Indian Lake Watershed Association Update 10/5/2014


Our WPI students are busy planning for a survey of the entire Indian Lake watershed! It is important that we identify as many things as possible that can be having a negative impact on the lake. Aaron and Dylan are working to pull this together in a very short window so please consider signing up quickly!





DATE:        Thursday October 16th, 2014

TIME:         6:30-7pm

WHERE:      Bancroft School Annex, 100 Shore Dr, Worcester (to the right
                  of the main campus)

WHAT:       Quick informational meeting/training for the Watershed Survey




DATE:        Saturday, October 18th, 2014

TIME:         8:30am to noon

WHERE:     Bancroft School Annex, 100 Shore Dr, Worcester (to the right of
                 the main campus)

WHAT:       Teams will be walking as much of the watershed as possible
out forms that will help us identify conditions that may be

                 harmful to Indian Lake or its tributaries.






CONTACT: This program is led by WPI juniors Aaron Davis and Dylan Shields as part of their Independent Qualifying Project. Questions can be directed to:

Please help us get as many people as possible to help!!
This Week's Results


Indian Lake remains closed. Following is the message we received this week from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health:


"A water sample was collected from Indian Lake on Tuesday, September 30th. Laboratory analysis showed cyanobacteria levels of 150,000 cells/ml, exceeding the MDPH guideline of 70,000 cells/ml.  Microcystin was reported to be present at a level > 10 parts per billion.  MDPH recommends that the current advisory remain in place."


In English, that means the blue-green algae levels are still too high to open the lake. And there is still evidence that the algae is producing toxins that can be harmful to humans and animals.


Understandably we are all so frustrated that even with the cooler weather, the algae counts are not coming down considerably yet.

What's Next ?    


We were very hopeful the City would be able to assist with funding an analysis of the lake sediment before winter. Many of you may remember, in 2007 the ILWA characterized the sediment at four inlets: Huntington Avenue, Nelson Place, Shore Drive and Sherburne Avenue. Just these four inlets alone had over 10,000 cubic yards of sediment built up ... a huge amount! But that number pales in comparison to what's in the entire lake from years and years of accumulation.


There is little argument that much of the sediment build up has attributed to our issues at Indian Lake. However the cost of permitting and removal is enormous.


During our first meeting with the City's Indian Lake Task Force, there was much discussion about amount and cost for a dredging project. The ILWA approached ESS Group, an environmental company we have worked with in the past, asking for a proposal to update our 2007 sediment report and incorporate the entire lake. This work is not only instrumental to determine how much sediment there is but also what's in the sediment (important when determining where it will go when removed) and identify phosphorus 'hot spots', in other words, areas that are the most problematic as far as undesirable nutrients. If nothing else, we need to make sure any plan incorporates those key problem areas.


Due to the very short window to get this in before winter, we approached the City for help but they were not able to help us move this forward at this time.


We will need to look at grants and other fundraising options over the winter in hopes that we can move this forward as soon as the weather breaks in the spring.


Discussions will continue with the City on potential improvements to the Shore Drive inlet to reduce the sediment and nutrients entering at that point and ways to improve water flow.


Morgan Park Gates are Open


One set of gates are open to access the boat ramp. The other set are unlocked but quite honestly I can't get them to budge! Hoping someone will come and help with this. In the meantime, there is access to the boat ramp through the open gate.


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Indian Lake Watershed Association, Inc.
5 North Pond Road
Worcester, Massachusetts 01605