all the money in the world, that is maybe how I would approach it.

Rob Q:  I am looking for a realistic evaluation, not if I had all the money in the world.

Chuck A:  I gave you that answer. So realistically, we need to be looking at the stormwater and look at what type of internal loading is going in in that lake and see what we can do about it but I’m afraid that you all saw very clearly when the lake was drawn down that it was a former meadow that was filled up it wasn’t a glacial dug out lake, so geologically, it was an old lake to begin with and that’s what we are dealing with.

Rob Q: So, when you say we, you mean the Town of Middlefield?

Chuck A: No, I mean the State of Ct and Citizens and the Town of Middlefield. I have been working on the lake for over 20 years and I am not planning on leaving anytime soon so if money became available to that it would be a pleasure for me to be able to administer that toward this project.

Marv Q:  Is aeration a possibility?

Chuck A: Regarding aeration, there are a lot more questions that need to be answered first like what is the oxygen demand in the lake and what kind of air would we have to put in the lake to overcome that oxygen demand. What kind of system would need to be put in, how much would it cost to manage and run that system, and would we get the intended results with that. We don’t have all of that information right now and what you would want to do is compare that with an alum treatment - an aluminum salt that you would put in the bottom of the lake to lock the Phosphorus to the bottom of the lake. What we do with aeration, we try to keep it so Phosphorus does not become available – that is the nutrient that causes all the algae blooms. So we put in oxygen, so we keep it at a state that precipitates at the bottom of the lake.  Aluminum will hold that Phosphorus at an anoxic state and sometimes you can look at putting in an aluminum salt that will lock that up but I don’t know if tat would work or not – we tried that around 2001 or so at Lake Pocotopaug and  what we found is that we had fairly acceptable water qualities ‘til mid-August and then we started having algae blooms again and after looking at it a little bit closer it was stormwater that was causing the algae blooms and it wasn’t as much internal nutrient loading as we initially anticipated. That alum treatment was about a $200,000 investment.

Randy Q: The Town is going in a good direction by hiring Mark.  Mark is doing a lot of studies, we’re actually looking, we looked at a couple aeration systems. Is the State willing to support that?

Chuck A: I think Mark’s work is advancing what we know, and the management of Beseck Lake quite a bit. We are willing to look at it but we don’t have all the information on it. 

Mark A: Just to give you guys a little more information about what we have going on through the advisory committee, we have two initiatives that are important for this discussion that is going on. First is a watershed study, being conducted by Milone and MacBroom.  Those data that are being collected, we are waiting on them and they are summarizing those and we will understand what the total nutrient loading is, including Phosphorus and Nitrogen that are entering the lake throughout the season given wet and dry conditions.  Additionally, though all of the water quality sampling, that we have been doing, it’s a little difficult to tell given the state of the lake however, through the historical data sets that we have looked into, what that is telling us at this point is given a square meter of soil, or roughly 3 ft x 3 ft, it is giving off somewhere in the range of 200 – 300 mcg of Phosphorus – which is a significant amount and the reason for that is exactly as Chuck has mentioned, this is old pasture land, and this is old farmland, it was naturally rich, it was used for those kinds of agricultural activities. Additionally, given the state of the plant community, as you can see from these recent maps, and I also have a significant amount of data that supports this, showing that there is roughly 20 acres or more of species in this lake.  Those species are highly productive, and the cause is that the soil is so rich. However what happens in the plant community this productive is it cycles those nutrients to the surface of the lake bottom and ultimately, the majority of that plant material dies in a relatively shallow region. However, there is a portion of that that migrates to the deeper water and as Chuck has mentioned, under de-oxygenated conditions, those nutrient that are available in that plant material, which is now in the deeper water, is released leading to the algal blooms that you guys have seen. And if fact, those data that we have collected this year under a relatively stressed condition, show that the algal problem does not arrive until hopefully August when you start getting the blue-green algae.  Now there is a reason for that, I won’t go too brutally into depth but it is a Nitrogen/Phosphorous balance.  When Nitrogen is present in the system, you tend to have green algae, they are common, they are the base of the food chain, they are important for the lake’s ecology and they are generally not viewed as a problem.  However, when Nitrogen becomes depleted from the system which is what happens around August/September, and Phosphorus is then enriched do to the limited oxygen content in the lake, you now get blue-green algae. And why is that?  Because blue-green algae can fix their own atmospheric Nitrogen.  However, while that is important from an ecological standpoint, to some extent from a recreational standpoint is it a problem and the reason that is, is because those particular genera of algae have what are called cyanotoxins. They are intracellular chemicals that are produced by those species of algae and as the population booms, the cell count goes way up then those cells die and release all of those cyanotoxins to the water which for a grown adult is not a big deal. Pets and children we can run into some issues and the state is currently working on their risk assessment measures for that particular event. So, ultimately to sum up what we are doing is getting out mind around the oxygen demand of this lake. While we are doing that, we are also beginning to understand what the watershed influences are. What is the purpose of all of this?  It is to lead to a directed management plan, which will include watershed, infrastructure improvements, and will also include in-lake management protocals, potentially alum, aeration and things of that nature to get a grip on the Phosophorus problem, which isn’t just a problem in Beseck Lake. Lake Erie, about a month ago, which provides water to about a half a million people was completely shut down because of blue-green algae. They could not produce water for their populace. Throughout CT, there’s also many lake that have internal nutrient loading like this. The question is why? And you have to only look in the mirror to see why, it’s us so we have to figure out ways to improve that. That is what the advisory committee and the state are working together to do.

Q: If the weeds that are there now are bothering residents, do they have permission to cut them down or pull them up?

Jon A:  That is what we are working on right now with DEEP. There are a few different options that they will let people do if they want to.

Q: Once they get rid of the weeds, if they want to put sand in front of their property can they?

Jon A:  I don’t know about the sand, we are dealing with the weeds.

Chuck A: I think what I am hearing tonight is done.  If the town wants to make a request to the agency, we will consider it along with the other options.

Q: Would putting sand in the muck area, would that help anything, the invasives from growing up?

Chuck A: I don’t think so.  I think you will lose a lot of that sand in the muck.

Jon: I think what the real problem is the state has so many lakes (Chuck- 3,600 lakes named lakes) and there is very little research, no one has conquered the issue. So, I would say we are an experiment. So the state is going to give us these few things to do because we don’t want to just sit there and watch t.v. we want to get out there and do something they are going to give us several things that we can plug into. If everyone in the room were to do their properties that average about 50 ft,

Q: You are saying that leaving the weeds there are not going to change the nutrient content of the lake, however if you are asking all of these people to take the weeds out of the lake, would it then change the nutrient content of the lake, would it be a benefit?

Chuck A: No doubt about it, you would be harvesting nutrients out of the lake, would it be a significant amount that would be measurable in the lake in the next year, I don’t think you will see that. 

Dwight Q:  How about lawn fertilizers and such?

Greg Bugbee A: I run the soil test lab at the Agricultural Station, that is my other charge.  A couple things about lawn fertilizers, Phosphorus is a key element that Mark and I have been talking about that create the algal blooms, that has been banned from fertilizers 2 January’s ago. Whwn you look at lawn fertilizer there will be 3 numbers Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. That middle number is going to be zero.  So you are not going to have Phosphorus in the lan fertilizer however you are going to have a lot of Nitrogen and I think a lot need to be learned about what Nitrogen lawn fertilizers might do.  The key is that you have to make sure that the fertilizers don’t get into the lake.  That is done making sure you have a buffer zone between the lake and your lawn that’s unfertilized vegetation that can maybe utilize any nutrients that might be moving downward to the lake.  One of the key things is keeping the lawn fertilizers off of paved areas. On most of these lakes, our drains go right into the lake. If a good rain comes, that will be in the waterbody in no time.

We do soil test at the Agricultural Station, it is a free service. You can go on the website for more information, we can give you suggestions on exactly what you need. It is important to realize what lawn fertilizers are and what they are not. Right now there is not a lot of Phosphorus in them, but there is a lot of Nitrogen, there is also pesticides – in many cases, weed controls, insecticides and that sort of thing that you don’t want in your lake.

Marv Q: How about lime?

Greg A: The question is on limestone, you need to determine whether you need to lime your lawn. The good thing about lime is that it activates nutrients that naturally occur, so you don’t have to utilize as much fertilizer.  In the case of lawns, you would like to see the PH around 6.0, which will maximize existing nutrients. There is some thinking that using lime on laws could increase the PH of the lake, in many cases is not an issue, but you have a plant called curlyleaf pond weed which likes high Ph water, I don’t think it is a big deal though. I think timing is important, I don’t think it is something that leaches heavily, and should be done according to the soil tests.

Q: I have a question about weeds that I have been pulling and I have to bring them to the dump, this is where you come in.  Can we pile them up at the end of our driveways so the town can pick them up?

Jon Brayshaw A:  We have to come up with a game plan, a multi-faceted game plan. One that addresses the catch basin pollution – that we use to take our water tests from, fertilizers, animal waste, washing your car.  And yes, we’ll have to get something going if you folks are going to harvest the weeds, then we need to be able to put them at the beach, put them at the north end, and put them somewhere so we can pick them up. First, we need to get DEEP’s approval.

Q:  How will we learn about the approval?

Chuck Lee A: I understand that is still under review, Mark have you heard anything since last week?

Mark June-Wells A: No, I haven’t.

Q: So is it okay to pull the roots?

Craig A: I think it is best to leave the roots.

Amy: Perhaps Greg can address that answer.

Greg Bugbee: If it was me, I would leave the roots.  The worst thing I would want to see you do is pull the roots, have sort of tilled soil – the water is going to come up and maybe erode it a little bit, you will have silt in the water and now a place for invasive species to get a foot hold.  If it was me, and you wanted to get rid of the weeds, I would cut them and leave the roots. Weed-whack, then get rid of the material.  The other question which is one that came up is can you burn them? And I’m not sure what DEEP thinks about that one. As I mentioned, I run the soil testing lab and we do suggest wood ash as a fertilizer.  So what exactly is a fertilizer, ash is a fertilizer.  Now, I don’t know if they are going to allow you to do it ((crowd laughs)) but for that reason alone, I would not do that.

Amy:  We left that option off the application, we didn’t apply for burning.

Lenny Q:  Can we somehow get a positive out of this drawdown, do something so these weeds don’t grow so fast?  Hopefully with the lake being drawn down we will get a good freeze that will freeze some of these out.

Mark A: During the turion project, we collected turions (a reproductive bud of the curlleaf pond weed) To determine what kind of impact the drawdown would have on that particular species, we collected a number of those turions – we then planted them in pots and put them at the Agricultural Experiment Station and have allowed them to persist in the water. You guys have a bit of good news, which I didn’t expect to see.  None of those turions produced a new individual. That was from one season, relatively cold winter, not a lot of precipitation that winter, and none of them came back. It is good news for the drawdown.

Alexandra Q:  were they frozen

Mark A:  Yes, they were frozen all winter, they were collected right at the surface of the soi.  So, my hope is that the curlyleaf pondweed will be knocked back. I have not seen it in the lake this summer, so there is a hope that it will be – we will see what happen when the lake returns. Now you have another invasive species of concern which is the Eurasian Watermilfoil. That is a species which is known a s a stem plant, essentially it grows from fragments of itself. It aslo grows as underground stem known as rhizomes. My hope is that that species will also be knocked back.  However, I have seen it in the lake this summer. What is the distribution of it going to be? What is the abundance of it going to be?  Hopefully, less.  There will be less fragmentation from props cutting it up throughout this summer, hopefully we will get a good freeze this winter, in the exposed areas where the milfoil was prior to the drawdown – which there was a good freeze the prior winter, and with a second good freeze, we may see a significant knock back of that species as well. 

In terms of the entire plant community, forget about invasive and native for a moment and let’s talk about the entire plant community. This lake has something in the range of 28 plant species.  For a lake of this size, that is extremely rich. Generally a good thing, however, with the abundance of curlyleaf pond weed, in this particular case, it is a bit of a detriment.  You guys know that, you boat on the lake, you swim in the lake, you know how annoying it is in trying to get through the dense plant community. From those species about half are seed species, which means that they are not actually growing from their roots. They are producing flowers every year, they are producing seeds which are contributing to the lake bed. You guys have heard the term seed bank.  The seed bank is essentially the number of seeds per unit measurement of soil that is available to grow next year. My hypothesis is that the seed bank of this lake is going to be fairly rich and that the overall plant community will rebound at least in moderate abundances. I feel you are going to see quite a bit of plant material next year, the hope is that that plant material is native and not invasive and we will be able to tell you more when the lake comes back.

First Selectman Jon Brayshaw:  Another thing that you need to be aware of is several times over the past year, we have put in for a grant. We put in for a weed harvester. We thought that we would like to own our very own, so we put in for a STEAP grant and we were not awarded the money to buy the harvester. But that doesn’t mean that in future years, with pressure applied at certain locations we couldn’t somehow end up with this weeds harvester, and as part of our yearly activities, we  would go out into the lake and harvest whatever weeds we could harvest.

Senator Dante Bartolomeo:  So yes, Jon to add to that, there have been multiple applications for different grants. Part of the challenge is that at the same time the weed harvester/STEAP grant came in there was also additional funding being requested for the dam repair, we also have a new fund that Buddy and I worked on passing in the legislature for lakes with invasive species, which we discussed applying for but at this point in time we weren’t ready for it because of the situation with the lake. My point is that there are multiple opportunities, some we have been ready for, some we have not, because either another request is in but we will continue to explore what is available that makes sense for this community but to be able to support those as they are going through the process.


Jon:  Do I understand that Silver Lkae has such a piece of equipt?

Chuck A:  No.  They don’t.  Silver Lake hydraulic dredge, not a wed harvester. We have build the treatment system where they can put the water discharge back into the lake, a total different machine that they have. Lake Zoar has a weed harvester that they use and other larger lakes.  I think the trend now has been doing herbicide treatments vs weed harvesters.

Randy Q:  That dry carpet like material on the lake bed, would it be worthwhile getting out of the lake bed.

Mark:  It would be a lot of work if we were talking about the whole lake bed. We would be talking about scraping 2” of soil off the entire lake bed. It would not be practical.

Q: Do we have a timeline of when we will hear about the application?

Chuck A: We will follow up as soon as we can and get that information out as soon as we can.

Commissioner Klee A:  We will have a quick turn around because we want to make sure you can get out there with your weed-whacker before the cold.

Brad:  Does the new dam design allow for the same amount of drawdown that we have experienced?

Ted A: No, it is 2-3ft higher.

Dante: Randy, previously you were talking about the walls. If there are individual residents who are getting into situations and you need help getting approval or getting in touch with different departments, whether it is your walls or other, please remember to reach out to Buddy or I because our role is to be your liaison between the constituents and the agencies. They have all taken the time to be here tonight and they have been fabulous about working on this project. But your individual issues, if you need help, reach out to Buddy or I, we are more than happy to help.

Joe Q:  The water runs off of the dam just like it did before, correct?

Ted A: Yes.

Q: The non-aquatic plants will die when the water comes up? Do they will sink right to the bottom?

Chuck Lee A: They will die back first and there won’t be much biomass left.

Marv:  I have to say, I am encouraged by what all the people have had to say up here and I feel much better about it – and thank you.











Minutes of Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee August 2014

Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee

Monday August 25, 2014



1. Meeting was called to order at 7:03 P.M.

2. Members Present:  Amy Poturnicki, Ed Bailey, Randy Bernodas, Jim Irish, Darin Overton, Craig Lundell, Rob Poturnicki, also present Mark June-Wells, Beseck Lake Manager

3. Approval of Agenda Darin Overton made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Craig Lundell. Passed unanimously.

4. Approval of June Minutes Jim Irish made motion, seconded by Rob Poturnicki.  Passed unanimously.

5. Public Comment - None heard

6. Chairman Report :

Update on Beseck Dam repair project

The latest update on the dam repair is that it is now looking more like the end of October for completion.  The control valve was closed down a couple of months ago in an attempt to start getting water back into the lake.  Although the water level did come up slightly for short periods, the lake is still approximately 12’ down due to lack of rain.

Sand Removal Project 

Additional improvements were made to the north end of the lake to prevent further erosion.  The banks were built out, lined with fabric, rip rap was placed and grass was planted along the road.

Terrestrial Plants

A fair amount of inquiries have come in from lake residents concerned about the terrestrial weeds growing in the lake bed.  Suggestions and concerns have been brought to the attention of our Lake Manager – who has reached out to CTDEEP, and Selectmen who are tossing around possible options.

Water samples collected by Mark June-Wells

Mark has collected the 4th consecutive mid-month water sampling from the lake.  Even though we barely have a lake, water studies will continue to aid in recognition of lake trends that will assist with plans and grants geared toward improving water quality.


STEAP Grant 2013-2014

In a letter dated on Aug 6 regarding the STEAP application for the lake, Secretary Barnes informed Jon Brayshaw that our application was not selected for grant funding this year. We were encouraged to apply for the 2014-2015 round of grants that they are already accepting applications for. 

Other Grants

We were also not awarded anything from our EPA 319 grant application.  Mark will talk more about the upcoming AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) grant applications currently being accepted by CTDEEP.

7. Selectmen Report – Nothing to report.

8. Mark June-Wells Report – Water sampling has shown a consistent trend in de-oxygenation below 6’ of depth.  Water clarity has been low since testing began.  Algal community has been primarily diatoms and green algae that has been tracking with high Nitrogen levels through July’s water testing, but then changed sometime between the July and August sampling.  Full water chemistry is not back yet but phytoplankton results came back showing a significant decrease in green algae and a high priority in terms of cyanotoxins –(blue green algae) Aphanizomenon resulted in  roughly 1000 Cells/mL.  In July, we saw a spike in Phosphorus concentrations of bottom water likely due to internal loading.  Mark predicts to see Nitrogen come back at low levels with Phosphorus being the dominant nutrient in the system, leading to the blue-green dominance of the algal community we are now seeing.

EPA 319 was not awarded to Beseck, but can be updated, enhanced with new studies, and resubmitted as soon as word is received from CTDEEP about application process. 

Although the STEAP grant was also not awarded, it can be re-submitted with new data.  Per request of Jim Irish, Mark will reach out to Meaghan for insight as to why we did not receive STEAP funding for the lake. 

Regarding AIS grant, Mark brought up the point that we should weigh out cost/benefit of writing the grant application, which could cost around $1,200.00, a Town match of 50% is required, a total of only $150,000 in funding is available for all of CT, funds must be spent within 1 year of funding, also for consideration is that we don’t have a lake and target species must have existed in the project water body as of July 1, 2014 – essentially, we wouldn’t really meet the criteria outlined in the application, which could greatly lessen our chances of receiving funding in a very competitive market.  After further discussion, and in an effort to stay on the grant radar, a Motion by Amy Poturnicki to forego AIS grant, have Ed Bailey submit a letter of future interest to Nancy Murray, seconded by Rob Poturnicki.  Passed unanimously.

9. Terrestrial plants – Discussion regarding water quality issues as a result, possible means of removal, permitting, etc.  Unanimous consent to request that Jon Brayshaw submit a formal letter to CTDEEP regarding the terrestrial plants, the opportunity before us to harvest these plants containing nutrients pulled from the nutrient rich lake bed - in an attempt to head off additional water quality issues.

10. Community Outreach – Storm drain stencils came in and were passed around.  Unanimous consent for Lake Ad Hoc to have stencils on display at an outreach booth at LBA picnic on Sept. 6 along with a sign-up sheet for people to assist with stenciling storm drains.  In addition, have lake photos and invasive plants on display.  Mark will assist with Q & A. 

11. Adjourn - Motion to adjourn meeting at 8:27 P.M. by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by Craig Lundell.

Respectfully submitted by Amy Poturnicki 

Minutes of Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee June 23 2014

Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee

Monday, June 23, 2014


1.      Call to Order:  7:15 P.M.

2.      Members Present:  Amy Poturnicki, Rob Poturnicki, Randy Bernodas, Jim Irish, Lucy Petrella, Craig Lundell, Rebecca Adams.  Also in attendance, Mark June-Wells, N.E.E.

3.      Approval of Agenda:  Motion by Jim Irish, seconded by Craig Lundell, passed unanimously.

4.      Approval of 4/28 Minutes:  Motion by Jim Irish seconded by Rob Poturnicki, passed unanimously.

5.      Public Comment:  None

6.      Chairman’s Report: 

Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee was re-appointed in May by the BOS. 

2014-2015 Lake Budget   A total of $33,000 has been set aside for lake tasks and broken down as follows:

$25,000 – Capitol / Nonrecurring  For projects/future projects, water testing (of this, $5,000 transferred from Ad Hoc to Capitol for monthly water testing performed by lake mngr)

$8,000 - Lake Ad Hoc  For Lake Mngr assignments, outreach, committee expenses

In addition, a $15,000 overage was approved at a Town Meeting to continue the Beseck Storm Water Study.  The Beseck Sand Removal Project played a role in the overage.

Community Outreach

The Turion Project, held May 3 brought out 21 people that were educated about the lakes invasives and then focused on the removal of turions from the beach area of the lake.  Several lakefront property owners tackled the lakebed in front of their properties as well.  Our environmental effort also made CH3 WFSB news!

Storm Drain Stenciling Project  While discussions of a storm drain stenciling project is in the works as our next outreach initiative, Troop 33 Boy Scouts has expressed that they are very interested in partnering with a group to do an environmental project.  This would provide them with the opportunity to earn an award for environmental service called the Wm. T. Hornaday Award, often referred to as an Environmental Olympic Award. 

Lake refill is now anticipated in possibly a few weeks, now that the control valve has arrived.

Sand Removal Project Areas B, C, D on project map have been excavated.  Area B is being de-watered on site.  Due to erosion, the plume at Area A was been washed out. With the wet conditions at area E and F, It is unclear if they will be addressed at this time.  While there is still time, ideas to improve the north end of the lake are being discussed.

Water samples collected by Mark June-Wells  Mark began a series of 6 water sample collections from the lake, starting with mid-May as the first.  These collections will help to identify problems within our watershed and aid in recognition of lake trends vital to plans for improving water quality.

7.      Mark June-Wells Report

Water tests conducted in May suggested that PH conductivity and specific conductives resulted in relatively normal levels for Beseck waters.  There was a quick and significant drop in Dissolved Oxygen in the water that was tested at 6’ of depth that is relatively unusual, suggesting that the soils below the water are undergoing high rates of respiration.  No additional concern, as Nitrogen and Phosphorus levels are in line with what we have seen in the past.  June water tests differ in that the de-oxygenated zone is now at 3’ vs the 6’ was seen in May likely due to an increase in temperature and microbial activity which could lead to a higher level of Phosphorus, which is yet to be determined, and maybe a shift in the algal community.   Although low oxygen levels were noted near the dam and numerous fish were observed dead around the lake, a drag sample through the main body of the lake resulted in 100% oxygen concentration. 

Mark mentioned a House Bill that had passed and is on the horizon for the purpose of activities of lake conservation in the form of public education, diagnostic feasibility studies, aquatic invasive plant control initiatives, monitoring and inspecting boats.  He will keep everyone posted with its progress.

8.      Community outreach

Discussion was had on the implementation of a storm drain stenciling project around the lake, as the next outreach project - stencil pricing, paint and roller cost, advertising, preferred color of paint, message, design, lettering size, etc.

Motion to approve spending up to $700 for storm drain stenciling project.  Motion by Lucy Petrella, seconded by Craig Lundell, passed unanimously.

9.      Committee meeting dates 2014/2015

7:00 P.M.  Middlefield Community Center

Monday June 23, 2014

Monday July 28, 2014

Monday August 25, 2014 

Monday September 22, 2014 

Monday October 27, 2014 

Monday November 24, 2014 

Monday December 15, 2014 

Monday January 26, 2015

Monday February 23, 2015

Monday March 23, 2015

Monday April 27, 2015

Monday May 18, 2015

Approve meeting dates for 2014-2015 Motion by Rebecca Adams, seconded by Jim Irish,   passed unanimously.

10.  Meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Amy Poturnicki


Minutes of Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee - April 2014

Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee

Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday April 28, 2014

1. Call to order

Amy P called the meeting to order at 6:12PM.

2. Members in attendance

Amy Poturnicki, Rob Poturnicki, Rebecca Adams, Craig Lundell, Lucy Petrella, Jim Irish, Ed Bailey, Jon Brayshaw, Daria Vander Veer.

3. Approval of the agenda

Ed Bailey made a motion to approve the agenda which was seconded by Jim Irish and passed unanimously.

4. Approval of Minutes

Rebecca Adams made a motion to approve the March 24, 2014 meeting minutes which was seconded by Rob Poturnicki and passed unanimously.

5. Public Comment

No public comment was offered.

6. Chairman’s Report

Chairman’s Report – Brief of Progress to 4-28-2014

Milone & MacBroom collected composite soil samples from sand removal project areas on 3-24-2014.  Test results came back essential the same as the initial tests, which means that the disposal options will remain the same.  Areas were staked out at the beach in preparation of the Sand Removal Project, scheduled to begin today.

Pilings – To address concern raised over the exposed pilings on the raised trolley bed, Jon Brayshaw has been working with DEEP to trim down or remove them.  It is felt that the pilings are a hazard to those that are unfamiliar to this shallow area of the lake. DEEP verbally agreed to cut them down.

Community Outreach projects are moving along. 

         The outreach post card mailer reached mailboxes on Friday April 18.  It was delivered to residential and business mailboxes within the Beseck watershed.


         The April 22 Earth Day “Ask a Scientist” workshop was a success. Approximately 35 participants came out and learned to identify invasive aquatic plants, were brought up to speed with our lake manager’s accomplishments and efforts underway, Ed Bailey talked about town efforts with the lake.


         “The Turion project” We heard back from DEEP on the idea of a lake vegetation clean-up effort.  Initially, they were hesitant to entertain the idea.  Chuck Lee supported the initiative and worked to expedite approvals through the various DEEP departments.  Chuck suggested giving DEEP the earliest date possible for the effort.  Paperwork was submitted to DEEP for the first weekend of May.  The requirement is that vegetation has to be disposed of at our transfer station and everyone must fill out volunteer paperwork.  I have spoken with Boy Scouts, Parks & Rec, Inland Fisheries and Coginchaug High School who were receptive in coordinating efforts with us.  Mark June-Wells has generously agreed to volunteer the plant education portion of the event. (keeping it very simply - a narrated lake bed tour that passes by educational poster boards marking out areas where our invasive plants are mapped)


         Storm Drain Project was researched a bit.  There a lot of creative ideas out there for this type of outreach initiative that we can discuss.


         Our next meeting will be Tues May 27th at 7 P.M.

7. Selectmen Report

Ed Bailey confirmed that sand removal work is underway.  There are several disposal options including the gravel pit, the public works facility, and the transfer station.  DEEP issued guidance for treating and disposing of road sand most recently in 2007 and the Town will follow those guidelines.  Ed Bailey stated that a local topsoil business may be interested in taking some of it.

Chris Hurlbert, Director of Parks and Recreation, asked whether there will be a beach season at the lake this summer.  Ed reported that DEEP is unsure exactly when they will begin to allow the lake to fill.  Perhaps 4-6 weeks.  They are waiting for a 48 inch pipe which will replace the current 18 inch pipe but they don’t know when it will be delivered.  DEEP has been noncommittal about it.  DEEP has agreed to take out the pilings sticking out of the trolley bed.

CT DEEP has approved the volunteer turion raking project for the Saturday May 3.  All volunteers must sign up and sign in.  The State wants to know exactly who is working there.  Mark June-Wells has volunteered to do plant education during the cleanup.  The turions can be bagged and disposed of at the vegetation area at the transfer station.

Ed reported that the Board of Finance’s proposed fiscal year 2014-15 budget includes funding for work at the lake consistent with that proposed by the Selectmen.  Jim Irish explained that the BoF decided that the water testing funding should be in the CNR budget and $8,000 for that is found in line item 8595 with $25,000 in the operating budget found in line item 2258.

The Board of Selectmen plans to re-establish the ad hoc committee at its next meeting, appointing the same members.

8. Community Outreach

The committee discussed the mailer and the Earth Day event.  All agreed that everything went really well and that ongoing education and outreach are important and should include the entire town.  Future communications should include an email address for inquiries.  Lucy Petrella said she thinks the whole town needs to be aware of what is happening if we want the clean up and maintenance funds to stay in the town budget.  The committee discussed that we did look at a town wide mailer for the Earth Day event but decided to mail only to households in the Lake Beseck watershed due to budget constraints.

The committee agreed that stenciling storm drains to remind people not to put anything in them, is a good next project.  Amy did some research and has some ideas for stenciling.   Ed has seen some in shoreline towns that he thought were well done.  The committee will talk at the next meeting about the number and location or drains to stencil and the budget for and logistics of completing that project.

9. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 7:16PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Adams, Secretary

May 5, 2014

Minutes of Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee - March 2014

Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

Monday March 24, 2014, 7:00 PM

Middlefield Community Center


1.       Call To Order:  7:12pm.

2.       Members Present: Amy Poturnicki, Robert Poturnicki, Randy Bernotas, Ed Bailey, Daria Vander Veer, Craig Lundell, Darin Overton, Dick Boynton, James Irish.  Rebecca Adams arrived at 7:35pm.  Also present Mark June-Wells.

3.       Approval of Agenda:  Motion by Rob Poturnicki, seconded by Craig Lundell, passed unanimously.

4.       Approval of 2/24 Minutes: Motion by Dick Boynton, seconded by Randy Bernotas, passed unanimously.

5.       Public Comment:   None

6.       Chairman’s Report

Chairman’s Report – Brief of Progress to 3-24-2014

Refill of Lake is looking like end of April, however Chuck Lee is working with Jon Brayshaw and DEEP staff to delay by a month to allow the Town the opportunity to get into the lake to start the Sand Removal Project.

Milone & MacBroom now has all DEEP permits signed off. (Fisheries, Inland Water Resources, Solid Waste, Land Grant Division, NDDB)  Composite samples from sand removal project areas were collected today. (3-24)

Mark June-Wells, NEE finalized the STEAP grant application after it was reviewed and suggested changes were made by Lake Ad Hoc. It was then forwarded on to Selectman’s office for final review and signing.

Selectmen forwarded the STEAP application to OPM on 3-10.  Required insurance info was sent to DEEP on 3-7 by Town Finance Director, Joe Geruch.  Excavation contractors met at the beach on 3-17 to review project details.  Bids were due back today. (3-24)

Legislator’s (Sen. Dante Bartolomeo and Rep. Buddy Altobello) submitted a letter to OPM on 3-10 in support of STEAP funds to help the lake.

Community Outreach is underway.  The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station is scheduled for April 22 at 6pm at the Community Center to do an invasive aquatic plant workshop.  Ag Station scientists will help participants to identify live invasive plants, talk about management techniques and answer any of your questions.  Mark June-Wells will spend some time talking about the lake and offer a question and answer segment. 

The cost of post card mailers has been researched.  Once we put outreach material and design together, It looks like postcards will cost under $1ea. to print and mail.

7.       Selectman’s Report: the town has sent out an RFP for removal of sand from the three areas.  The bidders met last week at the lake bed; two bidders showed up and the town has now received three bids.  Nothing has been finalized yet, but bids came in at $35,500, $39,000 and $51,000.  Part of the bid is at least $5,000 spent restoring the yard of the person they’ll have to go through to get to the lake.  Other costs involve building a ramp.  It’s a more complex project than one would think, particularly because it’s hard to get to the outfalls. There is a tentative agreement with the property owner but an easement will have to be finalized.

Ed Bailey discussed an idea to build a berm for water diversion at really wet outfall locations.  This would allow the area to dry out in order to get equipment onto the site.  A heavy rainfall will make work even more difficult.

Jon Brayshaw had a conversation with the person DEEP has apparently designated as responsible for the lake level; the water level is currently too high for town project, and they’ll need to lower the lake further for the work to take place.  Right now there’s only a pipe controlling the lake level (there’s no spillway), so the level is dependent on how much water is coming into the lake, which is increasing steadily.  Jon is trying to get the state to realize we need at least one to two months to get this work done.

On Monday we get composite soil samples back; the results of that test will dictate what we can actually do with the material.  Ed believes our options for disposing of the material are becoming limited; disposal costs may become prohibitive.  But they will wait for the results to see what our options truly are.

Budget: capital fund has $48,000 remaining.  The committee has $5500 remaining.   We have the money for this project, but we have to spend money on composite samples and the storm water study. Ed said that we can keep the work Milone & MacBroom is doing to a minimum of essential storm water sampling, and resume the storm water study after the new fiscal year starts.  Jon Brayshaw has asked the BOF for $20,000in the capital account and $12,000 in the committee account.  BOF meets Wednesday and Thursday, 3/26-3/27.

Dick Boynton asked, once a contractor is chosen, who decides whether the conditions will allow for the work to actually happen. Ed said that time could be added onto the timeline for the project in the event of conditions changing such as heavy rain.  We only pay for what is actually removed from the lake. The larger the area being removed, the cheaper the price per cubic yard.  The town trucks are not large enough for this project.  Public Works will handle the storage of the material if it does in fact go to the town garage.

We are still awaiting the arrival of the “special use license” from the state; Susan Whalen, Deputy Commissioner, has supposedly signed it but we haven’t received it in the mail.

Darin asked about the depth of the outlet in front of Beichner’s; it’s at least four feet deep. Members discussed the technical ways the water can be diverted.  Area D seems to be the most problematic; it’s not clear how the trucks will be able to get to the south side of the area. There’s also discussion of placing the material on the beach to dewater it before transporting it.

Randy Bernotas asked about the filling of the lake; Ed Bailey responded that no one has currently said the lake will be up to its normal level this summer. They’ve simply said the lake will fill, but the level will have to be low enough for them to continue to work on the dam. Right now, at the center part of the dam, is to within 8 feet of the top of the dam. One abutment has been excavated, and Ed assumes they’ll soon start work on the level control.  So far they have poured two six-foot rows of concrete.

Ed reported the Board of Selectmen has passed a resolution supporting the STEAP grant. The last round of money will be awarded no later than Sept. 15th, so we have until then to find out whether we will receive the money.

8.       Mark June-Wells, NEE (water quality monitoring):  Mark indicated any statements he makes tonight are up in the air, depending on when the lake actually gets completely full.  To save money, he indicated the monitoring is currently on a six-month schedule (May-October) The current plan is total phosphorous, total nitrogen, algae counts, and alkalinity from surface water at a cost of $235 per test.  From the water bottom, total phosphorus, total nitrogen & alkalinity at $195 per test = $430 per event or $2580/year.  These are standard protocols.  Mark advised that other samples should be taken at the same time, temp, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, ORP- tests are best taken at variable depth gradients.  A money saving option would be to purchase equipment rather than renting at a cost of $3780.  Mark can do most of the maintenance, but every two years it needs leaning at US Environmental ($125).  Ed Bailey pointed out the STEAP grant includes $5000 for equipment; until we know whether we have been awarded the grant, he recommends renting because we cannot be reimbursed retroactively by the grant once we purchase any equipment.  It is also possible that NEE will purchase the equipment for Mark and rent it out to their clients.  Rob Poturnicki expressed concern that expensive equipment, used only rarely, quickly becomes unusable. Storage might also be a challenge; the committee prefers the idea of renting for the time being until all the options are clear.  Mark will be sampling once in May and once in June, plus his time, equipment rental which would be roughly $1000 per sampling session.  Mark encouraged the committee to consider the testing an important part of educated lake management.

Rob Poturnicki asked what the final benefit will be from all this testing.  Mark indicated he would put the results into a database so for the first time, trends will be monitored.  Algal blooms can be predicted and monitored; problems in the watershed can also be pinpointed.  Another benefit will be a better chance for funding in the future, since we will be armed with consistent data.

9.       Community outreach ideas:  Ed Bailey reported he checked the price of mailing 600 6x9 color postcards is about .31 each. If we supply addresses in an Excel sheet, they can mail it for $250 plus .37 per postcard.  The cheaper option is to send to every postal patron on a route. That requires figuring out which route encompasses Lake Beseck, and then we don’t have to worry about addresses and the price would be .21 cents per card.

Randy Bernotas recommended including some residents near Lake Beseck and not just confining the mailing to the immediate lake area.  Ed Bailey said that if it would be easy to cover those areas using existing postal routes, that would be possible.

Rebecca Adams said she has mocked up some postcards based on the committee’s comments from last time.  Ed Bailey indicated a portion needs to be kept clean for postage, etc.  Amy showed some sample photos we can use for postcards, including photos of algae, cleanup, etc. Jim Irish asked what the goal was in doing a mailing; Amy Poturnicki indicated the goal was to raise awareness among lake residents that their actions impact the lake and to publicize the invasive species workshop for earth day. Darin recommended a listing of the issues with the lake and then a listing of what people can do to help. Randy recommended highlighting the town’s efforts to clean up and manage the lake.

Darin recommended, separate from this mailing, a flyer educating people about the new laws regarding phosphorous use.  Mark June-Wells recommended that the postcard contain a URL that sends people to a website to learn more.

Motion to allocate up to $600 on educational material; made by Rebecca Adams, seconded by James Irish.  Passed unanimously. 

Motion to create a subcommittee (Amy, Rebecca, and Daria) to get together and come up with postcard options for the committee to choose. Made by Daria Vander Veer, seconded by Ed Bailey.  Passed unanimously.

The idea of stenciling the storm drains was raised again; Ed Bailey said that could definitely be done.

Darin Overton showed a sample brochure and discussed the volunteer effort at Winding Trails that was done to accomplish the dredging of the lake.

10.   Adjournment:  Motion to adjourn made by Rob Poturnicki, seconded by Randy Bernotas.  Passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Daria Vander Veer

Minutes of Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee February 24, 2014

Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Environmental Committee

Monday, February 24, 2014


1.       Call to Order:  7:02pm.

2.       Members Present:  Randy Bernotas, Amy Poturnicki, Ed Bailey, Daria Vander Veer, Rebecca Adams.  Dick Boynton arrived at 7:50pm.

3.       Approval of Agenda:  Motion by Ed Bailey, seconded by Randy Bernotas, passed unanimously.

4.       Approval of Minutes:  Motion by Amy Poturnicki, seconded by Ed Bailey, passed unanimously.

5.       Public Comment:  None

6.       Chairman’s Report:  March is still the most recent date for the refilling of the lake.  M&M report came back; fecal coliform was high in some of the selected areas (on the map, tributary sample 1 and outfall sample 2) but we are not to get too concerned.  Rebecca Adams asked, “Who is driving the refill of the lake happening so early?  Is it Chuck Lee?  Or the fisheries people?” Amy Poturnicki indicated she thinks it’s more Inland Fisheries and concern for fish habitat, but nobody really seems to know.

Amy Poturnicki went over the details in the chairman’s report (attached).  NEE should have the STEAP plan out to us by the end of this week.  Mark June-Wells has recommended monthly water sampling should start in April and run through October.  We would need to buy a meter (not clear what that will be measuring).  Mark is also going to start back up the monitoring to determine the effects of the drawdown.

7.       Selectman’s Report: Ed Bailey explained that we need three zoning permits to extract the sand from the locations.  P&Z has approved.  Storage will be on site and perhaps in the town’s gravel pit.  Brian Curtis is now getting started on the analysis.  We’ll be limited to 15-cubic-yard trucks, which means about 80 truckloads total.  The town will put out RFPs end of this week to price this out.  It’s likely the northern part of the lake won’t get done this year, but that work can be done during a regular drawdown.  Ed explained the challenge is to figure out how to get the heavy equipment down onto the lake bed; Brian Curtis is assembling a list of contractors with the necessary wide-footed equipment.  Even so, Brian thinks we won’t be able to do this safely until April or even May.  The committee discussed various options for getting in to see the right “powers that be” to find out whether the refill can truly be delayed, and who the people to see would be.

Ed Bailey stated that the $50,000 capital appropriation is left at present to pay for this project. Some of that is for the stormwater study, which probably won’t be completed by the end of this fiscal year.  But the remaining money likely won’t be enough to pay for this project.  We need to wait and see what the RFPs include. Logistics are also a challenge; if the trucks can’t get onto the lake bed, or if we can’t use the long-armed machine from the road or the beach, we will still run into a dead end.

8.       M&M Progress Report: See Chairman’s Report

9.       Mark June-Wells, STEAP Application status: See Chairman’s Report

10.   Committee budget request: Amy Poturnicki reported that Mark June Wells’ fee as lake manager was $10,000 this year, and the Committee is considering asking for that, $1500 for committee outreach & functioning, plus $20,000 for future projects.  Ed Bailey noted that if we use up a some or all of the $50,000 on the dredging we will need more funding in future to finish the stormwater study for DEEP.  But at present, we lack the concrete details to know exactly what we will need for additional funding.  Ed is confident some version of these numbers will be in the budget, and later on committee members can go before the BOF.

11.   Community Outreach Ideas: Ed Bailey & Amy Poturnicki are contemplating a mailer, asking Mark June-Wells to put together some bullet points to educate folks about what they can do to help the lake’s health. Other options include holding a public meeting, maybe getting Greg Bugby to come out and do a workshop like last time.  Randy Bernotas recommended getting reporters involved, possibly from Middletown as well, to get the word out. Amy Poturnicki mentioned some residents are concerned that talking about the issues the lake faces might bring down their property values; Rebecca Adams stressed that the publicity we generate has to be positive.

Other outreach ideas were discussed. Ed Bailey suggested stenciling the storm drains with “DRAINS TO THE LAKE” or something similar (the way it’s done near the Sound).  Get Inland Wetlands involved (Daria Vander Veer will bring it up at the next meeting). Other ideas were to hold a public meeting of the LBA, or write a press release/pre-packaged article for the Town Times.  It would be good to get something put together before fertilizing season gets going; perhaps it would be good to coincide with Earth Day on 4/22. Committee members discussed various ways to get out literature, including using literature bags to hang the newsletter on door knobs – maybe using volunteers/high school groups to go door to door.  It was noted the committee should be sure to reach out to people living uphill on Baileyville Road to make them aware they’re in the watershed too.  The estimated cost for literature might be something like $200. Rebecca and Ed will work to figure out the cost of a postcard to all relevant households.  Amy and Rebecca will work on content.

The committee also decided to hold another outreach meeting like Greg Bugby’s plant workshop. Put a save-the-date on the postcard; Mark June-Wells can offer additional education at the meeting; we’ll need a date before the next meeting, ideally around 4/22.

12.   Meeting adjourned at 8:23pm.

Chairman’s Report – Brief of Progress to 2-24-2014

Early Refill of Lake

We have received a varying degree of info about when the dam project will be at a point where the lake will begin to refill.  Without accurate information as well as if DEEP is willing to delay the refill by a few weeks or so to complete the sand removal project, it is difficult to plan the project as well as determine if our efforts will be a waste of money.  As a result, Senator Dante Bartolomeo has continued to work with Chuck Lee in an effort to help us meet our goals.

According to Rob LaFrance, DEEP legislative liaison, they are still roughly estimating that March will begin the refill of the lake.  This is contingent upon the weather.  The best commitment that Dante was able to get for us was that Rob will make sure they give a minimum of 1 week notice.  Jon Brayshaw has drafted a letter to the DEEP Commissioner asking for his help.  Dante and Rep. Buddy Altobello are on standby to assist him with his efforts.

Milone & MacBroom

The stormwater report came back from M&M. Fecal coliform was high at a couple of the testing locations.  Matt advised not to draw conclusions until further testing is complete.

Status of DEEP sign-off’s:

·         Fishery division - signed off

·         Inland Water Resources - signed off

·         Solid Waste - signed off

·         Land Grant Request paperwork – still pending. 

M&M was referred to another person Thursday afternoon (2-20) to check on the status of application. Matt spoke with (Al Schentke) Friday morning.  He is going to review the Land Grant application and see where it stands. Al mentioned that the CTDEEP will require the Town to provide proof of insurance information and name CTDEEP as part of the insured under the Town policy.

·         NDDB – no official letter yet, but they don’t feel the project will be a problem.

In addition, Middlefield Planning & Zoning has signed off on project.

Mark June-Wells, NEE

The STEAP grant should be back from NEE review this Wed, 2-26.  Mark will make minor modifications and have it to us by Thursday/Friday.

Mark advised that we need to start thinking about water quality monitoring for this season.  He recommends sampling to start on the 2nd week of April, monthly through October.  It will require rental of a meter and we will need to process water samples through a lab.  He will obtain costs.  Alternately, we can buy a meter, possibly when we have some lake funding.  1 mid-month measurement is the minimal amount he would like to do and increase the frequency when we have more money. 

He will likely start his Beseck research project again in June.

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

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
See attached.

8. Adjourn
Meeting adjourned at 9:00pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Daria Vander Veer



Chairman Report
Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee

Brief of Progress

DEEP meeting
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  



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

A closer look at the current aquatic plant life of Lake Beseck

Thanks to the hospitality of Limnologist and Plant Ecologist, Mark June-Wells I am able to provide our audience with a closer look at the current aquatic plant life of Lake Beseck.

Turions of Potamogeton crispus.

Najas minor

Minutes Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee August 26 2013

Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, August 26, 2013

Middlefield Community Center

Present: Amy Poturnicki, Craig Lundell, Jim Irish, Randy Bernodas, Lucy Petrella, Darin Overton, and Edward Bailey

Absent: Daria Vander Veer, Dick Boynton, Rebecca Adams, Pete Parker, Rob Poturnicki, and Jon Brayshaw (ex officio)

Also present: Dr. Mark June-Wells (Lake Manager and Limnologist) of New England Environmental, Inc..and one member of the public.

 Amy Poturnicki called the meeting to order at 7:12. Motion to approve the agenda was made and seconded and approved unanimously. A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes of the July 22, 2013 committee meeting. After discussion the motion was approved by all attending members except for abstentions by Lucy Petrella and Darrin Overton.

Meeting was opened to public comment. None was heard.

Ed Bailey discussed Milone and MacBroom’s Lake Beseck Watershed Management Study Proposal dated August 9, 2013. The Board of Selectmen acted to approve this based on the recommendation put forward by the Ad Hoc Committee on July 22. This proposal reflects the scope that includes a storm water study, sediment analysis, watershed management recommendations and preliminary design plan. The proposal was revised at the request of the First Selectman Jon Brayshaw to add a breakdown of professional fees and additional details. The proposal was discussed among the Committee and Mark June Wells.

There was a discussion regarding an approval process for billable hours for our Lake Manager. There was general agreement that most matters concerning tasks for the Lake Manager can be discussed at the Committee’s monthly meetings but should an issue requiring timely action or response by the Lake Manager, a subcommittee consisting of Amy Poturnicki, Jim Irish and Edward Bailey would review the issue and advise, via the Committee Chairman, the office of First Selectman for approval. A motion was made and seconded to appoint said subcommittee and was unanimously approved.

Mark June Wells provided a discussion regarding lake data compilation. It is contemplated that the data could be posted on the Town web site at some point and in the meantime put into Mark June Wells digital drop box for access. Data and studies prior to 2000 (which is when the sewer system replaced septic systems close to the Lake) are not of much value, given the distorted data from sewage pollution. It was agreed that this information can be summarized for the historical record and left out of data analysis. Post 2000 data and studies are being assembled and summarized for reference, however; generally they lack consistency and quality data. After the dam project, protocols for consistent data collection will need to be established to provide useful and meaningful data. This will provide a tool to determine effectiveness of lake management decisions. It is recommended that the testing be focused on the nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the lake as the remaining lake chemistry is geologically based and is relatively consistent.

Mark June Wells discussed his contact with two academic research scientists that have done prior studies at Lake Beseck. He is inquiring with them to have collaborative efforts on future studies of lake sediments and water chemistry.

Mark June Wells reported on the meeting held with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) regarding Lake Beseck. The meeting was attended by First Selectman Jon Brayshaw & Mark June Wells (Town); Commissioner Don Esty & Rob LaFrance (DEEP); our State Senator and State Representative. He reported that Jon Brayshaw related the recreational value of the lake and the issues involving invasive plants. Funding for projects relating to the lake was not encouraging. The DEEP representatives were however enthusiastic that the Town was moving forward with the storm water study and lake management.

The subject turned to questions regarding an EPA grant and a State STEAP grant. The due dates for these grant applications are September 15 and October 1, respectively. Darin Overton offered to contact Maryann Nusomhaverstock at DEEP, who is involved with the EPA grant program, to determine what type of applications are being considered (favored). Mark June Wells said he would seek further insight on STEAP grant requirements from his contacts at the state level. It was discussed that we should work toward requesting STEAP funding for dredging, although the required package of supporting studies and preliminary plans are not complete. It was considered that we could make a bulk request (cubic yardage) covering the north and west sides of the lake, pending specifics from Milone & MacBroom study at a later date, say in six months. It was discussed that at some level the state should (needs) to take into consideration the unique situation that the lake will be drawn down to 14 feet giving an opportunity for economical dredging. Mark June Wells advised the committee that there should be consideration to dredging the deeper areas of the lake where the sediment layer is likely to be deeper than closer to the shoreline.

Ed Bailey reported that he attended the pre-bid meeting held by DEEP at the dam location on August 15th. The meeting was well attended by at least 25 different contracting companies. It was indicated that construction is now scheduled to begin afterThanksgiving. The contract calls for a 300 day construction time frame with a penalty clause. The normal annual drawdown (six feet this year) will start as usual. Once the project starts the lake level will be the responsibility of the contractor. Other issues involving the project was discussed including flood control plans and downstream evacuation plans in case of a severe weather event. Offsite staging and storage is planned by DEEP to be at the state owned boat launch off of Baileyville Road. Contactors expressed interested in finding other suitable locations near the dam for staging. Jon Brayshaw had submitted several suggestions to DEEP previously. It appears that contractors might be interested in exploring some of these locations.

A motion was made to adjourn the meeting and seconded. The committee was adjourned at 8:35 PM.

Minutes submitted on August 28th, 2013 by: 

Edward Bailey

for the Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee

Minutes Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee July 22 2013


Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Committee

Middlefield Community Center

July 22, 2013

Present: Amy Poturnicki, Craig Lundell, Rebecca Adams, Ed Bailey, John Brayshaw (ex officio), Rob Poturnicki, Jim Irish, Randy Bernotus.

Absent: Daria Vander Veer, Lucy Petrella

Also present: Mark June-Wells of NEE and Matt Sanford from Milone & MacBroom (M&M), LLC; and Chuck Lee of DEEP.

Amy Poturnicki called the meeting to order at 7:10.  She then made a motion to accept the minutes of the June 26, 2013, Rebecca Adams seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Amy Poturnicki called for public comment but no one from the public was there wishing to comment.

The committee then heard from Mark June-Wells and Matt Sanford regarding their proposals for assessing and dealing with the sedimentation and aquatic plant issues in the lake.  Matt distributed materials from M&M and went over the types of projects they have done. 

He explained that the company is located in Cheshire and his unit specializes in lake and wetlands restoration.  Chuck Lee at DEEP has worked with them on many projects dealing with lake restoration.

Matt Sanford presented and distributed a draft scope of work tailored specifically to Lake Beseck including conducting the storm water study required for eligibility for many grants.  The plan and the discussion included outfall mapping and sampling at outfalls during storm events.  Jim asked for Matt to explain bio-swales in more detail. Matt drew an example and discussed the purposes.  These act as wet meadows where the plants slow the pace of the water while also absorbing metals and pollutants and trap sediment.

The committee discussed the goals of maintenance dredging key portions of the lake. Chuck Lee explained that the time necessary to obtain permits and approvals from DEEP to dredge will likely run past the time that the lake will be drawn for the dam repairs. He also advised against dredging while another project is occurring in the lake.  He suggested that dredging could be done after the dam repair is complete as it will be easy to lower the lake with the weir boards that will be installed at the dam. 

The committee discussed immediate priorities, the wisest way to move forward, how to get the most out of the money allocated by the Town and resources that could save money.  Chuck Lee, Matt Sanford and Mark June-Wells agreed that the group needs to match priorities with the $91,000 allocated, consider time restrictions, and the need for a storm water study in order to be able to move forward on many fronts. 

Amy Poturnicki made a motion and Randy Bernotus seconded that we recommend to the Board of Selectman that they hire M&M to perform the work in conjunction with Mark June-Wells, as our limnologist.  The motion passed unanimously.

Matt Sanford asked the committee to discuss and determine the direction that the committee would like Milone & MacBroom to proceed with the work. The DEEP recommendation was, as originally planned, to focus on the storm water study first.  The dredging of silted in areas can be done during the larger of the usual draw downs since the materials are exposed then and it would still be dry dredging which is much less expensive.

Mark June-Wells discussed the results of other projects he has worked on both with and without dredging and explained that projects are often tackled with multiple approaches, in addition to ongoing monitoring, to reach the desired results.  The dredging work has to be part of a larger management plan and we will not be able to dredge with the $91,000 allocated but we can get started collecting data and testing right away.

Matt Sanford described the steps that would be necessary for dredging:

1. Survey. 2. Sediment Testing. 3. Preliminary Design. 4. Regulatory Permitting. 5. Final Design. 6. Technical Specification. 7. Go out to bid. 

The group discussed how to expand the scope of work so that we could accomplish the storm water survey and get closer to a dredge plan.  Matt Sanford said that M&M could cover items 1-4 above within the budget. At the same time, the town and the committee could work to secure grant opportunities through STEAP, the federal government, and the Clean Water Act to accomplish 5, 6, and 7 and move toward dredging.  Rob Poturnicki made a motion and Rebecca Adams seconded it to accept the original proposed scope of work and the additional items were moved and seconded and all voted in favor to recommend that to the Board of Selectmen.

Ed Bailey made a motion to adjourn and Rebecca Adams seconded it at 9:10.  All were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Adams


Scientists study how Beseck dam repair may impact aquatic plant community

It was a picture perfect day for a kayak ride to meet up with scientists from New England Environmental, Inc. and CT Agricultural Experiment Station to talk about the collection of data that will be used in a multi-year study to evaluate how disturbances such as the upcoming 1-2 yr Lake Beseck drawdown for a dam repair will impact the overall balance of the aquatic plant community. 

Is it possible that one of our invasive plant species will depart in the process?  One can only hope.  Only after the dam repair is complete and the lake refills will we have a better idea of how the lake may differ.  

Dr. Mark June-Wells hopes to advance scientific literature on the subject.  His research on Lake Beseck will continue for several years after the dam repair is complete in anticipation of changes along the way. 


Pictured below-Dr. Mark June-Wells, Limnologist & Plant Ecologist-New England Environmental, Inc. talks to Patch reporter, Michael Hayes about the study.

See Patch video interview HERE. 

Minutes Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee June 17 2013


Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee Meeting

June 17, 2013

Present: Jon Brayshaw, Jim Irish, Ed Bailey, Randy Bernotas, Rob Poturnicki, Daria Vander Veer, Lucy Petrella, Craig Lundell, Darin Overton, Amy Poturnicki

1)            Request for Qualifications: Mark June-Wells, New England Environmental

NEE Established. 1986 as a permitting company, based in Amherst MA


Natural Resources (limnologists, surveys of plants & animals

Ecological Restoration (lake management, invasive species control, stormwater issues)

Remediation & Assessment

Landscape Design

Mark was asked what he knows about Lake Beseck: he knows we have problems with water clarity caused by phosphorous levels; PH, conductivity & alkalinity, all influencing the invasive species.

Mark went over slides documenting the increase in invasive plants since 2004.  One slide showed that the invasive plants are less light-sensitive than natives.

Mark said he doesn’t believe the turion bank left by the curlyleaf pondweed will be hurt by the deep drawdown expected for the dam project.  We asked Mark if a controlled burn might kill the turions.  He said it was possible, but he thought local ordinances may prohibit a burn.

We discussed that the drawdown *might* kill off most of all of the milfoil…but the trick would be to keep the milfoil away long-term.

Mark’s recent experience includes work with Bolton Lake, Moosup Pond, and Candlewood Lake.

Mark stated that he felt that what sets him apart is that he’s an active scientist & researcher.  He said he already has some ideas in mind for fixing the lake’s problems, including targeted dredging. He also suggested creating small wetlands, “foreponds”, near the lake, that would serve as filters.  He also discussed the use of Lanthanum (“Phos-Lock”), which is like alum, but is s a one-time application.

Randy mentioned he had heard that at one lake, the Army Corps had done dredging for free as part of a training exercise.  Mark said he would be happy to look into such an option, but indicated that his boss, NEE’s founder, has more connections in that area and it may be promising if it went through him.

Darin asked Mark whether it makes sense to dredge the shallow areas only where we know the invasives thrive, or would that just disturb the area and leave it open to more invasives?  Mark said it was a good question, and he recommends targeting the areas of major sediment loading at the northern and southern ends.  After that, he would do the 3-foot zone. Basically, any sediment we can remove “won’t hurt,” but he stressed that dredging alone cannot solve the plant problem.

Mark said he approves of the idea of putting some water back into the lake to keep terrestrials from taking over during the drawdown. However, he also opined that even if invasive aquatic plants do take advantage of the presence of water, the eventual increase in water depth would probably kill them off.

2)            Request for Qualifications: George Knoecklein, Northeast Aquatic Research, LLC

George told us he founded his company to bring science to lake organizations, with no sales agenda.  His specialty is invasive species, water quality, and nutrient loading.  Amy inquired about his list of projects funded by grants.  George said a lot of that money isn’t available any more, unfortunately.  There is 319 money, but over the years they’ve been tightening up on how that money gets spent.

Jim Irish asked whether there is hope for us, dealing with our invasives. George indicated curlyleaf pondweed is extremely susceptible to herbicides, but the turions make it a perennial (root stocks remain in the sediment), so it will come back again annually.

The bad news, George told us, is that we’re looking at annual treatments of herbicides to keep them under control.  That action might gradually reduce the plants, but it’s a never-ending job.

We asked George his opinion of dredging: “It’s never been shown to be an effective weed control strategy.” He said as soon as dredging  removes soil, the plants will re-colonize. The only option is to dredge the lake until it is so deep that the plants can’t re-grow because of lack of light (min. 12 ft).

Amy asked about dredging muck from the swim area and re-installing nutrient-less sand.  George said that even though the invasives favor more peaty or mucky sediments, they can grow in sand as well, so the swim area isn’t protected by the installation of sand.

With the committee hearing a varying degree of feedback about invasive root systems and with anticipation of dredge projects on the horizon, George was asked how deep roots of invasives grow.  George was unsure, and referenced the harvesting method of removal, stating that roots are left behind so it is unknown without taking core samples.    

In response to drawdown and the subject of terrestrial plants, George described his comparable experience with Lake Williams, which was drawn down for two years.  A big stand of phragmites took over part of the lake and then survived in 3 feet of water for over a year.  But he told us he’s not worried; “they tend to go away.” Removal of new plants is only necessary if you get serious growth.

George said he’d be more worried about consolidation of the stormwater sediments during the drawdown; each culvert will have a gully, and there’ll be plenty of erosion that will be pushed out to deeper segments of the lake. When the water comes back there will be a large loss of dissolved oxygen.

He asked what other data we had on water clarity, dissolved oxygen, etc.   Amy & Darin gave some examples.  George said “I haven’t run into a situation like this in quite some time

Asked how much time he would have to spend on this project, he indicated, “Whatever amount of time it takes to do an evaluation.”  Normally, he would want to get water sample data from 7 monthly trips, starting in spring, to collect nutrients, water clarity, phytoplankton, etc. and monitor the inlets. That tells him about internal loading, etc. and sets the stage for determining where management efforts will be focused. Then each year he would re-check that data to see how the actions are affecting the lake.  He described a broad-based effort that involved studying the lake and then formulating a plan and following up.

George stated a weed management plan is overlaid over that basic plan, including  plant surveys, etc. focusing on invasives and collecting pre-and post- survey data on how weeds are responding to treatments. He stressed that you never know what the weather is going to bring. 

George said he feels we have a “tiny” watershed – even when Randy mentioned a 4:1 ratio.  He insisted it’s small – but says stormwater is probably a huge problem, just from looking at the maps of the lake.  He’s comparing us to a 10:1 or 15:1 watershed, with a large natural, undeveloped watershed, where the water flowing in is cleaner.

George has a long-term professional relationship with Chuck Lee, and George was “confident things would get done.”  George has worked with Chuck for 25 years; Chuck worked for George way back in 1986 as his intern. 

George agreed with Darin that efforts to limit phosphorous loading from the watershed is worth the effort, although he cautions you won’t necessarily see benefits right away.

He declined to opine on the idea of installing a plunge pool in north end: “I’m not a structural engineer.”

Asked about actions we should be taking during the drawdown, George expressed doubt. “When the lake comes back, it’s going to be a different lake.” So although it will be worth finding out the water chemistry now, in order to compare for later, he doesn’t have any recommendations for while the lake bed is exposed.  Herbicides won’t do any good, since the plants themselves aren’t there to be affected.

We asked George if there is anything we SHOULD be doing during the drawdown? George suggested targeted dredging of culvert deltas/plumes, but he stressed we won’t know what’s out there until we map the area, and we really do need the stormwater evaluation before deciding where to target.

Of the deep drawdown, George said, “There are a lot of opportunities here. I’d have to think about it; I don’t make quick decisions.” He told us his rate: $165/hr for fieldwork, which includes him and a couple of assistants; $120/hr for office work which he mostly does himself. A water quality sampling trip is usually a six-hour day.  He estimated about $15,000 for a full annual diagnostic workup.  He is willing to teach volunteers to help with the collection to minimize costs. 

Discussion: committee members discussed the pros and cons of both candidates. George’s experience and relationship with Chuck Lee were in his favor; Mark’s proximity to the lake and his energy and eagerness to work closely with our committee were his favorable qualities.  The committee agreed that both candidates were qualified to undertake the next year’s worth of work.

Motion to recommend to the Board of Selectmen that New England Environmental (Mark June-Wells) be hired as the limnologist for Lake Beseck.  Made by: Amy Poturnicki, seconded by Craig Lundell. Approved. No opposed, no abstentions.

3)            Review of 5/20 minutes

Motion to approve the 5/20 minutes as amended:  Made by Ed Bailey, seconded by Craig Lundell.  Approved.  Abstentions: Darin Overton, Randy Bernotas and Rob Poturnicki.

(note for future minutes: Rebecca should sign the minutes at the bottom, and the motions should be included in bold so they’re easy to find.)

4)            RFQ to engineering firm

Discussion of the redrafted version that Darin sent out.  Daria will re-work the RFQ and run it by Darin, Ed and Amy prior to sending it out.

5)            Adjournment: 10:15pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Daria Vander Veer

Minutes Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee May 20 2013

May 20, 2013


May 20, 2013:

6:30 PM at the Middlefield Community Center

Present: Daria Vander Veer, Craig Lundell, Amy Poturnicki, Rebecca Adams, Edward Bailey, Jim Irish, Jon Brayshaw (Ex Officio), Robert Poturnicki, Lucy Petrella

Amy Poturnicki called the meeting to order at 6:55 PM.

Motion to accept the agenda without changes made by Rebecca Adams; seconded by Ed Bailey.  All voted in favor. Motion carried.

The charge of the Ad Hoc Committee is broad and includes as the central tenant, to improve the lake water quality and to leave the lake in better condition that when the group convened, and to recommend action and expenditures to the Board of Selectmen for the purposes specified.

Ed pointed out that after the committee work is done, the town will need to make arrangements for ongoing maintenance.  Members of the group agreed.  The sewers improved the water quality but did not solve the weed or algae problem.

Amy stated that the immediate priorities are to complete the storm water study and hire a limnologist as the professional who will oversee work, including soil sampling, interact with the DEP, and recommend types of action that would best address improving water quality after the results of the storm water study are known. Discussion focused on the need to select a firm to conduct the storm water study because the Chuck Lee at DEEP has been very clear that no grants will be available and other permits held in abeyance until the results are final.  Craig noted that once the sampling is complete a determination can be made regarding sale of the “muck” after the lake is drained.  This determination can be made before the material is ready to be removed.

Jim asked if the Town had a sampling plan that was approved by DEEP.  Craig discussed the basics of a plan and stated that it has been discussed with DEEP.  The most significant inflow locations are the most logical and at the beach, north end, and west side.  Daria commended that after those results are in, if more testing looks like a good idea to the limnologist then more can be taken.  Preliminary estimates for delivery and testing of 6 to 8 sample sites with 5-6 samples at each site come in at approximately $6,500.  Jon reminded the group that this does not include the collection of the samples.

Amy went through the extensive efforts that she and members of the original committee have undergone regarding self-help, i.e. working on options that do not involve town expenditures.  These efforts have been detailed in presentation before the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance on several occasions.  She distributed photos of the overwhelming weed growth of Curly Pond Weed.  The current conditions may result in beach closure and are a significant impediment to boating.  An explanation of the growth system of the weed and the difficult in removal, including the presence of hundred of turions per weed, the great depth into the soil that the weeds root, and the netlike structure that has formed at the beach making removal by rake ineffective.  Rob discussed an option he has developed for raking by attaching a large rake to a truck and pulling the rake along the bottom.

Daria asked about the progress of the DEEP permits for application of the quickly dissipating herbicide being utilized at Crystal Lake.  Amy said that it may be too late for application because the seeds, the turions, have already emerged. 

Lucy asked why the lake was not drawn down more on a more regular basis.  Daria answered that any drawdown is a shock to the ecosystem and DEEP looks to avoid that.  Rebecca discussed the DEEP regulations regarding permitting which outlines minor, moderate, and major impact to systems and allows changes only into the low moderate level.  This is why this drawdown for repair is an incredibly rare opportunity.

Election of officers

a.       Daria Vander Veer made a motion to elect Amy Poturnicki President.  The motion was seconded by Craig Lundell.  All voted in favor.  Motion carried.

b.      Amy Poturnicki made a motion to elect Craig as Vice-Chair.  The motion was seconded by Becca Adams.  All voted in favor.  The motion carried.

c.       Ed Bailey made a motion to elect Becca Adams Secretary.  The motion was seconded by Lucy Petrella.  All voted in favor.  The motion carried.


Motion to adopt regular meeting dates

a.       Amy Poturnick made a motion to adopt the following regular meeting dates or the committee for the duration of its one year commission:

June 24, 2013

July 22, 2013

August 26, 2013

September 23, 2013

October 28, 2013

November 25, 2013

December 23, 2013

January 27, 2014

February 24, 2014

March 24, 2014

April 28, 2014

The motion was seconded by Jim Irish.  All voted in favor.  The motion carried.

The discussion then moved to request for proposals for the storm water study and the limnologist.  Even though no expenditures can be made until July 1, 2013, interviews and recommendations regarding firms should begin ASAP in order to be ready to go on that date.  The committee agreed to do the legwork in June.  Jim and Amy, as a subcommittee, will prepare the interview questions and scope of services for proposals for the limnologist candidates.  The current invitees have been interviewed by Craig and Ed but will now be interviewed by the committee.  Amy will contact Mark June-Wells and George Knoecklein and look to set interviews for June 10the with the 17th as a back-up date.

Daria and Ed, as a subcommittee, will finalize the scope of the services for the storm water study as suggested and required by DEEP.  A request for proposals will be sent out Milone and MacBroom, LLC; AEI, LLC; and Nathan Jacobsen, LLC.   The group will first recommend the hiring of a limnologist who will work with the storm water study firm and review the proposal of the firm that performs that work.

Motion by Ed Bailey to adjourn at 8:42, seconded by Amy Poturnicki.  All voted in the affirmative.  Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Adams


Scientist to study impact of drawdown on Lake Beseck aquatic plant community

Mark June-Wells, Ph.D.  

Mark June-Wells, Ph.D.  

Mark June-Wells, Ph.D. is looking forward to a unique study opportunity involving an anticipated transition in Lake Beseck's aquatic plant community.  

As the upcoming Lake Beseck dam repair project approaches, Dr. June-Wells' plan is to study the impact of the lengthy drawdown on our aquatic plant community.  He theorizes that perennial species of plants, such as our Eurasian Watermilfoil will disappear and annual species such as the Naiad population will become more dominant.  (see his abstract below)


Dr. June-Wells has ten years experience in the field of ecological restoration/management. His areas of expertise include pond/lake management, water-quality analysis, aquatic nuisance species control, sonar mapping, habitat assessment, and anthopogenic-impact identification/resolution. In addition to his applied experiences Dr. June-Wells is an E.S.A. certified ecologist with over a decade of theoretical plant ecology experience. He also brings vast experience in experimental design, statistical analysis, and plant species identification.

April 8, 2013

Beseck Lake Study Abstract

by Mark June-Wells

Aquatic plant community structure and the dynamics of species populations are a result of a variety of factors that control competitive interactions among species. During plant community establishment and development, environmental factors play a key role in determining which species thrive within the water body. Over time, the competitive interactions between plant species further influence variations in plant populations and the overall profile of the plant community. In mature communities, with relatively consistent environmental inputs, these interactions are at equilibrium and the overall plant community is relatively stable. Therefore, a major factor controlling mature, aquatic plant communities are environmental disturbances.

The impact of large-scale disturbances on aquatic plant community structure has, to date, never been fully resolved. Through this study, we intend to evaluate the impact of an 18-month drawdown on the abundance of aquatic plant species and the overall plant community structure in Beseck Lake, Middlefield, CT. Analysis of the plant community will take place over a three year period using 50 georeferenced points and 10 transects. Data collected will include plant species abundance, overall diversity, and a suite of abiotic variables (i.e. soil conductivity, pH, depth, light…etc.). Changes in the plant community and environmental conditions, including species/environmental correlations, will be determined using linear and unimodal regression techniques.

We hypothesize that a significant change in the plant community will occur where perennial species (i.e. Myriophyllum spicatum) will be extirpated by the disturbance resulting in a community assemblage consisting primarily of annual species (i.e. Najas spp.). Furthermore, we hypothesize that the diversity of the plant community will decrease significantly. Data collected during the three-year period following reintroduction of water will be used to evaluate these community structure hypotheses.



$2,464,800 approved for Lake Beseck Dam

AJP_1961 med.jpg

During the March 13th Special Meeting of the State Bond Commission, ITEM 7 on the agenda, in the amount of $2,464,800 to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to finance repairs to the Lake Beseck Dam, resulted in a unanimous approval.

After the plan for Lake Beseck Dam is finalized by engineers, the project will go out to bid. The project is currently expected to begin somewhere in the vicinity of labor day, this summer. The project could last a year or more, depending on the working conditions that Mother Nature allows.

The Lake Beseck Environment Committee has been working to align lake projects with this rare draw down opportunity that would more easily allow for maintenance work in the silted areas of the lake. Despite erroneous reports in the news world suggesting that we are trying to dredge the entire lake, (which would cost millions that there is no funding for) we are looking at projects within possible reach that include money saving resource options that could afford us the opportunity to implement a couple of lake projects. We are waiting to see if we will be awarded an EPA Clean Water Act grant as well as Town funds that may provide just enough seed money to get us started on some things.

At this time, it is uncertain what will financially come to fruition to help the lake, but many are passionate about tackling the worsening silt, algae and weed problems that exist. We will know more in the next 2 months.

Stay tuned.