New West Harbor Pond Siphon is Working!

After six years of intensive efforts, the West Harbor Pond Watershed Association was successful in replacing the broken 1880 siphon, which could no longer remove salt water from the bottom of the pond. In the summer of 2018, the WHPWA’s Campaign to Save West Harbor Pond raised the necessary funds to build and install a new siphon. 

Prior to the installation of the new siphon, a substantial amount of prep work had to be done:  a hole was cored through the dam, long lengths of 6" pipe were fused together, and a manhole cylinder was fitted with controls to operate the siphon. 

In December, during a period of bitterly cold weather, the harbor-side siphon pipe was placed in the harbor, threaded through the dam, laboriously fitted with 300-lb. weights, and attached to the manhole cylinder, which was now in place. In early March, the harbor-side siphon pipe was attached to the manhole cylinder, both pipes were cleared of ice, and tracing dye was injected into the siphon. A plume of green dye rose to the surface of the harbor, showing that, after six long years, the siphon was finally working!

The WHPWA owes a deep debt of gratitude to Pat and Kipp Farrin and to their crew, Mike Doyen, Josh Cook, and Todd Hyson, as well as Kent Berry and his lobster boat, for their ingenuity, hard work, and persistence under difficult weather conditions.  The WHPWA is also indebted to the Boothbay Region Water District, its General Manager, Jon Ziegra; its Distribution Foreman, Dale Harmon; and the members of the BRWD crew who assisted in the siphon project: Taylor Timberlake, Shawn Simmons, Trevor Morin, and Weston Alley.  This project would not have been possible without Pat Farrin & Sons’ donation of their work at a discounted rate and the BRWD’s generous donation of materials, labor, and expertise. 

When the replacement siphon was installed in March 2019, it marked the culmination of five years of hard work by the WHPWA.  This effort was well publicized in the Boothbay Register and followed with great interest in our community.  Below are links to twelve articles that appeared in the Register between 2016 and the completion of the siphon in March 2019.  These articles provide a rough chronological narrative of the last three years of work that culminated in the siphon being turned on March 8, 2019.

Boothbay Register Articles:

Group rallies to save West Harbor Pond   (8/17/16)

Plan B emerges for West Harbor Pond water woes  (9/27/16)

West Harbor siphon woes may be closer to solution  (3/30/17)

Grant secured for West Harbor Pond siphon repair project  (6/13/17)

West Harbor Pond siphon examined underwater  (10/14/17)

WHPWA kicks off fundraising campaign  (6/29/18)

Save West Harbor Pond  (7/25/18)

Thanks from the WHPWA (9/25/18)

West Harbor Pond siphon project nears completion  (12/24/18)

It takes a village (12/31/18)

At long last, West Harbor Pond siphon up and running  (3/18/19)

West Harbor Pond siphon in jeopardy  (7/31/19)

The 1880 siphon that finally gave out

Site preparation to install manhole cylinder that will house the siphon controls

Lowering manhole cylinder into position

Cylinder, pond-side, with controls in place

Working in frigid water, attaching 300 lb. weights to hold the pipes down

Laying siphon pipe, harbor-side (above) and pond-side (below).

Our full Photo Journal with narrative explains why this harbor view was an especially beautiful sight for all involved in the siphon project !

Photo credits: Merritt R. Blakeslee

Campaign to Save West Harbor Pond Surpasses Goal

Raising over $58,000 in three months, the West Harbor Pond Watershed Association has successfully reached and exceeded its $53,000 fundraising goal for the Campaign to Save West Harbor Pond. More than 105 contributors from throughout the Boothbay region and beyond participated in the Campaign, which began in mid-June and ended on September 15, 2018.


The Campaign funds were used to install the new siphon system, replacing the broken 1880 siphon that no longer removes the salt water that enters the Pond; to procure liability insurance; and to establish a reserve fund for maintenance, repairs, and unforeseen contingencies. To help ensure that the new siphon achieves its intended objective, remaining funds will be used for additional measures as needed to maintain the water quality of West Harbor Pond into the future.


The WHPWA wishes to acknowledge and thank the many members and supporters, whose generosity has enabled us to install the new siphon and maintain the health of the Pond in the years to come.


Watershed Survey Report Now Available

The WHPWA conducted a Watershed Survey on June 6, 2018 in partnership with the Boothbay Region Water District, Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District, Boothbay Region Land Trust, Boothbay Harbor Sewer District, Lake Stewards of Maine (formerly Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program), the Town of Boothbay Harbor and Maine DEP.

After many months of analyzing data and photographs collected during the watershed survey, the WHP Watershed Survey Report is complete.

The primary goals of the 2018 West Harbor Pond Watershed Survey were to:

  • Identify existing sources of soil erosion sites in the West Harbor Pond Watershed

  • Raise public awareness about the connection between land use and water quality, and the impact of soil erosion on West Harbor Pond

  • Inspire people to become active watershed stewards

  • Make general recommendations to landowners for fixing erosion problems on their properties

Volunteers and technical leaders identified 20 erosion sites in the West Harbor Pond watershed that are currently impacting or have the potential to impact water quality in West Harbor Pond. Surveyors documented the type, size and severity of each erosion site.

The Watershed Survey Report summarizes the findings of the survey and offers information and recommendations that all watershed property owners should find useful in helping to improve the water quality of West Harbor Pond.

The WHPWA gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance received through a generous grant from Lake Stewards of Maine (formerly Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program).



SAVE THE DATES for our 2019 Moonlight Paddles**

Moonlight Paddles are organized monthly, weather permitting, on or near the night of the full moon, from May through October.


Plan to attend one or all of these lovely evenings on the water for a tranquil experience that only West Harbor Pond can offer. We meet in the center of the pond, near the water-station buoy. After a leisurely paddle down to the dam we head back to the best viewing spot – near the islands – where we can watch the moon come up over the resort.​  The more boats the merrier – invite neighbors, friends and family. Bug spray and a flashlight are recommended!

Upcoming moonlight paddle dates for 2019 season (weather permitting):

Saturday, May 18 -  Moonlight Paddle is CANCELED.

Monday, June 17 - Strawberry Moon 

Tuesday, July 16 - Buck Moon

Thursday, August 15 - Sturgeon Moon

Saturday, September 14 - Harvest Moon

Sunday, October 13 - Hunter's Moon

**This is a weather dependent activity. In case of wind, rain or clouds we'll have to cancel or postpone. Check your email (members), the West Harbor Pond Facebook page, or this page for the specific details each month. A cancellation will be called by 5:00pm on the day of the event if necessary.

© 2017 by West Harbor Pond Watershed Association.

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