Water Quality Monitoring Planned for Freedom Lakes

Freedom—February 3, 2021—Under a plan being developed this winter, Freedom’s Loon Lake and Round Pond will have their own water quality monitoring programs by this summer.

Freedom Conservation Commission, Green Mountain Conservation Group, Loon Lake Association and the UNH Lakes Lay Monitoring Program have been hammering out the details of the plan via Zoom calls during the past few weeks.

The goal is to establish baseline water quality measurements for both bodies of water utilizing protocols similar to VLAP testing performed annually on Ossipee Lake and the bays. Then annual water tests will create a database of technical information that can be used to assess long-term changes in the water.

A paper recently published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” documents the impact of road salt on water quality. The study evaluated waterbodies in 11 states, including New Hampshire, and found increased levels of salinization and a direct connection between impervious (paved) surfaces (and increased levels of salinization over time. When salting is stopped, and assuming water flow, it will wash out over some years.

Funding for the monitoring plan will come from Freedom Conservation Commission and Loon Lake Association, with Green Mountain providing the testing equipment and technical support. All water samples will be processed at the UNH labs.

The group hopes to have a final plan and testing schedule in place by early spring in order to begin testing in May.

For additional information, contact Paul Elie, Chair, Freedom Conservation Commission (978) 995-5261 or pauleliefcc@gmail.com

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