Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Just a reminder that the voting ends this Thursday February 26th at 5 PM. Click on the header for the link to the website

Keep voting!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Look at the Shore Today

A Look at some of Manchaug Pond's shoreline today...

from Manchaug Road near "The Big Rock,"

and from the Public Boat Ramp

Rocky isn't it!

Don't forget to vote! Waters Farm!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Con Comm Meeting Postponed

The hearing originally scheduled for Feb. 18th is rescheduled for March 4th because the NOI has to be advertised. We will post the time when that is announced.

Don't forget Waters Farm - KEEP VOTING!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Waters Farm State Quarter - Vote!!!

There is a wonderful opportunity for Waters Farm to be featured on the next 50 States Quarters Program. Govenor Patrick is asking everyone to vote on who will be featured on the Massachusetts quarter in 2010 - the link to this heading will get you there. Scroll down to the bottom for Worcester County you can vote for Waters Farm AND you can vote as many times as you like up until February 26, 2009. I can't think of a better place representing New England history than Sutton's Waters Farm. In those immortal words of Al Capone...
"Vote early....and often!"
(and for Waters Farm)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ending Non-Point Pollution and Report Card

(File Photo from January 8, 2009, 7:55 p.m.)

Yesterday, an MPA subcommittee of our 319 Stormwater Grant met with CEI, our environmental engineering company, to finalized an educational plan targeting specific non-point pollution sources in the Manchaug Pond watershed. Our 319 Grant has been tooted as innovative, effective and cutting-edge by other groups from the Blackstone River Coalition to the Metacomet Land Trust.

Today, the Blackstone River Coalition will release Manchaug Pond's report card results for last year along with other sites along the Blackstone and its tributaries at this morning's Volunteer Water Qualtiy Monitoring Summit and Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. In past years, our report card results show nutrients and other "nasty things" coming in to Manchaug at the inlet testing site. Special thanks to Tammy, the Blackstone River Coalition volunteer for her dedication and efforts to monitoring and testing Manchaug Pond.

Our 319 Grant looks to reduce nutrient loading thereby improving water quality here on Manchaug Pond, in the Mumford, and beyond to the Blackstone.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Dam Caretaker Bring ing Water Level Up.

The dam low level gate has been closed down a bit to start letting the level come up.

These photos were taken on Weds. the 11th. This is the flow between Manchaug and Steven's Pond this week. We have good snow cover to make for lots of run off to bring us up. With the rain and snow melt we are getting more coming in. Now we just have to convince the dam owner to be a good neighbor and go back to historical levels!

I checked a few early blog posts from 2006: no hurricanes, dry weather, Fuddy doing a rain dance to get water in the lake. Different concerns than what is being discussed at Con Com meetings.

Interesting reading.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Con Comm Meeting on Sutton Cable

For those Sutton residents that were not able to make the Con Comm meeting on the 4th, it is now being televised on the local cable access, Charter Channel 11. The meeting will be on tonight at 6 PM however the Manchaug Pond portion starts at 7 PM since it began an hour past the beginning of the meeting.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Where are we?

On February 4th, the dam owner presented a newly revised operation and maintenance plan for Manchaug Pond to the Sutton Conservation Commission. The dam owner stresses their primary goal is "to maintain the safety and stability of the dam." The plans bear their engineer's stamp and will be submitted or have been submitted to the state Office of Dam Safety for approval. The Sutton Conservation Commission is involved through the Wetlands Protection Act to ensure that proposals do not adversely impact the Pond ecosystem.

(I hope that captures the essence of the situation in a simple forthright manner without diminishing the weight of the matter or the responsibilities of the parties involved.)

So... What is the role of the Manchaug Pond Association?

Education. Advocacy. Stewardship.

We need to bring Manchaug Pond to the face of decision makers at all levels. The lake is our backyard, we know it best. We see the impacts. We need to communicate... to replace the "conceptual, desktop evaluation" with facts, actual data from Manchaug Pond.

So what can you do? Join us. If you are not a member of the MPA and would like to be on our mailing list email the MPA at infoMPA@charter.net.

The next meeting of the Sutton Conservation Commission is February 18th.

Stay tuned.

The Manchaug Pond Association... founded in 1967 "to promote the welfare and correct use of Manchaug Pond and the contiguous area."

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Heading out on the ice.

This was last Saturday's photo, but I can tell you my first look out the window this morning saw 3 fishermen each pulling a sled of fishing gear from the boat ramp to the main part of the lake to join the fishermen, 4 wheelers and others already out there. The sky is blue, sun is shining, no wind and a temp at 3 F.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

"Have they already decided?"


Anonymous said...

I am sick after reading that Interface wants to draw down the water level by so much!

How was this proposal received by the Sutton Conservation Commission? Did anyone get a feel for how they might decide, or have they already decided? Please tell me that this isn't a done deal!
February 05, 2009 8:36 PM

Post a Comment

Dear Reader,
The hearing was continued. No decisions have been made. Conservation Commission members were very concerned with the new proposal having raised many questions and issues relating to the lake, the ecology around the lake, the flow and downstream habitat, weather models used, the duties of the caretaker, and the Emergency Action Plan. The Commission stated they contacted the state Riverways Program, Office of Dam Safety, Congress of Lakes and Ponds, state Fisheries and Wildlife, the authors of the Mumford River Low Flow Study and other specialists to secure their expert testimony. Under the Wetlands Protection Act, the chairman also stated that the dam owner was required to fund the hiring of an independent environmental engineering firm for the ConCom.

This is not over. The MPA and its members will continue to work hard educating those involved about Manchaug Pond. Stay with us!

Dam Owner Submits New Rule Curve and Operating Plan for Manchaug Pond

The Manchaug Pond dam owner submitted new documents last night at the Sutton Conservation Commission hearing which included a new rule curve and operating & maintenance plan as well as a preliminary impact evaluation. 7 engineers, 1 attorney and the Manchaug and Whitin Reservoir dams caretaker represented the dam owner.
(file photo)

Their proposal includes:

- Cut peak waterlevel by 3 to 4 feet to 515.9 ft water surface elevation.

- No flashboards will be used to retain waterlevel at any time.

- Reduce lake size by 55 acres from 350 acres to 295 acres.

- Establish a riparian buffer around the lake on newly exposed land owned by MRC/Interface to "provide substantial habitats for local flora and fauna."

- Reduce fall drawdown from 6ft to 3ft.

- Disconnect of stream habitats to protect resident native coldwater fish species such as brook trout from being "exposed to piscivorous, non-indigenous, warmwater fish species as largemouth bass in the impoundment."

With the mill closed, relocated and up for sale, the dam is no longer needed in the manufacture of cloth, to provide hydro power, or for the mill's wastewater plant. MRC expressed it now looks to limit liability by ensuring public safety through adoption of new operation methods siting 2001 Office of Dam Safety guidelines. Our sister lake, Whitin Reservoir, was not mentioned as having a similar need or issue.

Sutton residents can view the 2 1/2 hour proceedings on the local cable channel. MPA President Dave Schmidt speaks for Manchaug Pond at the end of the hearing.

For minutes of previous hearing dates visit:

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Meeting tonight on waterlevel and dam

Just a reminder that the dam owner will be making a presentation tonight before the Sutton Conservation Commission at the Sutton Town Hall concerning the operation of the Manchaug Pond dam. 8:00 p.m. 2nd floor.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sutton Con Comm Hearing

The dam owner's reschedule date from the previous delayed dates for their O&M plan review is now scheduled for this Wednesday February 4th at 8 PM at the Sutton Town Hall. We will post any changes or additional delay date.

Back on the web...

Today, was a trip to Best Buy. While there, I just had to take these photos:

Creative parking!

Got to love it! "To boldly go where no Jeep has gone before." the bumper sticker says. Not my vehicle, but I do understand the Jeep thing as 3 out of 4 of our children own/owned Jeeps.

Anyway... So why the trip? I've had internet/cable trouble for a couple months now. Spotty coverage/no coverage. Fios isn't available this end of town. I bought a new MacBook. Still trouble. So if it wasn't the computer, what was it? Well, we have also lost power numerous times and perhaps the cable, I thought, due to blown fuses on Irma Jones Rd, down pine tree on Torrey Rd, ice storms, a power line snapping on Manchaug Road - seemed like every week there was some act of nature - perhaps that is why no cable... but than yesterday in the sunshine, no internet once again. No internet all day...

So, after unplugging the wireless, and plugging the laptop directly into the modem - nothing.

So today off to buy a new modem. We're on the world wide web and back to blogging! So you should be hearing from me more often!

Here's a photo of creative parking on Manchaug Pond:


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