|June 15, 2007
GRA sponsors local
resident in bringing VLAP to Glen Lake
GOFFSTOWN - The Goffstown Residents Association
is sponsoring local resident Rebecca Caron in bringing
the state's Volunteer Lake Assessment Program to
Goffstown's Glen Lake.
Caron, a native of San Diego, moved to Glen Lake three years ago.
She and her husband, Guy Caron, whose family has owned
various properties on the lake since 1948, had often
vacationed on Glen Lake during the summers prior to
their permanent relocation to Goffstown.
Caron said she became concerned about the water quality
on Glen Lake after an E. coli breakout last summer closed the
lake for a number of weeks. "There needs to be people who are going to look out for the
lake," she said. "There are many old
camps on this lake with nothing more than 50 gallon
drums just buried in the ground rusting away, being used
like septic systems. Some places even have pipes running
straight into the water. Someone has to check the water
quality because so many people - especially children -
swim here every day."
Caron is conducting the first tests of Glen Lake's water
quality today, and will be accompanied by DES
biologist Rebecca Lelesi while taking the samplings.
Five of those tests involve costs that must be absorbed
by VLAP volunteers themselves. To cover these
costs, she is being sponsored by the Goffstown Residents
The Town of Goffstown also recently announced its
intention to test for E. coli at the public beach area
of Glen Lake once a month, or as needed, during the
summer months. The town's first test there was
conducted in May, with E. coli levels found to be well
within acceptable limits.
Unlike the tests being conducted by the town, Caron will
be sampling the water at various depths and in numerous areas
around the lake. Also, in addition to E. coli, she
will be testing pH levels, turbidity (suspended matter
in the water), total phosphorus (which limits algae),
conductivity (levels of road salt, septic waste and
other runoff), chlorophyll-A (another algae test), water
clarity, phytoplankton (microscopic algae) and chloride
(toxic to aquatic life).
The Volunteer Lake Assessment Program is a cooperative program between the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) and lake residents and lake
associations around the state.
Volunteer monitors are trained by DES to sample the lake itself,
and are also trained to survey the surrounding watershed and sample the streams and rivers that are tributaries to the lake. Sampling frequency is flexible, with most
sampling being conducted monthly throughout the summer (June through August).
Participating lakes must be sampled in the presence of a DES biologist at least once during the summer.
This meeting is an important annual event in which the volunteer monitors have an opportunity to express any watershed concerns.
Also, the event allows DES biologists to evaluate the quality assurance of the volunteer sampling techniques.
During the off-season, DES biologists interpret the water quality data and compile the results into an annual report for each lake.
The biologists produce an annual newsletter, provide technical and educational materials, and notify volunteer monitors of regional workshops and important legislation. In addition, DES biologists give presentations at lake association meetings, upon request.
Once the volunteer monitors receive the data and the annual report for their lake, DES encourages the volunteer monitors to relay the information to their respective associations.
In addition, when the volunteer monitors observe possible violations around the lake, they report their findings to DES.
The volunteer monitors are proactive lake stewards who are concerned for the well-being of their lakes.