WEST HARBOR POND NEWS
Fuel Oil Spill Diverted From Pond (Merritt Blakeslee, April 26, 2021)
On Sunday evening, April 25th, a broken line on a fuel oil tank at a home on Heron Cove Road resulted in a spill of between 75 and 100 gallons of fuel oil near the Pond. The Boothbay Harbor Fire Department, which reached the scene first, dug a trench and deployed booms to contain the fuel oil, then put out absorbent pads to soak up the oil. Shortly thereafter, the Newcastle Fire Department; the fuel oil supplier; and Maine Department of Environmental Protection responded to the scene, where the fuel oil supplier applied vacuum to the tank to prevent further loss. Due to the prompt actions of these organizations, the spill was contained before any fuel oil reached Heron Cove. This fact was confirmed by DEP’s representative, who used special equipment to pin-point the furthest extent of the spill and ascertained that the spill came no nearer than 100 to 150 feet from the water’s edge. Any rain would have worsened the effects of the spill by carrying the fuel oil towards the Pond. However, the timing was fortuitous, for the spill occurred after Sunday’s light rains and at the beginning of a predicted two-day stretch of dry weather.
The WHPWA is indebted to Dave McFarland, a member of our Board of Directors and of the Boothbay Fire Department, who monitored the situation for the WHPWA and who believes that the effect on the Pond will be negligible. Dave intends to continue to keep an eye on things by boat from his cottage just across Wawenock Trail from the head of Heron Cove.
Judy Kildow, Board of Directors member, instrumental in ending DOT’s herbicide spraying adjacent to West Harbor Pond (April 6, 2021)
When Judy Kildow, the newest member of the Board of Directors, joined the Board in January, she expressed an interest in trying to curtail DOT’s seasonal herbicide spraying adjacent to the Pond along Route 27 and Lakeside Drive. DOT carries out this spraying in order to control vegetation that, during the winter, would keep sunlight from getting to the road surfaces, making it more difficult to keep the roads clear after a snow or ice storm. Judy contacted Wendy Wolf, a member of the BBH Board of Selectmen and then worked with Julia Latter, the BBH Town Manager. With Judy’s help, Julie submitted a request to DOT promising that the Town would be responsible for controlling vegetation adjacent to the Pond if DOT would agree not to spray in those locations. DOT agreed and, last week, posted do-notspray and resume-spraying signs on Lakeside Drive just above Campbell Creek and just below Goose Meadow.. DOT did not post do-not-spray signs at the approaches to the causeway on Route 27 because it does not spray along the causeway. This is a significant achievement that will further protect the Pond, and the WHPWA thanks Judy for making it happen.
Siphon Water Quality Update (2/22/21)
One of the most important News areas for West Harbor Pond in recent years has been the funding and development of the new Pond siphon. On February 22, 2021 West Harbor Pond Watershed Association member Merritt Blakeslee presented Boothbay Harbor selectmen with an update on the Pond’s siphon, confirming from the WHPWA's regularly collected water quality data that the oxygenation has returned to the pond after 11 years of decline following the failure of the original siphon. Read the details from the Boothbay Register.
For much more news and information about the siphon, click here to go to the Siphon page.