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Old 01-13-2011, 12:30 PM   #1
HarborSide CHBay
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Default AQUATHERMS - Rights, Safety and Water Quality

AQUATHERMS have become a problem on Center Harbor Bay for the past two years, and this year again. The largest docks and the Mt. Washington are actually the "best managed" and you can literally drive vehicles right around them.

However, a couple of condominiums on Lake Shore Drive have continued a practice {even after notice and request} to run 1-2 acquatherms, without thermostat controls, without timers, 24/7. This has caused the lakeshore to be open water, sometimes hundreds of feet out into the lake, and along the entire length of Lake Shore Drive. With the snow, the apparent danger of the thin or no ice underneath is a real concern; along with others.

PROPERTY RIGHTS - Abutters have rights to the lake, riparian rights I believe is the term. It applies in the summer and winter. Current state law says that acquatherms cannot preclude ice from forming to the shore precluding public access. The NH Dept. of Safety, over a year ago, ruled that our property is not public access and therefore the statute doesn't apply. I found this odd in that the State maintains that it is the owner up to the high water mark on many other issues. Apparently, our options are (1) a writ of mandamus to compel NH Dept. of Safety to enforce the law, as interpreted by a Judge, or (2) file a civil matter and injuntion for our riparian rights.

PROPERTY DAMAGE, ABUTTER DOCKS - When an abutter runs the acquatherms as described, the side current goes along the beach and out midway to the piers of abutters docks. During heavy freezing, a sheet or 1-2 pressure lift formed in a couple days and "rolled our dock" and similarly pushed the piers of the second abutter over. We actually watched and heard our dock rolling; we had to turn on an inside acquather to break it up but we still have a $4,000+ estimate to replace those piers and dock sections. I do not know what the damage cost is to the 2nd abutter.

PROPERTY DAMAGE, WATER QUALITY- Aquatherms, propertly used and per guidelines from manufacturers and other lake associations, need to only keep the ice and water open at the end of the docking system. This (1) keeps the building ice pressure at bay, (2) allows the ice to freeze to the shore and keep the sunlight off the beach for water quality purposes, and (3) allows that ice to the shore to be there in the Spring to "protect" the docks from early ice formations broken off from heading to the open water side of the bay.

WATER QUALITY, GEESE - Needless to say, non-migratory geese are a problem everywhere. With open water a quarter of a mile along Lake Shore Drive and guess where the geese show up in groups of up to 80-100; winter, spring especially? At 1.25-1.50 pounds of fecal geese matter per day, that is one toxic hit to the water quality.

SAFETY - The second home owners, renters, recreational users have no way of knowing such a danger exists. The NH Dept. of Safety is unconcerned and will not take action, regardless of emails, on-site visits, etc. The attending officer even noted in her report that our property had two acquatherms (although she failed to note they were not plugged in, and when so, were on small periods of time also on a thermostat; and are barely used as I could dock my Formula 280SS in February with the open water pictures I've maintained).

QUESTION - AM I ALONE ON THIS ISSUE?

I do not have simple answers when "people don't care." It gets complicated when the NH Dept. of Safety doesn't either. I have the resources to go to court, and I have numerouse other abutters who will sign on, BUT DOES ANYONE HAD ANOTHER IDEA OR EXPERIENCE THAT I CAN LEARN FROM?

Thank you.

Stephen E. Grzelak
38 Lakeshore Drive
Moultonborough, NH 03254

Day Business 524-6734
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:45 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Great first post. Hopefully you get others to give you some ideas of how to fight this. Keep us informed as to your progress. Have you spoken with DES about the water quality issue? It surprises me that there aren't more regulations about bubblers. Maybe your issue is big enough to trigger some. Hopefully it won't take someone going for an unexpected swim, far away from the warning signs, to get the public's attention.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:33 PM   #3
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Thank you for a reply.

I have spoken to DES prior to last year when I noticed the bottom of the lake around the problem acquather was "silver." Upon closer look, it was a smelt that had been through the blades. DES was really, really good. Even though they have never heard of the problem, they were good. They directed me to the NH Dept. of Safety re: "safety" and "public access" avenues.

NH Dept. of Safety was the most disappointing.

There are NO DANGER - THIN ICE signs either.

I even received a formal letter in late Spring, early Summer "backdated to my complaint date, indicating that the statute only applied to "public access." My hope is, after various lake issues in the past year or so regarding "state lake front property measurement points" that there would be some consistency with regard to the statute for acquatherms.

Here is the State statute.

TITLE XXII
NAVIGATION; HARBORS; COAST SURVEY
CHAPTER 270
SUPERVISION OF NAVIGATION; REGISTRATION OF BOATS AND
MOTORS; COMMON CARRIERS BY WATER
Use of Aqua-Therm
Section 270:33

270:33 Heating, Agitating or Other Devices in Public Waters, Safety Hazard. –No person shall put, place, operate
or cause to be put, placed or operated in the waters of this state any so-called heating, agitating or other device which
inhibits or prevents the natural freezing of water, or forming of ice, and impedes either the ingress or egress to or from ice
by means of any public access thereto.
If the heating, agitating or other device is placed anywhere else, nearby signs shall
likewise be placed to warn of possible danger. Said signs shall read DANGER, THIN ICE and shall be of sufficient size
to be readable at a distance of not less than 150 feet, and shall be visible from all directions and shall be equipped with
reflectors and color-coded in a pattern unique for this purpose only. The department of safety is hereby authorized to
establish said unique design and coloring and any homemade copies shall follow this design and coloring. The provisions
of this section shall be enforced by any law enforcement agency under the direction of the department of safety pursuant
to RSA 106-A:14 and the department of fish and game pursuant to RSA 206:26.
Source. 1973, 321:1, eff. Nov. 1, 1973.

--------------------------------------------------

I'm going to try to post some pictures in a bit, as I have never done it on this forum.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:50 PM   #4
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I think that jurisdiction over safety issues actually falls to the Dept of Fish & Game once the lakes freeze. It is related to the fact that Safety regulates boats but F & G regulates snowmobiles and other OHRV's. good luck.
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:45 PM   #5
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Hopefully, the two pictures are worth a couple thousand words.

The first is from 2004 and represents what our dock looked like since we've had one. It was early January, but that is how the contractor maintained it and we never had dock damage, or spring damage {or geese}.

The second is from 2008, last day of January, and I am standing on the end of my own dock shown in the 2004 picture.

http://www.winnipesaukee.com/photopo...hp?photo=17551

http://www.winnipesaukee.com/photopo...hp?photo=17552
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:45 PM   #6
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I feel for you, but I think you will lose this fight. You may win a couple of minor battles: they will have to put up the signs eventually.

But the condos have rights too and the issues are to inexact to have the governement solve this for you. I'm sure you have discussed this with the owners of the aquatherms, what is their reasoning? They can't just be doing this out of spite.

This why IMHO you will lose:

Property Rights:
You don't have a right to have ice that overrides their right to try and prevent ice damage to their docks. The law is clearly focused on public access points, things like boat ramps that turn into ice access points in the winter.

Property Damage:
You won't be able to prove that the damage was caused by the aquatherms. If you bring a civil suit for damages, you need to prove that they made it worse. They will argue that the damage would have been worse or the same if the ice was left intact.

Water Quality...
Who will you get to champion this? Shore Things works at DES, they don't seem interested. You can't sue the geese.

I feel for you, but this might be a case for the sugar approach. Maybe you can buy them some thermostats and timers and offer to help them set up things so it doesn't cause you as much problems. Probably cost less than a writ of mandamus.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:08 PM   #7
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There is a certain public boat ramp right up against certain docks in Wolfeboro. Do the owners of those docks not protect the huge investment they have in the docks themselves? There have been curtains placed under the docks to prevent the circulators from making open water at the boat ramp, but due to the current that runs under the ice near there the ramp never really freezes very well anyway. This is a dangerous situation. As people will see the ice and think they can drive out on it. Bad! A few years ago, Fish and game came by and actually cut the power lines going to the circulators, which is completely against the law. The police were notified. Nothing happened. The circulators were repaired. Still, being that the waterfront is so largely developed, I doubt any of it will ever freeze solid along the shoreline.
Good luck with your quest, against the largest taxpayers on the lake.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:15 PM   #8
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You make several very good points and I wish you luck. Can I surmise that the condo association is the old White Diamond Inn? I was not aware of the geese problem but the attached picture shows one of the culprits at the association dock next door.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrc View Post
I feel for you, but I think you will lose this fight. You may win a couple of minor battles: they will have to put up the signs eventually {hopefully before someone's 6 year old drowns in frozen Lake Winni}.

But the condos have rights too and the issues are to inexact to have the governement solve this for you. I'm sure you have discussed this with the owners of the aquatherms, what is their reasoning? They can't just be doing this out of spite.{Actually, I don't believe there is any spite. I believe it a little bit of lack of understanding of the issues, and part "out of site out of mind." It doesn't impact just our property, but dozens of properties so it is not directed. We enjoy conversation and socials with a number of the owners, but not all as not possible}.

This why IMHO you will lose:

Property Rights:
You don't have a right to have ice that overrides their right to try and prevent ice damage to their docks {agreed to a certain extent re; their right to protect, and the argument is that if marinas and municipal docking systems can be protected so that you can drive a truck on the ice 10' from it, why would one dock require de-icing 200' of water along almost 1,500' of lakeshore; so I agree they have the right to protect their dock but such doesn't extend beyond ordinary and necessary, and certainly not to preclusion of abutters rights and others. That is the civil suit alternative and there is no case history so we might have to be the first}. The law is clearly focused on public access points, things like boat ramps that turn into ice access points in the winter.

Property Damage:
You won't {will have to} be able to prove that the damage was caused by the aquatherms. If you bring a civil suit for damages, you need to prove that they made it worse {correct}. They will argue that the damage would have been worse or the same if the ice was left intact {well that's why the new camera system is going in, so we can show such cause}.

Water Quality...
Who will you get to champion this? {I'm not looking for or to be a champion, we all need to better cooperative take care of this lake; lest it one day not refresh and we wonder "what if?"} Shore Things works at DES, they don't seem interested {actually, they were very helpful, but not jurisdiction}. You can't sue the geese. {less concerned with this aspect as the geese by almost 100 enjoy the condo property for most of Mar-Jun and sort of leave their own reminder}.

I feel for you, but this might be a case for the sugar approach {tried to arrange meeting with top lake dock co, gave internet prints of timers and thermostats and prices, however, never thought of the "sugar approach" of actually buying and taking responsibility for managing such a thing}. Maybe you can buy them some thermostats and timers and offer to help them set up things so it doesn't cause you as much problems. Probably cost less than a writ of mandamus.
Thanks for the challenging post.

Although it shows the contrarian position on almost every item, it's reflective in the society we deal with today that has found its way to NH and every other previously simple place. You are right, we'll probably have to go a tough route. And the riparian rights, and write of mandamus were not mine as a lay person, rather at the suggestion of State officials, a State Senator and our Attorney who specialized in NH condominiums; so they must have a bit more substance to their merit.

Hopefully, others will respond. It is appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:41 PM   #10
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HarborSide,

After reading your posts you seem to be an extremely knowledgeable and intelligent person. I truly feel for you and I can only imagine your frustration. We are fortunate to have a home on an Island where all of my neighbors and I have tip up crank style docks, no circulators necessary. I do not know what I would do in your instance where you have to deal with an association rather than a single neighbor.

I do believe jrc gave you some great advice though. The cost of the thermostat and timers would probably be the cheapest route at this point. It would also be a much quicker fix for you as you wouldn't have to wade through a lengthy court battle or wait for the state to take up this issue.

This just ticks me off though that it is you that will end up footing the bill for this. It is yet another example of people not taking any responsibility for their actions.

Good Luck, I really hope they just let you install the thermostats and timers without giving you any grief over it. Somehow I feel like they will raise an issue with it and not allow you to do it. I hope not.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:16 PM   #11
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Just the savings in their electric bill should make them take notice
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:28 PM   #12
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Harborside,

I think you have done your homework here... However I see this as a worm hole if you aren't careful... my suggesting is to start by fighting what you can fight... The fact that they don't have proper signage... Then build a case going from there... If once they have a sign, you can battle that the exclusion area is greater then 150' etc...

Unfortunately if you go the brute force method, I think you will find that the only ones that win are the legal professionals..

I do agree with some of the others here.. Talk to the condo Association, and offer help and assistance, to better control their aquatherms... yes this a pain I know, but if they are willing to accept the help... It is probably your cheapest option...

Trying to go down the civil route to get money for damages you believe they have caused, is also really only in the interest of the legal professionals. There is no concrete way to show that their misuse of the aquatherms directly caused the damage.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelnut View Post

Good Luck, I really hope they just let you install the thermostats and timers without giving you any grief over it. Somehow I feel like they will raise an issue with it and not allow you to do it. I hope not.
I am pretty sure their insurance company is not going to let anyone touch their docks. You might offer to have a licensed electrician install them instead. But then they will most likely need to have the members vote on it as well, as it is going to affect their investments in the property should they fail and damage occur, insurance or not. So far as they are concerned it is not broken so why fix it. If it gets 'Fixed" and something happens who's head will roll in the Board of Directors of the association. Knowing the politics of associations....someones head will roll if the docks get damaged. Jus' saying.

My only solution for you, and it is a very simple one, is to call a Marine Company like Dive Winnipesaukee to come out and install a curtain to stop their circulators from affecting your docks. They look like an oil boom sort of thing. It is a pretty simple thing to do. Dive Winni does it all the time.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakesrider View Post
I am pretty sure their insurance company is not going to let anyone touch their docks. You might offer to have a licensed electrician install them instead. But then they will most likely need to have the members vote on it as well, as it is going to affect their investments in the property should they fail and damage occur, insurance or not. So far as they are concerned it is not broken so why fix it. If it gets 'Fixed" and something happens who's head will roll in the Board of Directors of the association. Knowing the politics of associations....someones head will roll if the docks get damaged. Jus' saying.

My only solution for you, and it is a very simple one, is to call a Marine Company like Dive Winnipesaukee to come out and install a curtain to stop their circulators from affecting your docks. They look like an oil boom sort of thing. It is a pretty simple thing to do. Dive Winni does it all the time.
lakesrider

THANK YOU.

I have never even heard of that product or solution. I'm very familiar and comfortable with Watermark for our waterfront and dock work, so I'll talk to them first as I am sure they are familiar with that product and Dive Winni. Again, thank you very much.

Also, I have been contacted by a town official from another lake and given a copy of the lake newsletter on proper operation of all deiciing devices. It is good.

Then I got another call for follow-up regarding the NH statute by a legislator who indicated that "public" to that person meant "other than the subject property owner" and if it needs to be clarifed the word "public" in the Statute should be changed. Asked for all of our pictures and videos. Very, very helpful. Plans on asking others in the various lakes regions in the state if these devices are impacting other abutters or the general recreational public.

So, winnipesaukee.com really was quite helpful in less than a whole day.

Thanks folks.

Wow.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:56 PM   #15
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I'll try to walk you through posting pictures, rather than posting links.

As you see I have clicked on "Reply", and I am brought to this screen that I am replying to your/or the last post. BTW, always use a title as it is not necessary with a response to a post, it is required for a PM "Personal Message", or Response.

Scroll down from the Message Area, and you will see a Blue title line that says, Attach Files and below it a button that says "Manage Attachments".

Click on this button and you will be brought to a screen that has a number of buttons, but you want to hit the button "Browse". I say that because I assume the picture you wish to post is on your computer. If this is true you will be given the opportunity find the picture file you wish to post.


When you find the picture, left click on it and then hit the upload button.

Hit the preview button and you will see your picture embedded within the message that you are posting.

If you are satisfied with your post, then hit submit and you are done.

Unfortunately, I have been using too big a picture to help me step you through the process. Whatever, my two labs always steal the show anyway.

Despite my mistake, try to keep pictures under a 1Mg.

Edited 1/14/11; I removed the picture by hitting Edit and then hitting manage attachments which popped up a screen that allowed me to remove the picture. It was just too big. There are free tools that can be used to resize pictures.

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Old 01-14-2011, 02:22 AM   #16
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Thumbs up The Problem Needs Canceling...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarborSide CHBay View Post
Hopefully, the two pictures are worth a couple thousand words. The first is from 2004 and represents what our dock looked like since we've had one.

From your photo above, I understand the problem, as we have it too.

This is a similar situation to ours:



When winter ice is held away from shorelines by progressively-decreasing areas of solid ice, "Ice-Out" winds will drive tons of ice against "permanent" docks. It's no different than having the HMS Queen Mary adrift—and headed for our dock! Algae growth begins before Ice-Out, and we experienced Canada Geese appearing at our dock—for the first time in over a half-century.

Along my shore, there are so many new homes with circulators—and so little solid ice—I may just save a bundle, and cancel my aquatherm guy!

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Old 01-19-2014, 11:50 AM   #17
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Default AQUATHERMS - National Issues UPDATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarborSide CHBay View Post
AQUATHERMS have become a problem on Center Harbor Bay for the past two years, and this year again. The largest docks and the Mt. Washington are actually the "best managed" and you can literally drive vehicles right around them.

However, a couple of condominiums on Lake Shore Drive have continued a practice {even after notice and request} to run 1-2 acquatherms, without thermostat controls, without timers, 24/7. This has caused the lakeshore to be open water, sometimes hundreds of feet out into the lake, and along the entire length of Lake Shore Drive. With the snow, the apparent danger of the thin or no ice underneath is a real concern; along with others.

PROPERTY RIGHTS - Abutters have rights to the lake, riparian rights I believe is the term. It applies in the summer and winter. Current state law says that acquatherms cannot preclude ice from forming to the shore precluding public access. The NH Dept. of Safety, over a year ago, ruled that our property is not public access and therefore the statute doesn't apply. I found this odd in that the State maintains that it is the owner up to the high water mark on many other issues. Apparently, our options are (1) a writ of mandamus to compel NH Dept. of Safety to enforce the law, as interpreted by a Judge, or (2) file a civil matter and injuntion for our riparian rights.

PROPERTY DAMAGE, ABUTTER DOCKS - When an abutter runs the acquatherms as described, the side current goes along the beach and out midway to the piers of abutters docks. During heavy freezing, a sheet or 1-2 pressure lift formed in a couple days and "rolled our dock" and similarly pushed the piers of the second abutter over. We actually watched and heard our dock rolling; we had to turn on an inside acquather to break it up but we still have a $4,000+ estimate to replace those piers and dock sections. I do not know what the damage cost is to the 2nd abutter.

PROPERTY DAMAGE, WATER QUALITY- Aquatherms, propertly used and per guidelines from manufacturers and other lake associations, need to only keep the ice and water open at the end of the docking system. This (1) keeps the building ice pressure at bay, (2) allows the ice to freeze to the shore and keep the sunlight off the beach for water quality purposes, and (3) allows that ice to the shore to be there in the Spring to "protect" the docks from early ice formations broken off from heading to the open water side of the bay.

WATER QUALITY, GEESE - Needless to say, non-migratory geese are a problem everywhere. With open water a quarter of a mile along Lake Shore Drive and guess where the geese show up in groups of up to 80-100; winter, spring especially? At 1.25-1.50 pounds of fecal geese matter per day, that is one toxic hit to the water quality.

SAFETY - The second home owners, renters, recreational users have no way of knowing such a danger exists. The NH Dept. of Safety is unconcerned and will not take action, regardless of emails, on-site visits, etc. The attending officer even noted in her report that our property had two acquatherms (although she failed to note they were not plugged in, and when so, were on small periods of time also on a thermostat; and are barely used as I could dock my Formula 280SS in February with the open water pictures I've maintained).

QUESTION - AM I ALONE ON THIS ISSUE?

I do not have simple answers when "people don't care." It gets complicated when the NH Dept. of Safety doesn't either. I have the resources to go to court, and I have numerouse other abutters who will sign on, BUT DOES ANYONE HAD ANOTHER IDEA OR EXPERIENCE THAT I CAN LEARN FROM?

Thank you.

Stephen E. Grzelak
38 Lakeshore Drive
Moultonborough, NH 03254

Day Business 524-6734
I posted the above a time ago at the beginning of these issues in the Center Harbor Bay area. Since then, we've had discussions with the neighbor that runs the acquatherms 24/7 (generally nice BOD, but made the decision to continue 24/7 regardless of the safety issues raised); and noticed that another neighbor has added this winter a 2nd bubbler that is on a timer (but is really on too long, doesn't appear to have a thermostat, and again appears overpowered).

So, I thought it time to revisit the issue, and I started the 'google searches to see what was happening around the country. The 2012-2014 issues noted are astounding. So much so, that I will outline some below and provide links or quotes.

The one motivating issue to "follow up" on this on Lake Winnipesaukee is the daunting potential from one law enforcement official (that motivated all the towns in a certain lake area) that once could be charged with INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER reckless disregard for public safety that results in a death.

This really caught my eye.

For the record, I have two aquatherms and, as stated years ago, they are unplugged and I have never had to use them to deice our permanent dock as a result of the others along the bay who operate them improperly. The reason I say 'for the record is, that sooner or later, someone is going to die from the improper use of these devices and I DON'T WANT TO BE EVEN ACCUSED OF BEING ONE OF THE RESPONSIBLE PARTIES.

Additionally, inquiry of insurance carriers indicates that the property liability insurance would likely "not cover" civil liabilities from operation of the deicing devices (especially if "not properly operated"). That would make one really consider making the same inquiry of their insurance and also contracting with someone with the Skills, Knowledge and Experience on Lake Winnipesaukee operating such devices.

Finally, I believe that this is so important, that it should be addressed by the appropriate parties. For me, and our property, we will communicate with the following parties regarding clarification on the laws and regulations at the state and local level, law enforcement and safety hierarchy, and move towards state and local taking up the issue and updating state and local laws and regulations in regard to ice eaters / bubblers and related devices. The laws and regulations (noted by link below) appear very reasonable, IMO.


Governor Maggie Hassan
Safety Commissioner John J. Barthelmes
DES Commissioner Tom Burack

Board of Selectmen, Town of Moultonborough
Leonard J. Wetherbee, Police Chief, Town of Moultonborough

Here is the initiator, or spark, for the new laws and regulations that other states and localities are enacting in 2013 and 2014.

Quote:
Muskoka Region

OPP cautions owners of dock bubblers of possible...

Pamela Steel

MANSLAUGHTER: OPP Sgt. Larry Butterfield warns Lake of Bays Association members of the dangers involved in owning and operating a dock bubbler.

http://www.muskokaregion.com/news-st...sible-charges/

Huntsville Forester
By Pamela Steel

LAKE OF BAYS - OPP Sergeant Larry Butterfield told a shocked audience at January’s Lake of Bays Association meeting that people could be charged with manslaughter as a result of operating dock bubblers.

Butterfield is a member of the OPP's Central Region Snowmobile, ATV and Vessel Enforcement unit. He said if someone falls into a hole you have created on the ice, and dies, it could lead to charges of manslaughter. If the individual is injured, it could lead to a charge of assault.

Dock bubblers are installed to prevent damage from ice forming around the dock over the winter. Usually a compressor feeds air to a length of tube under or around the dock, circulating the water and preventing ice from forming.

The large number of bubblers on Lake of Bays and their impact on the safety of winter ice activities was also the subject of discussion at December’s municipal council meeting.

At that time Coun. Nancy Tapley called the situation “death waiting to happen.”

Liability issues were discussed at the council meeting and while there has yet to be a precedent set, it was recommended that owners of bubblers contact their insurance providers to discuss their coverage in the case of an accident.

Butterfield said that due diligence is required to make sure you haven’t created a dangerous situation.

An association member questioned whether placing a cautionary light in the bubbler’s location would be considered due diligence.

“What if the power goes out? What if the snow covers it?” the sergeant asked. “You can mark it as best you can, but in today’s society if somebody falls into a hole you create you’re going to be involved in civil litigation.”

And depending on the circumstances, criminal charges could be laid, according to Butterfield.
Links:

1. Town of Jefferson, NJ - 2014 Regulation - Chapter 294 Ice Retardant Systems

http://ecode360.com/10283494


2. Video - Muskoka Original Issue

http://video.theloop.ca/watch/-/3006...1#.Utryl3Uo7X4
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:31 PM   #18
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Default Penalties?

It appears that there are no penalties specified for violation of RSA 207:26. Is that correct? At the very least, I'd think the State Rep and or Senator you mentioned way back might be able to add a paragraph that specifies a fine for failure to post, and perhaps specify that failure to post may make one liable for related injuries.

Usually, I would expect some sort of warning procedure from Fish & Game, as weather can play a big part in keeping the posting in place. Those who are in the business usually check signs and replace as needed. There are usually "spares" found floating in the lake in the spring.

The language about 150 feet may be a little harder to enforce as weather, currents, springs, etc also affect where water may be open. Your Rep/Senator has researchers available, and DoS, F & G and DES all have some very knowledgeable people. There may be a solution.

I've often wondered if the presence of large numbers of bubblers has a long term effect on water temperature. Does it extend or enhance the growing season for variable milfoil? Moultonborough puts a lot of money and effort into controlling milfoil. It would be ironic, to say the least, if bubblers are making the problem worse. I believe the Town can follow the state law and enact an ordinance related to bubblers which would allow them some enforcement authority. (The Selectmen may not want it. Talk to the Conservation Commission or the milfoil committee if there is one.) They may need to have their Reps/Senators add some enabling language to the related RSA.

The NH Lakes Association is always interested in water quality. They have some expertise as well, and may have knowledge of problems on other lakes. In order to do anything legislatively, you need to broaden the scope. One neighbor against another is just that, no more.
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Descant View Post
It appears that there are no penalties specified for violation of RSA 207:26. Is that correct? At the very least, I'd think the State Rep and or Senator you mentioned way back might be able to add a paragraph that specifies a fine for failure to post, and perhaps specify that failure to post may make one liable for related injuries.

Usually, I would expect some sort of warning procedure from Fish & Game, as weather can play a big part in keeping the posting in place. Those who are in the business usually check signs and replace as needed. There are usually "spares" found floating in the lake in the spring.

The language about 150 feet may be a little harder to enforce as weather, currents, springs, etc also affect where water may be open. Your Rep/Senator has researchers available, and DoS, F & G and DES all have some very knowledgeable people. There may be a solution.

I've often wondered if the presence of large numbers of bubblers has a long term effect on water temperature. Does it extend or enhance the growing season for variable milfoil? Moultonborough puts a lot of money and effort into controlling milfoil. It would be ironic, to say the least, if bubblers are making the problem worse. I believe the Town can follow the state law and enact an ordinance related to bubblers which would allow them some enforcement authority. (The Selectmen may not want it. Talk to the Conservation Commission or the milfoil committee if there is one.) They may need to have their Reps/Senators add some enabling language to the related RSA.

The NH Lakes Association is always interested in water quality. They have some expertise as well, and may have knowledge of problems on other lakes. In order to do anything legislatively, you need to broaden the scope. One neighbor against another is just that, no more.
Thanks for the reply.

1. Regarding the state law:

Quote:
TITLE XXII
NAVIGATION; HARBORS; COAST SURVEY


CHAPTER 270
SUPERVISION OF NAVIGATION; REGISTRATION OF BOATS AND MOTORS; COMMON CARRIERS BY WATER


Use of Aqua-Therm


Section 270:33

270:33 Heating, Agitating or Other Devices in Public Waters, Safety Hazard. – No person shall put, place, operate or cause to be put, placed or operated in the waters of this state any so-called heating, agitating or other device which inhibits or prevents the natural freezing of water, or forming of ice, and impedes either the ingress or egress to or from ice by means of any public access thereto. If the heating, agitating or other device is placed anywhere else, nearby signs shall likewise be placed to warn of possible danger. Said signs shall read DANGER, THIN ICE and shall be of sufficient size to be readable at a distance of not less than 150 feet, and shall be visible from all directions and shall be equipped with reflectors and color-coded in a pattern unique for this purpose only. The department of safety is hereby authorized to establish said unique design and coloring and any homemade copies shall follow this design and coloring. The provisions of this section shall be enforced by any law enforcement agency under the direction of the department of safety pursuant to RSA 106-A:14 and the department of fish and game pursuant to RSA 206:26.
Source. 1973, 321:1, eff. Nov. 1, 1973.
The response years ago from DOS, Marine Patrol, was that an abutter was not "public access." Also, that riparian rights was a civil matter.

My concern at the time, and now, is first SAFETY, and LAKE PRESERVATION, and respecting the RIGHTS of recreational users and abutters. I focused on the SAFETY aspect, and DOS, Marine Patrol had no issues with the unregulated, 24/7 use of the aquatherms or the hundreds of feet of open water. Fish and Game was helpful, as well as DES, but the enforcement they conceded was with DOS. And they punted.

As you mention, I agree that would simply take a legislator to successfully change the language from "public access" to "public or abutter access." That would handle our specific Bay, but not the entirety of the issues on Lake Winnipesaukee.

I also agree with adding 'teeth. There has to be a consequence, or it has no teeth until something happens and civil litigation is an option (or if someone is hurt or dies, then it could be a criminal matter).

~~~~

Regarding other good issues you raise, vegetation. The subject abutter, after decades of legal dump truck loads of sand on a beach that is simply not designed correctly with respect to the lake level, still has consequences. The open, sun feeding beach area is fully vegetated. A winter ice, sealing off the sun, never gets a chance to do what nature does in the winter.

As one on the video stated, regarding spawning, I used to see clouds of smelt every spring after ice out. It has been years since I've seen one. I also noted to F&G that, on one occasion, the entire bottom of the lake of one abutter was pure silver and black from a school of smelt that must have been drawn in to the aquatherm. I didn't take a photo, and they said they had never heard of that before.

I also agree that the BOS in Moultonborough really doesn't want to get into this at the local level as it is the state waters. However, after I make the communications indicated in the previous post, it is up to them, or some department, agency or commission thereunder.

~~~~

Regarding the neighbor on neighbor, it isn't the matteler. On this particular issue, I have greater concerns that either. Since my family has grown, we no longer snowmobile, or take ATVs on the lake. So, currently, I am personally not looking to use my access in the winter. However, should I want to, I would notify each and provide the opportunity to correct the situation; if not, I would obviously take the legal route of protect our rights and safety.

Again, thanks for the input.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:45 AM   #20
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Default ......hey neighbor....good buddy!!!

Instead of getting all lawyered up over this....maybe just pull your neighbor's plug that powers up the circulator and attach a friendly "hey neighbor" note suggesting they install a time/temp controller so's the water opening in the ice will be much much smaller???
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:59 AM   #21
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As stated earlier, it would be a slippery slope to prove. But I've increasingly wondered about the environmental impact of all these "bubblers" ( :-), I'm from New England) keeping the shoreline open year round when it used to freeze regularly.

What is the impact on fish and other species who depend on the freeze cycles and undisturbed sandy bottom? What about the spread of invasive species or the fact that they are not killed off by a freeze? Etc...

There may be no impact, and like other environmental issues, would probably be impossible to prove, and more impossible to defend. But I personally wish that they would be banned. With modern raise-style docks, how hard would it be to have a removable dock instead of keeping circulators running att the time?
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:18 AM   #22
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.

There may be no impact, and like other environmental issues, would probably be impossible to prove, and more impossible to defend. But I personally wish that they would be banned. With modern raise-style docks, how hard would it be to have a removable dock instead of keeping circulators running att the time?
The main factor if bubblers were outlawed would be the cost and logistics of manufacturing thousands of docks just for Winnipesaukee alone. Over the last few years I have replaced two of my docks with aluminum docks that raise in the winter. The docks cost approximately $10,000 each. There was a wait of 3 to 9 months just to have them fabricated and installed. For many families that are struggling to hang on to their waterfront homes the cost might be the final nail in the coffin that causes them to have to sell. All of the bubblers on a lake the size of Winnipesaukee could not affect more than 1/8 of 1/2 of 1% of the total lake area so I would think that the environmental impact of bubblers is insignificant. (Math may be questionable)
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:43 AM   #23
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Personally I don't see that bubblers help that much. It is usually when the ice is going out in the spring that you get the winds blowing the ice and that is when most of the damage occurs. I know I have said this before in a past post. Just my opinion.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:18 AM   #24
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Not sure what other city or towns along the lake require but in Laconia I pay .50 cents for a permit which asks for all my contact information as well as where the aquatherm will be placed, how many aquatherms and the amount of area of ice to be open. I have a neighborhood water access close to my home so I pay very close attention to how much ice I clear. If I couldn't keep that access safe for snowmobiles going on the lake I would be in violation of my permit and open for trouble. I keep just enough water open to protect the docks. You can walk the ice around them because I only turn them on to reopen the previous hole. This forms a thick ring around the docks. If you have an aquatherm near public access that you can't babysit you are nuts running it on a timer or thermostat imo.

And tis, you are very right. All the effort during the winter keeping the docks ice free is moot when the spring wind blows and large ice masses crash without anything to stop them. Last spring the wind blew out of the north west taking the ice in Paugus Bay into the Margate area (AC2717 will attest). The Town Docks got hit hard too. Other years the wind comes out of the south and impacts me. Nothing stops that ice. You just have to be lucky!
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:49 AM   #25
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Instead of getting all lawyered up over this....maybe just pull your neighbor's plug that powers up the circulator and attach a friendly "hey neighbor" note suggesting they install a time/temp controller so's the water opening in the ice will be much much smaller???
I hope you are joking. Pull that plug, and it is likely that you would be liable for damages that could occur to the dock.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:03 AM   #26
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Personally I don't see that bubblers help that much. It is usually when the ice is going out in the spring that you get the winds blowing the ice and that is when most of the damage occurs. I know I have said this before in a past post. Just my opinion.
They actually do help. The pressure of the ice will actually raise the pilings right out of the bottom of the lake. Should there also be a crib section of dock, if the crib freezes the ice will bend and even snap the pins holding the crib together. Bubblers have been around for a long time so I doubt they are goin anywhere. What I cant stand is people like my neighbor that leave there seasonal pipe dock in all winter and throw a bubbler off the end of it and leave it running constantly. Cant even get the snowmobile or ice shak onto the ice there now because its open water.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:05 PM   #27
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The problems inconsiderate people create are some of the most difficult to solve. If they aren't aware that they are inconveniencing you directly nothing will get resolved.
My wife and I have tried using methods called 'Love and Logic' to deal with our children's behaviors. One suggestion deals with how kids make their problem your problem. The suggestions say to keep the problem the child's and ask them how can they resolve the problem. When they don't know, you offer them two ways to resolve it that YOU will be satisfied with either out come.

I realize this isn't quite the same thing but my point is at least inform the party creating the problem and ask them what can they do so the safety of the ice isn't compromised in front of your property where you would like to venture out on the lake. Probably not likely to get any where, but worth a try.

I'm not sure exactly what a bubbler is, I'm imagining a sump pump with a 1 1/2" pipe outlet, blowing water around from the bottom, (warmer) so it won't freeze. If the flow of water was brought closer to the surface via a longer pipe, maybe a foot or so below the surface, so it disturbed the water more specific to the area of the pipe, would this relieve the current that travels from the depths and along the neighboring shore line and creating the large open area? Maybe a larger diameter pipe can be fabricated to levitate the presure on the flowing water, lessening the current it creates? Probably not practical, but what if a fabric or material with weights on the bottom, was draped off the dock with the bubbler, creating a curtain around the dock and slowing the drifting current, would this help stop the melting of the ice beyond its intent??
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:06 PM   #28
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Wow, quite a few replies.

Quote:
pcmc
The problems inconsiderate people create are some of the most difficult to solve. If they aren't aware that they are inconveniencing you directly nothing will get resolved.
Agreed.

Of note, we've emailed and personally communicated with the direct abutters many times since 2010. So, they aren't unaware. When apprised of the safety risks and other results, they simply indicated they were going to keep them on 24/7 as they didn't want to lose their dock to the ice. I provided material on education on the matter, but it just didn't matter.

I haven't continued to harp on the issue as it doesn't result in any change to the winter dock deicers. Also, as 25+ year abutters, we've worked really well on most other matters and (with a single exception) the people in the small association abutters are genuinely decent and considerate and enjoy the lake with their families.

Deicers are also necessary to protect the docks. Operated appropriately, and I strongly recommend a qualified professional contractor, they have minimal impact on the surrounding water. It is the wanton, inappropriate operation is the issue, as the risk has to be retributed back to the owner and operator from the harmed parties "in order to compel appropriate operation."

So, I looked at it again this year when one added a 2nd diecer (these are propeller units, motor inside a large white PCV suspended by ropes). MY PURPOSE is not for my benefit at all, I am not seeking currently to access the lake. MY PURPOSE is, when even reasonable people don't make good decisions, to find out what can be done to PROTECT; others and ourselves.

Others ~ from (1) a low perspective of the public right to recreate on the lake to (2) a high of to do so without the risk of harm and even death. We view the bay out of our windows every day and we are aware of the open water and the potential for weakened ice everywhere which way from each. OTHERS that go on the lake without this knowledge don't know; especially if there is recent snow. Whether it is ice fisherman, skaters/snowshoers/XX skiers, second homeowners coming up for a weekend or snowmobilers, they don't know.

I can't legislate or enforce, so I want to put the issue before state and local governance and safety/law enforcement.

Ourselves ~ If, or when, someone gets hurt or worse, we ARE NOT going to allow ourselves to even remotely be RESPONSIBLE. I've got my deicers unplugged, and have for years.

In really cold spells like now, I have no ice at all 80' out. In regular winters, I can sometimes have enough water to dock my Formula 280SS and several properties. If you look at some of the earlier pictures, in warmer time periods, hundreds of feet of shoreline were open hundreds of feet out into the lake.

Next

I'm gathering the information referred to in the first 2013 post to submit to the parties mentioned. Those in governance, and in safety/law enforcement, at the state and local level, are the only ones that can legislate and then enforce.

The following post is a narrative of what seems to be the 'trending regulations in several states based on the original Muskoka issue.

I'd be interested in comments from all perspectives on if this would work here.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:13 PM   #29
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Chapter 294. ICE-RETARDANT SYSTEMS

[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Jefferson 11-6-2002 by Ord. No. 28-02 (Ch. 52 of the 1967 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 294-1. Purpose.

It is the intent of this chapter to regulate the installation and use of ice-retardant systems on waterfront properties within the Township of Jefferson for the protection of persons and property and to provide for the public health, safety and welfare of the Township of Jefferson and its inhabitants.

§ 294-2. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

AFFECTED AREA OF ICE

The area of the water body or ice surface disturbed by the operation of an ice-retardant system. Said disturbed or affected area includes open water, weakened ice (excessively cracked), thin ice (less than four inches in depth) and areas where adjacent ice is covered by a film of water.

BULKHEAD LINE

The high-water mark of 10.30 feet above the dam as recorded at Lake Hopatcong State Park or the line established by the Bureau of Navigation, State Department of Environmental Protection, defining the lake's permanent shoreline.

ICE-RETARDANT SYSTEM

A mechanical device(s) or a series of mechanical devices designed to retard or prevent the formation of ice in or around lakefront structures. Said devices utilize as their mode of operation one or more of the following mechanisms: pumped air, artificial water turbulence or the addition of heat to the water body.

NORMAL OPERATING CONDITIONS

The average winter conditions to be utilized in the design or operation of an ice-retardant system and to be utilized in gauging compliance with the terms of this chapter. Said "normal operating conditions" are defined as an average of four or more inches of ice on the applicable water body. Such term excludes any time period characterized by unseasonably warm temperature (average daily temperature above 40° F. for three or more consecutive days) or rainfall (greater than 1/2 inch of rainfall per day) and the three days immediately thereafter. In any enforcement action under the terms of this chapter, the burden is on the operator of the ice-retardant system to establish that normal operating conditions were not existent on the date of the alleged violation.

OWNER or OPERATOR

The owner of record of a tract of land according to the tax rolls of the Township of Jefferson or any person occupying said premises or utilizing the property.

PERSON

Any individual, association of individuals, corporation or partnership.

PROTECTED STRUCTURE

Any lakefront or within lake structure which the ice-retardant system is designed to protect. Such protected structures include but are not limited to docks, piers, bulkheads, catwalks, seawalls and boathouses.

§ 294-3. Authorization for use; compliance required.

A. No person shall operate an ice-retardant system within the municipal limits of the Township of Jefferson unless said operation is in conformance with this chapter.

B. The provisions of this chapter shall only be effective for the operation of an ice-retardant system from December 1 of each year through April 1 of the following year. Nothing herein shall prevent the operation of an ice-retardant system at other times during the year.

§ 294-4. Operation requirements.

A. All ice-retardant systems shall be marked with an appropriate sign placed along the shore or on the protected structure specifying "Danger, Thin Ice." Such sign shall be a minimum of two feet by three feet in size and shall feature letters of a minimum height of three inches and colors in such a way as to be clearly visible on the ice from a distance of 100 feet. Where the ice-retardant system will disturb a distance measured horizontally along the shoreline of more than 25 feet, an additional sign shall be required for each 25 feet of shoreline or fraction thereof.

B. Under normal operating conditions, the affected area of ice created by the ice-retardant system shall not extend more than 25 feet beyond the protected structure.

C. Under normal operating conditions, the affected area of ice should not extend more than 25 feet, measured along the shoreline, from the protected structure.

D. Irrespective of the standard appearing in Subsections B and C above, the affected area of ice, under normal operating conditions, should not extend beyond the side property lines of the property for which the ice-retardant system is being used, as if said property lines were extended into the lake. Said requirement may be waived if the owner and/or operator of the ice-retardant system obtains written permission from the adjacent property owner.

E. Unless the ice-retardant system has been designed and approved in accordance with § 294-5 of this chapter, no system shall be designed or operated in such a way as to prevent ingress or egress to any portion of the water body or to foreclose the formation of ice across a channel.

§ 294-5. Waiver of requirements.

The Township Council may, by resolution, waive the requirements of this chapter in situations of hardship or exceptional public necessity. Exceptional public necessity shall include but is not limited to a necessity to maintain an open channel of water for ferry service or access to island lakefront homes. In considering such an application, the Township Council may refer the application to the Lake Hopatcong Commission for comment. In adopting the resolution, Council shall specify requirements as to markings and lighting. Such requirements can include but are not limited to requiring buoys to be placed in the frozen water body to clearly mark the approach, requiring nighttime illumination or flashing lights to indicate that open water is present, limiting the size of the affected ice area to the minimal necessary for the use and/or publishing public notice of the condition to specify minimal levels of insurance requirements.

§ 294-6. Enforcement; violations and penalties.

A. The Construction Official is hereby designated as the enforcement officer under the terms of this chapter. All complaints received by any municipal agency concerning the operation of ice-retardant systems shall be referred to the Construction Official. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Construction Official shall investigate within five days and, if the complaint is found justified, notify the owner and operator of the terms of this chapter and require compliance within an additional 10 days. The Construction Official may reduce the time period for compliance when the interest of public safety so requires. If the owner or operator of the system fails to undertake the corrections within the specified time frame, the Construction Official may cause a summons to be issued in the Municipal Court of the Township of Jefferson to enforce the requirements of this chapter.

[Amended 2-16-2005 by Ord. No. 4-05]

B. A violation of the terms of this chapter, including the operational requirements, shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense and $250 for the third and subsequent offenses. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues may be deemed to be a separate offense.

§ 294-7. Liability.

Compliance and/or noncompliance with the requirements of this chapter shall not preclude any civil action for damages arising from injuries incurred through the operation of an ice-retardant system.

§ 294-8. Construal of provisions.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as repealing any provision of any other municipal ordinance. In the event that any regulation provided above shall vary from the same or a similar regulation of any other municipal ordinance, the more restrictive provision of such ordinance shall be deemed to control.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:02 AM   #30
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One of the most common questions we get in the process of permitting docking is: "What difference does it make if I have a permament dock instead of a seasonal one?" This especially happens when we tell people they must build seasonal. The subject of this thread is in fact a large part of the resoan that seasonal docks are "default" dock type and anything more requires proof of need.

Chapter Env-Wt 400 which regulates dock construction begis as follows:

PART Env-Wt 401 STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND EVALUATION

Env-Wt 401.01 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public trust and other interests of the state of New Hampshire, by:
(a) Establishing requirements for the design and construction of structures in order to prevent unreasonable encroachment on surface waters of the State; (emphasis added)
(b) Preserving the integrity of the surface waters of the state by requiring all structures to be constructed so as to insure safe navigation, minimize alterations in prevailing currents, minimize the reduction of water area available for public use, avoid impacts that would be deleterious to fish and wildlife habitat, and avoid impacts that might cause erosion to abutting properties; and (emphasis added)
(c) Ensuring that all projects are constructed using the least impacting alternatives, in a manner that meets the requirements of RSA 483-B and shoreline and bank alteration or stabilization requirements.
Any time a permit is issued for a permanent pier we understand that there is a possiblity and aquatherm will be installed also. (Environmental Services does not regulate the aquatherm; only the dock construction.) Part of the reasoning for installing a season dock is that because it is removed for the winter no aquatherm is needed and there will be less of a "reduction of water area available for public use."
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:43 AM   #31
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One of the most common questions we get in the process of permitting docking is: "What difference does it make if I have a permament dock instead of a seasonal one?" This especially happens when we tell people they must build seasonal. The subject of this thread is in fact a large part of the resoan that seasonal docks are "default" dock type and anything more requires proof of need.

Chapter Env-Wt 400 which regulates dock construction begis as follows:

PART Env-Wt 401 STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND EVALUATION

Env-Wt 401.01 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public trust and other interests of the state of New Hampshire, by:
(a) Establishing requirements for the design and construction of structures in order to prevent unreasonable encroachment on surface waters of the State; (emphasis added)
(b) Preserving the integrity of the surface waters of the state by requiring all structures to be constructed so as to insure safe navigation, minimize alterations in prevailing currents, minimize the reduction of water area available for public use, avoid impacts that would be deleterious to fish and wildlife habitat, and avoid impacts that might cause erosion to abutting properties; and (emphasis added)
(c) Ensuring that all projects are constructed using the least impacting alternatives, in a manner that meets the requirements of RSA 483-B and shoreline and bank alteration or stabilization requirements.
Any time a permit is issued for a permanent pier we understand that there is a possiblity and aquatherm will be installed also. (Environmental Services does not regulate the aquatherm; only the dock construction.) Part of the reasoning for installing a season dock is that because it is removed for the winter no aquatherm is needed and there will be less of a "reduction of water area available for public use."
This is an example of why we don't need to keep adding more laws and instead better enforce those already in place.

I know of several cases where aquatherms are being used for "seasonal" dock systems because the owners don't want to bother removing them. Why not start with making sure that seasonally permitted docks are in fact just that?

(this is not a question for you shore things. I appreciate your frequent and educational posts. Rhetorical...)
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:41 AM   #32
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This is an example of why we don't need to keep adding more laws and instead better enforce those already in place.

I know of several cases where aquatherms are being used for "seasonal" dock systems because the owners don't want to bother removing them. Why not start with making sure that seasonally permitted docks are in fact just that?

(this is not a question for you shore things. I appreciate your frequent and educational posts. Rhetorical...)
I actually agree.

I just don't, as an individual, have the legal or regulatory authority for the compliant and safe operation of the aquatherms. That is under the purview of the state governance and enforcement departments.

They won't.

NH Safety, via MP, came to the lake when there was 600-800' of shore front open 200' out. They took no action. They did tell me I need 3 more signs (4 in total, one in each direct), although the 24/7 abutter had no signage at the time at all and now have 1.

NH DES said it would favor an interpretation of 270:33 that "public access thereto" included all waterfront in the winter as the lake level is 20+ feet from the high water mark and should be considered "public" as it is the state's. However, the safety aspect was NH Safety. This was verbal.

Quote:
TITLE XXII
NAVIGATION; HARBORS; COAST SURVEY

CHAPTER 270
SUPERVISION OF NAVIGATION; REGISTRATION OF BOATS AND MOTORS; COMMON CARRIERS BY WATER

Use of Aqua-Therm

Section 270:33

270:33 Heating, Agitating or Other Devices in Public Waters, Safety Hazard. – No person shall put, place, operate or cause to be put, placed or operated in the waters of this state any so-called heating, agitating or other device which inhibits or prevents the natural freezing of water, or forming of ice, and impedes either the ingress or egress to or from ice by means of any public access thereto. If the heating, agitating or other device is placed anywhere else, nearby signs shall likewise be placed to warn of possible danger. Said signs shall read DANGER, THIN ICE and shall be of sufficient size to be readable at a distance of not less than 150 feet, and shall be visible from all directions and shall be equipped with reflectors and color-coded in a pattern unique for this purpose only. The department of safety is hereby authorized to establish said unique design and coloring and any homemade copies shall follow this design and coloring. The provisions of this section shall be enforced by any law enforcement agency under the direction of the department of safety pursuant to RSA 106-A:14 and the department of fish and game pursuant to RSA 206:26.
Source. 1973, 321:1, eff. Nov. 1, 1973.
It has been 30-years since this has been updated. I'd be satisfied with with adding 2 WORDS "public or abutter," for me as it solves the issue and can be enforced. It doesn't address others who open up waters along their own shorefront, or outward into the lake.


Quote:
Chapter Env-Wt 400 which regulates dock construction begis as follows:

PART Env-Wt 401 STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND EVALUATION

Env-Wt 401.01 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public trust and other interests of the state of New Hampshire, by:

(a) Establishing requirements for the design and construction of structures, ADDED (see comment) and subsequent operation of ice retardant systems, in order to prevent unreasonable encroachment on surface waters of the State; (emphasis added)

(b) Preserving the integrity of the surface waters of the state by requiring all structures to be constructed so as to insure safe navigation, minimize alterations in prevailing currents, minimize the reduction of water area available for public use, avoid impacts that would be deleterious to fish and wildlife habitat, and avoid impacts that might cause erosion to abutting properties; ADDED (see comment) or reduced lake access to abutting properties, including but not limited to, subsequent operation of ice retardant systems in all such above regards, and (emphasis added)

(c) Ensuring that all projects are constructed using the least impacting alternatives, in a manner that meets the requirements of RSA 483-B and shoreline and bank alteration or stabilization requirements.
Thank you 'shore things for this reference. I was unaware of it. It appears, IMO, that it deals with "construction approval?"

I would also recommend small language changes (IN RED ABOVE) to this that would basically make some of these purported impacts during the application process must be maintained thereafter, with revocation of a permanent dock for subsequent non-compliance (obviously, with various levels of warnings).

This would provide a 2-prong 2-Department enforcement approach; (1) NH DES dock permit and subsequent operation of ice-retardant systems as per application as a condition of retaining the dock permit) and (2) NH SAFETY under the language changes in the above mentioned RSA.
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:00 PM   #33
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Default Careful what you start...

Growing up in a resort town on the ocean and having lived in two houses on the beach we always had a neighbor who threatened or hassled my folks over land or land use (especially THE PROPERTY LINES). It looks to me like it happens anywhere there's a lot of money involved and it's the stuff that usually makes lawyers rich. One neighbor got what was coming to him when our land was surveyed and it turned out we owned his driveway and part of the back of his house.

I may not represent everybody's views, but if I knew my neighbor was scheming against me and talking about the law, I'd for certain push back. I could think of a thousand other things that would be far more annoying than leaving a bubbler on - for example feeding the geese.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:44 PM   #34
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I may not represent everybody's views, but if I knew my neighbor was scheming against me and talking about the law, I'd for certain push back. I could think of a thousand other things that would be far more annoying than leaving a bubbler on - for example feeding the geese.
Apparently, the precipitating property owner affecting a neighbors access to the lake for entire winters (as well as create huge, uninsured safety exposure) does not bother you, but the neighbors attempt to correct it does bother you? And you would 'get back at them?

My neighbors aren't like you. They get most of all of the above by email. Very up front.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:51 PM   #35
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Curious how much a 1/2 HP circulator adds to ones electric bill each month. Never had any dock damage without one in the last 51 years. New folks around us have started using circulators, some of them without timers apparently. Lots of birds living around the edge of the open water. One place where snowmobiles and ice fisherman used to get on and off the ice has been open water now for the last 8 years due to circulators.. seems like a monkey see monkey do thing for many of them.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:23 PM   #36
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Curious how much a 1/2 HP circulator adds to ones electric bill each month.
In crude terms, 1/2 HP is 0.37 KW. If you run it on a timer for say 25% of the time, that's 2.24 KWH per 24 hour period, or 69 KWH in a 31 day month. If your marginal electric rate is 14 cents/KWH, you add just under $10 to the electric bill. If you ran it continuously, you'd pay almost $40 a month, gain nothing in terms of dock protection, and annoy your neighbors who want to get out on the ice in winter.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:47 PM   #37
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In crude terms, 1/2 HP is 0.37 KW. If you run it on a timer for say 25% of the time, that's 2.24 KWH per 24 hour period, or 69 KWH in a 31 day month. If your marginal electric rate is 14 cents/KWH, you add just under $10 to the electric bill. If you ran it continuously, you'd pay almost $40 a month, gain nothing in terms of dock protection, and annoy your neighbors who want to get out on the ice in winter.
Or you could run it responsibly a few hours a day and spend only a few bucks preventing thousands of dollars in damage to your dock. You could allow ice to lock in around your posts and go years without ice damage or it could happen often. Before our aquatherm we had two episodes of ice damage from heaving. Aquatherms can be a nuisance when used without consideration for neighbors. It can also be a good piece of preventive maintenance if used with common sense.
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Old 01-26-2014, 05:33 PM   #38
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Or you could run it responsibly a few hours a day and spend only a few bucks preventing thousands of dollars in damage to your dock. You could allow ice to lock in around your posts and go years without ice damage or it could happen often. Before our aquatherm we had two episodes of ice damage from heaving. Aquatherms can be a nuisance when used without consideration for neighbors. It can also be a good piece of preventive maintenance if used with common sense.
That's the point. Your picture is all that it takes to protect the dock from winter ice formation and lake rise, and allows the ice to form to the shore land which will assist in protecting in the spring.

If you scroll up to my photo of our dock years ago, following the methods of a father son winter dock service, that is all we had was a small round circle at the end of the dock.

Thanks.

With the recent 1-2 inches of snow, the shoreline along Lake Shore Drive is really risky. However, it is setting records for cold. Checked my dock today as the end posts were bent. I set the end aquatherm for a couple of hours to restore end protection.

Checking the rest of the dock, at about the inside third point of my dock, a ridge area from what appears to be the constant current of the 24/7 looks to forming and building against the piles. This is what happened a couple of years ago.

So the dilemma, turn on the inside aquatherm to protect my piles (and become part of the problem, risking contribution to the open waters) or let it be (as the risk to piles isn't even a consideration compared to the safety risk to others, and being exposed to that risk, of those who are openly and knowingly without regard)?

Not willing to take that risk, won't turn it on. Will try to chainsaw some X's in the ice in that area to promote breakup at those piles.

THANKS to many for information posted. I know much more than I did at the outset. It will be a while to get a chance for a rep to sponsor a bill, but at least I have some contacts and they understand that the lakes have changed in the 3-4 decades since the existing laws, and regulations, have been updated to address current issues.

Hopefully there will be operating guidelines tied to the dock permits and ice retardant systems in the future that are enforceable and consequential.
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