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Study to address pond pollutants

Franklin Pierce University, working with the Pearly Pond Association, has received a grant from the N.H. Department of Environmental Services to write a management plan for Pearly Pond.

The Pearly Pond Management Planning Project will address potential and current pollution issues with the pond, which is located adjacent to Franklin Pierce University’s Rindge campus and is abutted by 52 private properties. The Pearly Pond Association is hosting a kickoff event at its annual meeting to give an overview of the project, receive input, and discuss questions on Saturday, 9 to 11 a.m. at Lakeside Educational Facility at FPU.

Most of the watershed for Pearly Pond, a 191-acre lake, is undeveloped. Its beach has been closed to swimming on several occasions because of harmful blue-green algae blooms caused by excess phosphorus. Much of the phosphorus exists in the sediments, but additional sources of phosphorus may include Canada geese, septic systems, and non-point source pollution from fertilizer, erosion, roads and other sources.

The excess phosphorus has resulted in the classification of Pearly Pond as an impaired water because it does not meet water quality standards set for aquatic life and recreational uses.

The goals of the Pearly Pond Management Planning Project are to create a watershed management plan which will identify specific water quality goals, document the ability of the lake to take in phosphorus, identify the most cost-effective actions needed to reduce phosphorus to the levels that will eliminate the algae blooms, and produce educational and outreach events and materials for area residents and others. The outcome of the project will include recommendations for specific best management practices to control pollutant sources.

This project is a collaborative effort between FPU, the Pearly Pond Association, the Rindge Conservation Commission and the Rindge Planning Commission, which are all providing matching funds and/or volunteer time.

Dr. Catherine Koning, professor of Environmental Science at Franklin Pierce University, is the project manager, and the University’s Facilities Director Doug Lear will serve on the Steering Committee. Doug Carty, director of campus recreation, and Dick Emberly, the campus wastewater treatment plant operator, will serve on the Pearly Pond Management Advisory Council. Student volunteers will assist in collecting data whenever possible and in outreach and education work.

The Pearly Pond Association is represented by Dick Isakson, Chairman, Ann Evans, secretary, Robert Scribner, Water Warden and Al Columbus, all of whom will serve on the Steering Committee, as well as the PPMAC. Other PPMAC members include Montgomery Shaw, Dr. Fred Rogers, and Dr. William Preston, representing the Rindge Conservation Commission, and Phil Simeone representing the Rindge Planning Board.

The PPMAC welcomes input and assistance from all interested stakeholders; contact Koning for more information at 899-4322.

The Pearly Pond Association is seeking consultants to do the technical work on the Management Plan Project; interested parties should contact Koning by phone or by email at koningc@franklinpierce.edu, or Isakson at 899-6250 or dkisakson96@yahoo.com for the request for proposals and other details.

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