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 Association.

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.


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