Stow Conservation Commission seeks new member

Interested in getting more involved in protecting Stow’s wetlands and open spaces and learning more about the town?  The Stow Conservation Commission is seeking a member to join a collegial and hard-working volunteer board in Stow.  The Commission meets on the first and third Tuesday night of every month.  Members also participate in site visits and help with projects between meetings.  The Conservation Commission administers and enforces the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and the Town of Stow Wetlands Protection Bylaw and Regulations.  The Commission reviews work within 100 feet of a wetlands and 200 feet of streams and ponds.  The Commission also guides management of more than 1,500 acres of town conservation land throughout the community.

The ideal candidate is interested in protecting the environment and has a background or interest in environmental science, policy, real estate, land use, planning, engineering or similar disciplines, but anyone can serve so long as they are willing to become familiar with the laws and regulations that the Commission works with.

More information is available at: https://www.stow-ma.gov/sites/stowma/files/uploads/cons_2019_0411.pdf or by contacting the Conservation Department at conservation@stow-ma.gov or 978-897-8615.

Lake Boon History Walk October 19—new shorter walk option

The Lake Boon History Walk will take place on Saturday, Oct 19th starting at the Stow Pine Bluffs / Town Beach on Sudbury Road. Registration begins at 11:30 am with step off at noon. The Lake Boon Association invites you to bring neighbors and friends to enjoy crisp air and fall colors during the 5-mile stroll or power walk around the lake. This 32nd annual event, previously known as the Lake Boon Walkathon, encourages Boonies and friends to take their time to appreciate the area’s history and environment as well as each other.

The tour includes over two dozen historical posters with old photos and fascinating background placed at various sites around the lake, including two train stops, steam and gasoline-powered ferries, a 21-room hotel and much more. Additional signs provide reminders of environmental issues that affect the lake and what we can do to protect it. A $5.00 donation is requested. Lake Boon T-shirts and bags will be available for purchase at the start.

Shorter Walk option: For those unable do the full 5-mile circumnavigation, we will have an on-call driver available to rescue anyone with tired feet and get them back to the starting point (or home if on the way).  Just bring your cell phone and get our driver’s phone number at the start.

Time to register for septic pumping

Once again, the Lake Boon Association is sponsoring a discount septic pumping program. The program will run beginning the week of November 4th. Deadline for sign up is Saturday, October 19th.

Casaceli Trucking will be doing the pumping once again and pricing will be based on $.19 per gallon with a 1000 gallon minimum, resulting in a savings of approximately 27%. Hudson has enacted a $10.00 fee for the pump reports that are required by the State. Therefore, Hudson residents will have an extra single $10.00 fee per address.

To register please email name, address and phone number to Dave at lbaseptic@gmail.com or call Dave Siewierski at 978-562-2203. The program is open to anyone living within the Lake Boon watershed or within a mile of the lake.

Since the inception of this program hundreds of tanks have been pumped at the discount price, saving money for individual homeowners while preserving property values and helping reduce weed and algae growth in the lake.

 The more frequently a system is pumped (recommendation every 1 – 2 years depending on family size), the longer it will last and work well. The LBA sponsors this program spring and fall each year, and so far Rich Casaceli continues to give us a lower price than other area companies for an excellent job!

Please spread the word to your neighbors on Lake Boon so we can continue to do everything we can to clean up the lake and keep our septic systems running well.

Algae update

The Nashoba Board of Health took the second sample for algae and toxin testing on September 17 and the results came back with algae cell count approximately double the allowed limit, although toxins were again below the detectable limit. However, because the cell count is a leading indicator that toxins may be released as cells die, the recommendation to the Stow Board of Health is to keep the beach closed and maintain the advisory not to swim and keep animals away from the rest of the lake. (It should be noted that the Nashoba representative wore a bathing suit to get the necessary representative sample from water 3 ft deep because the town beach docks had been removed for the season!)

Separately, a representative from Solitude Lake Management was on the lake today assessing the pondweed situation in the first basin for review in planning possible treatment next year.

Lake Boon water level to be lowered

The fall Lake Boon drawdown, done each year, will begin with the removal of the first board at the Barton Road dam on Oct 7, 2019 or soon thereafter. Lake residents should take this into consideration when scheduling removal of boats and/or shoreline repairs or clean-up.

The level will go down slowly over the next few weeks, approximately 14 inches by end of November. This is in accord with the Conservation Commission Superseding Order of Conditions.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Dan Barstow (DanBarstow@gmail.com) of the Lake Boon Commission.

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

Update on algae

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