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Old 12-16-2010, 06:41 PM   #1
fatlazyless
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Default Winnipesaukee phosphorous level?

This week's Plymouth Record Enterprise, which is a 75-cent weekly newspaper that comes out every Thursday, has a lower front page article titled "New initiative could help preserve watershed."

It is mostly all about Newfound Lake but what caught my eye were two paragraphs in the middle of the article on Lake Winnipesaukee.

"As an example of how quickly a watershed can deteriorate under the right set of circumstances, Landry (Steve Landry, an environmentalist with the NH DES and member of the Every Acre Counts Team) pointed to Lake Winnipesaukee, where the phosphorous level has risen from 4.8 micrograms per liter to an alarming six micrograms per liter over the past ten years, leaving officials in communities like Meredith scrambling to halt the use of lawn fertilizers and pesticides that infiltrated the lake through runoff, triggering the rapid increase in phosphorous.

Certain parts of Lake Winnipesaukee, he said, are already lost, and are on the verge of being declared impaired by the DES."

That's all the article has to say about Lake Winnipesaukee, and the remainder is about Newfound Lake's water quality.
........

I've noticed maybe two or three new town signs, about 36" x 36", with a very very large "P" for Phosphorous and some water quality commandments which have recently been posted on the Meredith town waterfront, close to the big intersection within Hesky and Clough waterfront parks, which are situated on both sides of the Inn at Bay Point.
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:17 PM   #2
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I read that article also FLL.

You can go to the Newfound Lake website to get information on the Every Acre Counts Watershed Master Plan — including updates on the implementation of a watershed-wide culvert assessment, a new vegetative swale and catch basins at Bristol’s Cummings Beach, water monitoring, and planning efforts.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:36 PM   #3
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There is an ongoing effort to monitor Winni water quality including phosphorus levels. This past summer we volunteered as part of the Lakes Lay Monitoring Program (UNH LLMP). http://www.winnipesaukee.org/unh-llmp.htm

It is part of an overall effort to develop a water quality management plan for the lake http://www.lakesrpc.org/lwwmp/

The most recent water quality that I found on line is from 2007:
http://www.winnipesaukee.org/images/...Report2007.pdf
When the 2010 data is available I'll post a link.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:49 PM   #4
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Default Members Mark Eeco Friendly Detergent

Where every little bit helps, one item my wife and I statred using a couple years ago while out on the island was "Member's Mark" (Sams Club) Eco-Responsible HE Laundry detergent.

It is safe for all washing machines, its biodegradable and plant-based cleaning agents derived from palm contain no dyes, This formula is also safe for septic systems and contains no phosphates."

It's also cheaper than regular laundry detergent and really does work well as long as you shake before use.

While I know this is far from the answer, every little bit helps.

Thanks!

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Old 12-19-2010, 04:19 AM   #5
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Arrow Lawn Fertilizers + Pesticides + Dishwashers...

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Originally Posted by fatlazyless View Post
...leaving officials in communities like Meredith scrambling to halt the use of lawn fertilizers and pesticides that infiltrated the lake through runoff, triggering the rapid increase in phosphorous.
Just this year, four states were added to those states who'd previously banned dishwasher detergents containing too much phosphorous:

Vermont, New York, Washington and Indiana.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:10 AM   #6
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Default Show Us The Data

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Originally Posted by fatlazyless View Post
where the phosphorous level has risen from 4.8 micrograms per liter to an alarming six micrograms per liter over the past ten years, leaving officials in communities like Meredith scrambling to halt the use of lawn fertilizers and pesticides that infiltrated the lake through runoff, triggering the rapid increase in phosphorous.
Please provide a citation or a link to data that demonstrates that a rise from 4.8 micrograms to 6.0 micrograms is of any significance whatsoever.

Six micrograms per liter (quart) is a tiny, tiny, TINY amount of phosphorus.

Now, I'm not a water chemist and I don't work in this area of science.

But I have no reason to believe a single word uttered by any environmental "scientist", much less a regulator who works for DES, that is not supported by observational, or better experimental, data.

Perhaps there is a threshold for eutrophication. Perhaps that threshold lies between 4.8 and 6.0 MICROGRAMS.

But given the constant lying and data falsification by atmospheric carbon "scientists" chasing power and influence, the default assumption should be that aquatic phosphorus scientists should have to show us verifiable and reproducible data BEFORE they get to change our lives, not AFTER.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:42 AM   #7
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Greens basin phosphorus levels ranged from 13-22 PPB (or Ug/L) this summer according to UNH lab testing. The Lees Mills area ranged from 10-15. These are also areas where milfoil is found. Is that a coincidence or cause and effect?
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:07 AM   #8
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Good observation, gocart.....just like "global warming", people fall for the hype without checking the facts.
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:30 PM   #9
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Default The data is everywhere

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Now, I'm not a water chemist and I don't work in this area of science.
Actually, the data is everywhere and if you do a quick "google" of phosphorus and euthrophication. You will find tons of university research papers

Keep in mind that a change from 4.8 to 6 is a 25% change. If we were to use your "tiny, tiny" analogy, your body has a tiny, tiny amount of potassium that your heart and muscles need to function. I can raise that tiny, tiny amount in you blood and your heart would stop

FYI, there are several states who already ban P from detergent and fertilizer. In NY you have to et a soil test to prove your soil needs it which is what people should be doing anyways. Soil tests cost a whole $15.

My user name may give some clue as to how much interest I have in this area. I've got more than a casual understanding of law fertilizers and herbicides. Unfortunately everyone thinks they know all their is to know about lawn care since they can read a Scott's label Over fertilizing is part (not all) of the problem when it comes to water quality. The other part is septic tanks and fields. Some towns are now starting to require pumping every three years.

Prevention is much easier to deal with over time.
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Old 12-24-2010, 03:16 PM   #10
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Default Don't P in the water

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Over fertilizing is part (not all) of the problem when it comes to water quality. The other part is septic tanks and fields.
The problem with septic and fertilizer phosphorus is much of it enters the water during the summer tourist season when the water is warm, and the algae is hungry. From what I've been told, it is a problem we can most easily address, so we should raise awareness and enforce where practical.

The shoreline protection act and steep slope ordinances are designed to reduce runoff, which scientists say contributes 80% of the yearly phosphorus load. The theory is that spring phosphorus is the largest contributor, but sinks to the bottom of the cold water before the plant life in the water column is growing. Maintaining shoreline vegetation and porous soil, along with holding dams, slows down the flush of water that brings phosphorus with it following summer gully washers.
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Old 12-25-2010, 04:51 AM   #11
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Unhappy Lawns, Dishwashers, Concrete Basements, Local Governments...

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The problem with septic and fertilizer phosphorus is much of it enters the water during the summer tourist season when the water is warm, and the algae is hungry. Maintaining shoreline vegetation and porous soil, along with holding dams, slows down the flush of water that brings phosphorus with it following summer gully washers. The theory is that spring phosphorus is the largest contributor...
1) The newish McMansion next door, which has "issues", converted a garage to an additional bedroom, and shares a leachfield with a long-existing cottage that added bedrooms (already with "issues"), is presently on a "micro-lot"—due to encroachment by a Mega-McMansion (which has even-bigger "issues").

2) The building of the McMansion's concrete basement next door blocked the natural flow of rainfall across a wide area. That blockage has increased an existing rivulet's flow between our properties.

Now it is showing a large clump of algae at the lake's edge—in April.

3) The photograph that follows is very similar view to 80% of our 1-acre lot: IMHO, it represents how shorelines should have been historically "maintained".

The photo shows mostly "second-growth" pine trees and a covering of natural forest "duff". With the passage of another half-century, many trees will be culled by Mother Nature. After 54 years, our trees are fewer, but 'way larger, than those pictured. The forest floor looks identical, however.

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Old 12-25-2010, 08:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acres per Second View Post
1) The newish McMansion next door, which has "issues", converted a garage to an additional bedroom, and shares a leachfield with a long-existing cottage that added bedrooms (already with "issues"), is presently on a "micro-lot"—due to encroachment by a Mega-McMansion (which has even-bigger "issues").

2) The building of the McMansion's concrete basement next door blocked the natural flow of rainfall across a wide area. That blockage has increased an existing rivulet's flow between our properties.

Now it is showing a large clump of algae at the lake's edge—in April.

3) The photograph that follows is very similar view to 80% of our 1-acre lot: IMHO, it represents how shorelines should have been historically "maintained".

The photo shows mostly "second-growth" pine trees and a covering of natural forest "duff". With the passage of another half-century, many trees will be culled by Mother Nature. After 54 years, our trees are fewer, but 'way larger, than those pictured. The forest floor looks identical, however.

APS: It is too bad what has happened at lake Winnipesaukee. Unfortunately, the Live Free or Die mentality is good in some instances and bad in others. With respect to the rampant building on the lake over the last 20-years, this mentality was mostly bad as folks did whatever they pleased when constructing their 5,000 square foot summer "cottages" . I agree that there should have been a buffer around the lake like you see in many of Maine's lakes, but it wasn't to be.

As one old timer said to me recently, "Lake Winnipesaukee's water quality is clearly in accelerated decline and there isn't a damn thing anyone can do about it at this point. It has been loved to death. " I feel fortunate to be on one of the smaller surrounding water bodies that hasn't been as damaged.
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:46 AM   #13
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Unhappy P: Three recent examples...

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Unfortunately, the Live Free or Die mentality is good in some instances and bad in others. With respect to the rampant building on the lake over the last 20-years, this mentality was mostly bad as folks did whatever they pleased when constructing their 5,000 square foot summer "cottages".
In my immediate waterfront view, the first affront to water quality was a McMansion built in 1985. (So it'd be 25-years—not 20—IMHO).

The issues of Phosphorus and water quality should have been addressed back then, but those years were the start of the "boom" years: especially as this week Peter Schiff—who early-on predicted the housing disaster and its financial fallout—says the national change in real estate values has 20%+ yet to drop.

Attached is a previously-posted photograph; however, I had neglected—back then—to describe its features:

The yellow areas are spots of bright sunlight. The reddish areas are wet spots. Just 10-feet directly behind the photographer is a septic pump-up to their shared leachfield.

(Located on the "heavily-easemented" micro-lot, next door to the Mega-McMansion).

Not observable is the strong scent of sewerage that comes down the hill when the breeze/temperature are "right". The new construction (plus the added bedrooms—since first constructed) on both of these houses occurred in the last three years!

Odor complaints to "Code Enforcement" have been forwarded to "The Health Department"—from whom I've heard only crickets. (Yes, there are local "wink-politics", personalities, shenanigans, and money involved). Worse yet, is that the new (and gawk-worthy) "Mega-McMansion" is now renting to multi-family units.

It is to be hoped that these newest three abominations aren't replicated anywhere else on Lake Winnipesaukee.
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Acres per Second View Post

The issues of Phosphorus and water quality should have been addressed back then, but those years were the start of the "boom" years: especially as this week Peter Schiff—who early-on predicted the housing disaster and its financial fallout—says the national change in real estate values has 20%+ yet to drop.
Thank you for posting a link to such a great article. I've learned more about economics from his articles and vblogs than I ever did in college.
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:34 PM   #15
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Phosphorous is a huge problem everywhere, and is sometimes fed by over-building. We have an ever-growing invasive weed problem here too, driven by phosphorus as well. But in most cases here, it's driven by wildlife and farmlands, and of course, some runoff.

The unfortunate part is that people have anti-people agendas that tend to preclude the research results. Proper sewage-treatment plants and runoff treatment plants could have been built many years ago, when it was affordable to do so. I've always contended that if these types of plants were funded in areas that need them, the "Net" costs wouldn't be so bad. The costs of cleanup and other economic impacts are very, very high, and could be mitigated if towns and counties were directed to do the right thing.

Reductions in fertilizer would help, as would better septic systems and the like. We have a problem of farmland and resulting runoff, plus the greatly enhanced population of waterfowl. Areas in bays where NWZ's have become more the norm are suffering as well from relative water stagnation.

It's not too late to keep Winnipesaukee clean. It's also not hard for the owners of huge waterfront houses to make sure their landscaping is not contributing to the problem, and that their septics are secure. DNA research is quite helpful in determining the real sources. IN our great Malletts Bay project, three times it was determined that after storms, it was wildlife and waterfowl that were the primary contributors. As one might suspect, nothing was done about this.

Help keep Winni clean before it becomes too big a job.
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