Water Quality Report and algae blooms

On Friday, August 24, 2012 I received test results from Saywer Environmental Laboratory on water samples taken from Mumford Cove on August 5, 2012. I submitted two samples for Phosphorus testing, one from Mumford Cove because of homeowners and association's concerns of an active algae bloom in the cove and one from our #1 test site in the middle lake to use as a benchmark. The range for Total Phosphorus is from -0- to 17 parts per million (ppm) with -0- being the target number and 17ppm being a area nutrient rich enough to promote algae growth.

Mumford Cove tested in the 8ppm range and the middle lake sample tested in the 5ppm range. Those numbers are not considered to be in a range that would promote the growth of algae sufficient for an algae bloom. The results were also reviewed by Linda Bacon, biologist with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Scott Williams, Executive Director of the VLMP who agreed with the results.

Although the test results are representative of an average Maine lake, we should be concerned that test samples taken about a quarter mile apart on the same lake were distinctly different. Once factors such as depth and shore verses open water are discounted, it is clear that the bottom of Mumford Cove is plant covered and needs shoreline buffering. The density of plant growth in Mumford Cove can only be addressed by the homeowners in the cove.

The middle lake 5ppm reading is encouraging, in fact very encouraging. Although we are doing the most basic of phosphorus testing it is an improvement over past testing years.

Bruce Micucci
Little Sebago Lake Association