In 2014, a watershed survey identified 49 source points for erosion and runoff problems around Adams Pond and Knickerbocker Lake. In the past six years, 40 have been remediated using a series of traditional and innovative methods by Boothbay Region Water District. A fairly simple project was combating an erosion problem at a Knickerbocker Lake cottage. The cottage’s roof runoff combined with bare soils on the lawn contributed to significant runoff into the lake. The water district installed an infiltration trench capturing roof runoff and planted native vegetation and a mulch covering into the nearby ground.
A larger, more complex erosion problem was solved on Pine Woods Road. A steep road adjacent to Route 27 had no stormwater control and had washed out for several years. This dumped a significant amount of sediment and dirty water into Adams Pond. The district installed a large stormwater control system. The road was resurfaced and pitched slightly which directed water toward the system.
Most water district projects, including those two, are achieved through sweat and dollars. Resource Protection Manager Sue Mello is responsible for identifying potential stormwater erosion runoff spots within the watershed. She is also charged with finding grant money to fund remediations. Since 2014, Mello has secured $281,380 in grants. Most were used to fix or improve non-point source pollution around the watershed. Most state and federal grants require a match of approximately 40% which either the water district or property owners provide.
Since 2014, the district has received $65,000 from a Maine Drinking Water Protection Source Water fund. This is an annual grant which limits contributions to $10,000 per year. Mello said most of the funds go toward runoff/erosion problems, but some are used for public education, land management, research and surveys, and the district’s Lake Friendly Grant.
In 2015, the district created a Lake Friendly Grant which provides technical assistance and up to $1,000 in matching funds to watershed property owners for addressing runoff/erosion or replacing failing septic or heating oil tanks. In the program’s five-year existence, the district has approved 16 projects and dispersed $16,383 in local grants. The Lake Friendly Grants are for smaller projects for which property owners are required to provide up to a 40% match which may include labor.
Another state grant has helped rehabilitate a stream and buy a 70-acre parcel for creating a land preserve. In 2015, the district received an $85,630 Maine Natural Resource Protection grant. The district used these funds to buy an Adams Road property for conservation. The district put all but three acres into conservation which allowed the couple to keep their home. “We want to conserve undeveloped watershed land because there is a direct link between how much of a watershed is forested and water quality. As a watershed gets developed, water quality declines….