Water Quality Testing
Monitoring water quality is critically important to understanding the health of the Ponds. TPPA conducts water-quality testing beginning each May through the end of the season. Samples of water are taken at various depths and sent to the University of New Hampshire where analysis is performed. The amount of total phosphorous, dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll a, are measured. Each of these tests help to determine if the water quality is improving, regressing or remaining about the same. Tests for transparency are also conducted providing a measure for how clear the water is at various depths.
Fighting Invasive Species
Over the years, these ponds have become built up with cottages and many lakeside residences, campgrounds, rentals properties, beaches, and marinas. And perhaps because of the ponds’ popularity, it was inevitable that an invasive species was discovered in 2015. This particular invasive species known by varying names such as European Naiad (EN), Brittle Naiad, Spiny Naiad, and Najas minor, is a most difficult foe to control and ultimately eradicate. Unlike most invasive species, it is an annual plant that produces an abundance of small seeds each year. This plant becomes ‘brittle’ in late summer producing seed-laden fragments that spread to other locations. You can read more about European Naiad and our efforts here.
Since Milton Three Ponds borders both New Hampshire and Maine, both state agencies (DES and DEP) were alerted provided both technical assistance and grant funding. The towns of Milton, NH and Lebanon, ME have also stepped up and voted to provide funds as well. Efforts to control EN have included hand harvesting, DASH (diver assisted suction harvesting), and specific targeted herbicide treatments. These efforts are planned for next summer and will continue indefinitely, as necessary.
Knowledge is power. TPPA is working to help our community learn all they can about how to protect these ponds that we love. Through educational days (when COVID allows), a collection of resources, creative partnerships, an informative newsletter and the links page here, we hope you’ll take a minute to learn about the important actions we all need to take to keep the ponds beautiful and enjoyable for generations to come.
There are webinars available through NH Lakes and Lake Stewards of Maine, informative brochures through the NH DES and Maine DEP and plenty of additional links and information available through this website. Take some time to explore:
- the importance of boat inspections to help prevent the spread of invasive species,
- the health risks of cyanobacteria and what human behaviors can reduce the risk of these harmful algae blooms
- how to landscape your yard to reduce harmful runoff
- and so much more!
***Also stay tuned to learn about a free boat inspection training this spring to help keep harmful invasive species out of our ponds!***
Volunteer “Weed Watchers”, more formally known as Volunteer Invasive Plant Surveyors, perform a critical function in identifying and controlling invasive species, both plant and animals in Milton Three Ponds. Several times per year, primarily during the summer season, volunteers, survey an assigned area of the ponds and make reports to the VIPS Coordinator. This information is passed along to the TPPA team managing contracted services designed to remove or kill invasive species, using either DASH or herbicide treatment. If you are interested in contributing to this effort, please use the Contact Us form to alert us to your interest. Our VIPS Coordinator will then contact you and identify how you can assist.