Watershed Surveys

Watershed survey staff and volunteers, Sept 2020

30 Mile works with Maine DEP, local partners, and trained volunteers to survey the watershed of each lake or pond to identify sources of erosion and runoff that could harm water quality.  Watershed Surveys raise public awareness of watershed issues, the need for watershed protection, and the local stakeholders involved in lake protection, Watershed surveys also identify current erosion problems, the locations of these sites, and how severe the impact to water quality may be.  Survey data is used to inform watershed planning efforts, provide cost-effective solutions for landowners, and to pursue grant funding for high-cost sites.

Soil erosion is the #1 threat to our lakes

Soil particles carry phosphorous – a nutrient that algae use to grow. Soil carried in stormwater runoff deposits phosphorus into nearby streams and lakes, where it is taken up by algae. Erosion problems anywhere within a watershed, even miles away, can affect the lake.

What is a watershed?

A watershed includes all the land that drains to a lake  through streams, ditches, directly over the ground’s surface, or through groundwater. Even though a watershed may extend many miles away from the lake itself, it is actually part of the lake ecosystem. Lake water quality is a reflection of the surrounding watershed. A healthy watershed means a healthy lake!

2020 Lovejoy Pond Survey Downloads

Past Report Downloads

Most Recent:

Lovejoy Pond Watershed Survey

On September 26th, 2020, 22 people split into five teams spent the day walking properties and roads throughout the whole watershed, identifying sources of erosion and runoff that could harm water quality in the pond. Team members included University of Maine at Farmington students and faculty, Lovejoy Pond volunteers, and 30 Mile and DEP staff.

Lovejoy Pond is listed on Maine DEP’s NPS Priority Watershed List due to its sensitive sediment chemistry. This means that the sediments in Lovejoy Pond are more likely to release phosphorus should oxygen loss occur at the sediment-water interface. The survey was designed to identify soil erosion that may be contribute excess phosphorus to Lovejoy Pond.

During the survey, 51 erosion sites were found, ranging from small issues with simple fixes to more complex and severe problems. This fall and winter, we will be compiling the results and notifying landowners with erosion sites about what was found, offering suggestions for improvements. The information collected will not be used for enforcement or regulatory purposes. This data will enable us to prioritize and address issues to better protect the health of Lovejoy Pond.

Lovejoy Pond Watershed Survey Key Findings

Survey volunteers and technical leaders identified a total of 51 sites across ten different land uses that are likely impacting water quality in Lovejoy Pond. Findings include:

  • 27% (14 sites) were determined to be high impact, and 35% (18 sites) were identified as medium impact. High and medium impact sites contribute higher amounts of pollution to the pond, and should be of highest priority for remedial action.
  • High and medium impact sites were documented on a wide range of land use types, highlighting the fact that EVERYONE has a role to play in lake protection.
  • 37% of all identified sites were classified as low impact to water quality (19 sites). Nearly 3⁄4 of all low impact sites were found on residential properties. Though low impact sites likely contribute less pollution individually, many sites can collectively have a big impact.
  • 45% of all identified sites were documented on residential properties.
  • Sites associated with roads and driveways made up almost 40% of all sites and had varying impact ratings: 7 high impact, 9 medium impact, and 3 low impact sites.