Update on algae

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At the Stow Board of Health meeting last night, there was extensive discussion about the algae situation that developed in the past few weeks and how it was handled. The testing for algae and toxins requires a specialized laboratory and the State requires that two tests spaced a week apart both show cyanobacteria cell count and toxin levels below required thresholds before closure of a recreational water body can be lifted and be considered safe. The one week time interval for a second test is required to be sure that dying algae do not release more toxins than may have been present in the first sample.

Results of the first test have been received and they are negative: very low toxin and acceptable cell count levels. The next sample is to be taken the end of this week and results are expected the middle of next week. The second test result must also be negative before the lake can be considered safe according to State protocol.

A number of people have asked about further information on algae, cyanobacteria and what precautions should be taken. The State provides quite a bit of info:

https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/08/ww/algae-fresh-water-english.pdf
https://www.mass.gov/service-details/identifying-cyanobacterial-blooms-and-scums-photographs-of-blooms-and-scums
https://www.mass.gov/info-details/guidelines-for-cyanobacteria-in-freshwater-recreational-water-bodies
https://www.mass.gov/guides/cyanobacterial-harmful-algal-blooms-cyanohabs-water
https://www.mass.gov/info-details/microcystis-and-anabaena-algae-blooms
https://www.mass.gov/service-details/harmful-algae-blooms-and-pet-health

The Lake Boon Commission and Lake Boon Association have agreed to assist the Board of Health to improve responsiveness to this kind of situation in the future.

In the meantime, we should all observe the ways to reduce algae blooms in the first place:

  • Properly maintain septic systems
  • Use phosphate-free dishwasher detergent
  • Apply fertilizer correctly: only away from the lake, without phosphate. Remember, GREEN LAWNS = GREEN LAKES!
  • Pick up pets’ waste
  • Do not feed ducks or geese
  • Plant or maintain native vegetation around the water’s edge

HeatSmart open houses coming up

verticallogosThinking about a heat pump? Want to know more about the Stow and Hudson HeatSmart program? Got questions for heat pump-owning homeowners?

Join Hudson/Stow HeatSmart at one of their upcoming open house events and see different systems in action.

  • Meet team members and homeowners and get your questions answered.
  • Learn about our special pricing, available rebates, and incentives.

Sign up by visiting our website at Wepowr.com/HeatSmartHS/open-houses

  • September 15, Stow, Air source mini-splits
  • September 22, Harvard, Vertical ground source heat pump
  • October 6, Bolton, Ground source heat pump
  • October 13, Hudson, Air source mini-splits and heat pump
  • October 20, Hudson, Air source mini-splits and heat pump water heater

HEATSMART is a community-led green energy initiative. Volunteer support is provided by Sustainable Stow and Green Acton. For more information, visit our website at: HeatSmartHS.org or contact: info@HeatSmartHS.org

Lake Boon algae, EEE, are on Thursday’s Stow Board of Health agenda

Reporting on the Lake Boon algae and EEE issues are on the agenda for the Stow Board of Health meeting this Thursday, September 12. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. These items, under “Agent Report,” look like they’ll come up about 6 p.m. or later. The Stow Town Building is located at 380 Great Road (Route 117) in Stow.

Board of Health Meeting Agenda
September 12, 2019, 5:00 p.m.
Stow Town Building

5:00 PM Call to Order
5:15 Appointment-269 Boxboro Rd.-Variance request for existing well setback to proposed addition
5:30 PM- 250 West Acton Rd.-Ducharme and Dillis-Septic Upgrade Variance requests
5:45- 156 Maple Street-Geothermal Well-Variance requests
Discussion Items: (can be discussed in any order during meeting)
Agent Report
Lake Boon
EEE Risk and Update
PFAS
Office Business
28 South Acton Rd-date for future discussion
Flu Clinic
Bills, Permits
Minutes 8.28.19
Member Update
Correspondence
Adjournment

Stow Board of Health info on aerial mosquito spraying

Please click on this link for a notice from the Board of Health/Town Website regarding aerial spraying for mosquitoes as well as tips for reducing risk of exposure to EEE.

Linda Hathaway, the Stow Town Clerk has asked it to be circulated widely, so please feel free to share this information via email, text, or social media.

Note: If you have any questions, please contact the Stow Board of Health at health@stow-ma.gov or Nashoba Associated Boards of Health at 978-772-3335.

Water Carnival Wrap-up

Not to make light of the challenges we incurred over our Water Carnival weekend, (EEE threat and potential cyanobacteria that shut down the beach) but we survived and thrived. There have been only two weekends in the past 20 years that we recall having to modify our plans due to mother nature.  You know you live in a great community that when faced with a challenge, people come out in full support.

Our evening started out with the annual Lighting of the Lake which was started years ago by Steve Katz, who was unfortunately taken from us too early in a motorcycle accident, but his spirit of bringing people together still inspires us today.  With slightly cooler temperatures, long sleeved shirts and plenty of bug spray, our evening went almost as planned until the power went out on Sudbury and Pine Point Roads as the music boat was passing the town beach and entering into the black-out area. Not knowing what was happening they continued to play on and finished up around 11:00 pm.

Our Saturday events were modified as well. With the beach closing we needed to cancel the canoe and swimming races. Our morning started off with the annual field races which brought out an influx of youth with an abundance of energy that stretched into the lunch hour with entertainment by Fran Flynn, magician extraordinaire. We managed to replace our usual swimming activities with a dunk tank of sorts and a sprinkler that was a hit with the kids. After all, what’s a Water Carnival without water?

After cooling off with some wet fun we went into our usual beach time activities up on the soccer field which included balloon toss, pie eating, and tug-of-war contests. We finished up a little earlier than usual but everyone left with smiles on their faces.

Our Sunday boat parade started out with ten specially crafted boats and floats to tour the entire lake waterfront for the entertainment of onlookers from the shore line. We had boats from the land of Oz, witches, Vikings, a rotating ferris wheel and also a blue-green algae cleaning machine—which we could have used before Saturday’s events!

As we wrapped up our weekend with the final event on Monday during quiet hours, we brought back the sailing regatta that hasn’t been run for 30+ years. With the impending rain we ran a couple of quick races with four boats and called the challenge with mother nature a success.

A big thank you to all the volunteers who helped pull this together, and to the community that came out to support us.

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Lake Boon Commission meets Wed., Sept. 11

The Lake Boon Commission will meet Wednesday, September 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Stow Town Building, 380 Great Road (Route 117) in Stow. The agenda is as follows:

  • Chairmen comments
  • Welcome new commissioner
  • Public Comment
  • Discussion & Decision on LBC Organization
  • Meeting Minutes Review/Approval (7/22/19 Mtg)
  • Bills for Payment
  • Recurring LBC Responsibilities/Calendar
  • New police radio for LBC boat
  • Drawdown get well plan and preparation for 2019 season.
  • Status of lake treatment and year end reports from Solitude.
  • New Business
  • Date of Next Meeting
  • Adjourn