Straits Pond

Dear Residents of the Straits Pond Area:

Over the past several weeks there has been an outbreak of midges that has been the most severe in many years.  This is a frustrating and detrimental set back to the quality of life for area residents.  The reason for the outbreak is being investigated but to date there is no clear answers that can be provided.  There are many variables that change annually that could contribute to the presence of midges.  Most of these variables are beyond anyone’s control; seasonal variation in temperature, variation in precipitation and intensity of precipitation, fresh water table levels and bio diversity in the Pond to name a few.  A change in any one of more of these variables impacts the Ponds bio-diversity including the midge population.  The one variable under our control is the gate system at West Corner which adjusts water level in the Pond and helps to maintain the Pond’s salinity. 

The gate system has two core components.  The first are the gates themselves that are operated in a manner that has been developed over time to maximize flushing, water exchange and to maintain salinity in the Pond.  There has been no change to this protocol from last year to this year.  In short the gate operation has been consistent over time.

There is a second element measures if water height is too high and will seal the Pond temporarily until favorable tides will allow the water to drain.  This sensor system was installed to prevent flooding.  It does not routinely regulate height but only is activated when there is a storm or extremely high tides that would introduce flood level waters into the Pond.  The sensors for this system have been under repair for quite some time as it is a custom system built for the Pond.  During the period that the sensor system was not operable any potential flood event was addressed manually.  There no significant change in the number of times that flooding was threat year-over–year. 

I am attaching to this email a memorandum from our Conservation Administrator Chris Krahforst that describe in greater detail the actions taken to date to try to determine the cause for this current outbreak.

I am also listing below call in information for a conference call to discuss the current situation.  The date for the call in is set for Tuesday, June 2 at 5:00 pm.

Thank you,
Phil Lemnios
Town Manager

Straits Pond Discussion

Tue, Jun 2, 2020 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM (EDT)

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