Monday, May 26, 2008

Long Beach Sebago Lake High Water

Over the past two years FOSL has been photographing Long Beach after FOSL members residing there noticed an accelerated loss of beach. Fortunately this year winds were
diminished during the highest water episode. As one can see a 4 foot wave would be

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

FOSL Comments of EGGI and Normandeau Studies

Friends of Sebago Lake provides comments on two Fryeburg water studies which study the altered hydrologic flow impacts on Wards Brook Aquifer and Lovewell Pond caused by ground and spring water extraction by local uses and Poland Spring, a subsidiary of the Nestle Corporation.

Several Fryeburg citizens asked the Friends of Sebago Lake (FOSL) to review and comment on the conclusions of two Fryeburg environmental water studies; one by Emery and Garrett Groundwater Inc. 2005, and the second by Normandeau Associates, December, 2007. Friends of Sebago Lake has 18 years of experience with regulatory agencies and the environmental impacts of unnatural lake and river regulation. Many FOSL publications and letters can also be viewed on elibrary of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission website . The docket number is [p-2984].

The two studies EGGI (Wards Brook) and Normandeau Associates, Inc.
(Lovewell Pond) conclude the volume of water extraction from the Ward’s
Brook Aquifer has no significant impact to Lovewell Pond. Friends of
Sebago Lake believes that limnology, pertaining to the study of lakes,
is a very complicated science. Each lake is different and the impacts of altering the hydrologic flow will vary from lake to lake. There are many different variables that
would affect the impacts on Lovewell Pond of groundwater extraction in the
Lovewell Pond watershed such as water temperature, stratification, water level range, seasonal timing of lake water level fluctuations, precipitation, outlet and lake bathymetry, groundwater lake charge, evaporation volume, and lake inflow volumes. These variables are not addressed or receive insufficient discussion in the two studies. Friends of Sebago Lake believes these studies are inadequate for any meaningful conclusions either for determining safe volumes of groundwater extraction
or impacts to Lovewell Pond.

Several study factors or statements listed below create questions about
the accuracy of the EGGI and Normandeau conclusions.

* For precipitation amounts and timing of those events during the study
time period it was an atypical year.
* Missing data - A flow meter installed for collecting data at outlet of
Wards Brook failed to perform.
* The “no significant impact” statement in the EGGI conclusions refers to
volume of water ratio of Wards Brook flow to Saco river flood input and
the studies do not mention ecological impacts during low flow months of summer.
* Neither the EGGI or Normandeau study addresses impacts of temperature
changes in Lovewell Pond due to reduced Wards Brook flow and groundwater charge.
* Neither EGGI nor the Normandeau study addresses increased summer
stagnation in Ward’s brook outlet and Lovewell Pond due to reduced
tributary flow especially in the shallower northern end.
* Not one lake scientist either from Maine DEP or Maine Geological
Services has stated publicly that the present level of groundwater
extraction would not significantly impact temperature of Lovewell Pond or
the stagnation rate during the low flow months of summer.
* The maps of the boundaries of the aquifer and flow in it are merely
guesses. Expensive test well studies are needed to determine accurate
details of the aquifer and groundwater flow to Lovewell Pond.
* Normandeau conclusions supporting insignificant impact of groundwater
extraction are based on the misunderstanding between EGGI and Maine DEP .


A significant time frame of the study was from June 2006 to July
2007. Precipitation was “atypical”. Water flows were abnormally higher
during the summer and lower in the winter. Usually , it is the opposite
case where tributary flows are lower in the summer. Flow volume data
gathered during this time period would not provide any relevance for
groundwater extraction impact conclusions for Lovewell Pond. The study
fails to address temperature changes to Lovewell Pond. The Normandeau
study states the amount of water entering the lake from the river on an
annual basis is two and one half times the volume of the lake. This back
filling of the lake by the rising Saco River occurs typically in the
spring or sometimes in the late fall. This river water is significantly
higher in phosphorus nutrients than the groundwater that is extracted and
would have entered the pond according to the study. However, phosphorus
and other nutrients and biota relationships are very sensitive to even
small changes in water temperature of the preferred temperature range of a
species. The more phosphorus the more important temperature is to the ratio
of biomass production. As the water temperature rises there can be an
exponential rise in biological activity. The study emphasizes the high
phosphorus content of the river water. Normandeau goes into considerable
detail on formulating phosphorus contributions for Ward’s brook and the Saco.
However, the Normandeau study does not address the stagnation of Lovewell
Pond water in the drier summer and early fall months when the Pond is
mostly dependent on water inflow from spring seeps and Wards Brook to
mitigate stagnation and maintain a lower water temperature. Even a couple
of degrees of temperature rise can greatly impact biological activity and
phosphorus transfer. In a drought year the impact of water extraction
would have a more harmful impact. In a normal rainfall year the impact
would be less severe but could be highly significant. Friends of Sebago
Lake (FOSL) disagrees with the Normandeau support of the conclusion of the
2005 EGGI study. FOSL believes the EGGI study conclusions are flawed.
The EGGI study stated that the water withdrawals would have an insignificant
impact on Lovewell Pond. Since EGGI performed no studies on Lovewell Pond it was unscientific and improper for EGGI to formulate this conclusion. According to their report, the EGGI staff received input on Lovewell Pond from Gene Berghoffen of the
Planning Board, Howard Dearborn, Denny McNish of IF&W and Linda Bacon,
a lake biologist with the Maine DEP. Howard Dearborn has stated many times
in meetings and in newsletters that the withdrawals are damaging Lovewell
Pond. Gene Berghoffen was the planning board chairman during the study
period. Berghoffen’s present area of expertise is in the field of trucking
management systems. For EGGI to base their conclusion on the statements of
two local citizens would be unusual for a professional consulting firm.
From what FOSL can interpret there was a misunderstanding between EGGI
and Linda Bacon, a DEP lake biologist. FOSL believes Bacon did say to
EGGI that the amount of water extracted from the aquifer in relation to
the amount of water that annually enters the lake from the river is
insignificant. No evidence exists that EGGI ever discussed with Bacon the
impacts of spring water extraction on Lovewell Pond in the low flow warm
months of June, July, August and September when the only significant
inflow to Lovewell Pond is Ward’s Brook and spring seeps. This is a major
omission in the justification of the present extraction. It is very
disappointing that with all the resources and time that have been expended
for these two studies there is so much doubt of their scientific

Roger Wheeler
Friends of Sebago Lake

Monday, May 12, 2008

Letter to FERC-Crooked River resident

FOSL comment: This letter was copied recently from FERC elibrary files.
FOSL has several submissions to FERC about this degradation which is a violation
of the Clean Water Act.

Comment of James O'Connor in Docket(s)/Project(s) P-2984-066

Submission Date: 5/8/2008

Eel Weir Hydro Project, FERC No. p-2984, correspondence with FERC.

Please note any and all relating to this project


We have had a tremendous amount of erosion on the Crooked River in NAPLES and
CASCO MAINE as a result of high water in the lake at the wrong times over the last decade. The crooked river can’t handle the spring runoff if the lake is at full
pond nor can it during a big rain event while at full pond. This is What happens
during a flood on the very long crooked river - irreversible environmental damage,
not only erosion but, uprooted trees, dead beavers, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, muskrats, nesting birds, frogs and waterfowl. Oxbows are 'cleaned out" of spring hatch. The salmon won’t run because the smelt won’t run. Trout won’t come
into turbid water (silt). Another important and hazardous impact to the environment is- pollutants washed down the river from the flood. Gas cans, oil, trash, any thing left on the ground gets into the water supply including raw sewage.

The crooked river is the largest tributary of Sebago Lake.

Jim O'Connor

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tell it like it is from Gardiner

From Portland Press Herald

Maine Lake Watch of Gardiner, ME
May 8, 2008 4:16 PM
It is about time for enviromental organizations, Communities and the State to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. They like to blame shoreowners for the millions and millions of tons of effluent running into our lakes because it make them a nice "smoke sceen" to cover up for industrial, state and municipal damage done to our lakes, rivers and streams.

These "enviro-mental" groups need to take a good look at the destruction of our resources that they cause...Like the horrendous erosion of the shores of our lakes caused by trying to fill these ponds to the brim for the pleasure of the few. Mother nature did not create these ponds for the use of cigarette boats, to keep marina operators happy. This exploitation of our resources by enviromental groups causes severe erosion, loss of wildlife habitat, wetland destruction.

We are glad to see that one of these groups is finally concerned about their tons of runoff and what they have done might help. Now they need to take a look at what they have done to the natural beaches at Sebago and take a very L O N G hard look!