Archive 2008 - 2019

Lake Winthrop Sampling

by Shaw Lively

This summer the Holliston Conservation Commission is gathering data on the nutrients flowing into Lake Winthrop to help formulate a long term management plan.

Nutrients including phosphorus and nitrogen encourage the growth of aquatic plants, just as they do for our lawns and shrubs, In a lake, excess levels promote overabundant growth which can affect the biological and recreational health of the lake.

ESS Group, Inc., a Rhode Island environmental firm, is sampling both the water entering into the lake from small streams and that flowing in from subsurface groundwater. A second sample will be taken later in the year during a time of high flow.  From these samples a nutrient budget will be calculated to better understand where the nutrients in the lake come from, and help target remediation efforts if needed.  Actions the town might take could include the use of phosphorus free fertilizers, or control of runoff or seepage from high nutrient areas.

A 2013 study found that about 70 % of Lake Winthrop is covered with nonnative, invasive aquatic plants. This affects the ecological health of the lake as well as use for swimming and boating. Control of these "weeds" was identified as the number one priority in the recent community survey conducted by the Lake Winthrop Revitalization Working Group.

This Fall, the group plans to develop lake management options for Holliston residents to consider, and hopes to obtain funding to begin activities next Spring.

Funding for this research is provided through CPA funds awarded by the Community Preservation Committee.