Saturday, September 30, 2006

Manchaug Pond -On the Town's Agenda

I almost forgot to tell you! Turn on the TV to the Sutton cable station for the Board of Selectman's meeting to see for yourself ...

... last Tuesday night Manchaug Pond and the MPA were on the agenda of the Sutton's Board of Selectman's meeting - a few times to our surprise!

Third on the agenda, the MPA asked the Town of Sutton to support our move to form a watershed district. MPA Attorney Walter Jabs Jr. came before the Board with the MPA President who also was their representing the MPA, Douglas and water property owners and with the MPA Corresponding Secretary who is a Sutton resident with water rights.

To our pleasant surprise, State Rep. Jennifer Callahan followed us to announce to the town that the MPA had secured a large grant from the state! She was very supportive of our efforts to preserve and improve the water quality of Manchaug Pond. :))

We will be meeting with the Town of Douglas next. I'll let you know how it goes.

This photo appears on the cover of the Grant application!

Today at Waters' Farm Days

Friday, September 29, 2006

Full Day Put in at the Dam

Here's how the wall/channel is looking tonight! We'll watch that in the next few days to show the drop in water level.

The flow from the gate is a roar of white water!

This "screen" was removed with the use of a crane today. When in position it stands in front of the gate to prevent logs and other debrie from hitting the gate, clogging it or traveling through and downstream. Tonight it lies chained and locked waiting to go back in place. Note its companion, the sandbag.

Well, the dam owner is to be commended for its efforts in keeping the water level up so that we could enjoy the lake this summmer. We also applaud the 22 years of daily service Fuddy has given them and us in monitoring the dam and water level. And today, the beginning of the repairs began - we are told that a coffer/temporary dam may be put into place so that the waterlevel will not have to be taken down so low. don't hold me to it though as with all the permits and agencies involved, things can change daily! We again thank the dam owner for all the specialists they have brought in to do the job right and to address the requirements of local, state and federal governments.

Waiting for a Crane!

Word on the dam has it that the workers are waiting for a crane to be brought in to lift the broken part of the gate out of the water. Workers expect that it will be out by the end of the day!

Watch the water flow then! Hear the roar!

Keeping you posted!

The Diver Has Arrived!

Here's a couple photos for you all so that you can take a look for yourself.

The diver is in the water as I write this. See the bubbles in the water-the diver is in the water under those bubbles, see the hose the man on the dam wall is guiding - this goes from the truck carrying air to breathe, warm water to keep his body warm and wires for communication from the truck, etc. to the diver. The company always has a man in the back of the truck with the communication -radio and camera, telling the one, two or more men on the dam how to assist the man in the water. The diver's first task is to remove the sandbags and sheets of kevlar fabric which were used to block the flow earlier in the season when the gate broke.

A good number of vehicles are on the road.
Our MPA photographer reports that unlike other times when work has been done on the dam, the Sutton Police are there directing traffic, officials from the town and state are there overseeing things, and the Sutton Rescue Squad is present. The Town Highway Department also has their superintendent there as he has been instructed by the state to keep the dam at Steven's Pond (the next pond down) fully open to prepare for the increased flow.

Stay tuned! I'll give you the official status report from the dam owner later in the day.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Water Level - The Rush is On!

Monday - No divers. Boards still in.
Tuesday - Caretaker of the dam, Fuddy, called to report he was not sure when R.H. White and the divers would be opening the broken gate as they has other pressing work.
The rest of the spillway boards were taken out so the water should go down considerably - about 12 inches more. Here's yesterday's photos.

Wish I had a digital camera which brought the movement and roar of this water!

Weds. - Fuddy called again to report still no word on when the divers would be here, but Manchaug Pond remains a few inches about Whitin Reservoir which doesn't have a broken gate! We did well this season with a great water level!

I'll keep you posted :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Water Level Update

Email from a Board Member: "If the lake is to be taken down as previously stated of 15' feet or more, the loss of marine life, problems with wells and the possible leaching of septic, is a very real concern. Surely there has to be some method of water level containment in close proximity to the dam that would allow the work to be done. I would like to hear your thoughts and comments."

Response from the MPA President:
"I have been in contact with the spokesman for the dam owner. I have expressed our concerns regarding shallow wells and septic systems. We, the MPA Board of Directors, have drafted a letter faxed and mailed this letter. The dam owner has hired an engineer to put together a proposal of the project and present it to Con-Com and the DCR (Dam Safety). Our letter of concern will be present at the proposal. Last conversation I had with the spokesman for the dam owner was the water level will only to be dropped 5' below the spillway or 9' not 16'. I was assured they will contact all abutters via mailing or hand delivery to the abutters property."

Info from a Sutton Conservation Commission member:
"A rep for the dam owner was at the Con Comm meeting last Wed. to secure the drawdown permit from the Town, which we gave them. I requested specifically that they inform all the residents around the Pond and the Army Corps of Engineers and to provide Con Comm with copies of all the permits they also needed from DFW and Office of Dam Safety."

Hope you enjoy this evening's photos.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More on the Water Level!

The dam owner reports today that divers will be brought in on Monday to open the broken gate in order to bring the water level down to an extremely low level to allow for repairs to be made. This opening of the gate is in addition to the boards taken out of the spillway.

It is highly recommended that residents get their boats out of the lake this weekend.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

MPA a Winner! Grant Proposal is Funded!

The MPA has received congratulations from the state that our Manchaug Pond Nonpoint Source Improvement Project was recommended for funding! This project will bring storm drains, catch basins, retention gardens, educational programs and much more to the watershed of Manchaug Pond. It is a matching grant funded by the state and matched by the town with work done to the roadways around the lake and at the boat ramp and educational efforts by the association.

Why did we file? Well, it was the recommendation of Lycott Associates who conducted a survey of the weeds and did a water quality survey testing the water coming into the pond from runoff from the watershed. It was the way to go to protect the water quality now and head off weed growth in the future.

Go get'um MPA!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Water Level Coming Down

The aggressive draw down of the lake water level has begun in order to make repairs to the gate. Just got the call from the dam owner: 2 boards are being removed this morning from the spillway which will take the water level down 12 more inches this week. Next Monday this will be repeated.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Abandoned Not Adrift

The MPA has received information that this yellow boat, adrift in the channel, was brought in by the boat ramp this week. Dumped. Abandoned. If it floats by, could someone get the old numbers off the side (if they have been removed, they are probably still readable) and give the Sutton Police a call.

The boat is not the only "dumping" taking place at the boat ramp... since Sutton went to the bag "Pay-as-you-throw" system at the transfer station, a pick-up was seen dumping plant material/branches in the woods, and larger amounts of litter are being left behind.

If you see it, report it.

Send the message there will be NO dumping at Manchaug.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


"Will the owner of the yellow and white boat, please move their vehicle!" Just kidding! If you know who owns this boat, give them a call.

It is adrift in the causeway/the old dam. With the lake calm this morning, it is resting peacefully against/on the rocks.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Water Level at 14 Inches Down From Full

We are in good shape for having a broken gate on the dam - 14 inches down from full as of this morning! Whitin Reservoir, another dam controlled by Guilford, is down 12" without a broken gate.

Guildford reports that only 3 boards have been taken off the spillway and they are waiting for the state Office of Dam Safety to tell them when to take another board out.

The MPA has expressed to Guilford's headquarters our concern that a significant drop in the water level will negatively effect wells and septic systems. They are talking with the state and conservation commission about putting up a temporary structure to minimize the impact.

Keeping you posted :)

Fishing Manchaug Pond

Thursday night's catch included 5 nice white perch and about 50 kivers! My husband says he rarely catches white perch so was quite happy. He used worms from the flower beds and the compost pile for bait. All were put back into the lake to catch another day. Nothing was biting Friday or Saturday evening.

Talking about fishing brings to mind the bass tournaments and the boat ramp. You can tell our boat ramp gatekeeper is off for the season (Memorial Day - Labor Day) as twice this week we have heard the roaring voices of the bass fisherman coming through the causeway before 7 a.m. A quick check of the ramp reveals only 7 cars from RI one day and 10 from RI and MA this morning. They are a loud chatty group for so few!

It was only a few years ago that the MPA invited the then Sutton Police Chief John Hebert to our annual meeting and a member asked that the boat ramp be open at 7 a.m. rather than 6 a.m. The Chief agreed that the booming count off of fisherman at 5 on a Sunday morning should be delayed to 7.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Stormdrain Grant - still waiting to hear!

We are still waiting to hear about the awards for the s. 319 Non point Source Pollution Grants -aka Stormdrain Grant.

This will allow/fund the town to put in stormdrains, catch basins, bioretention gardens and the like along Manchaug Road, the boat ramp, and Oak St. and provide educational efforts for those living and working in the watershed.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


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