June 26 – July 2, 2020Vol. 22, No. 3

The Dams Keeper Report, 6/18/2020

by Dick Greenan

I know that this is already sounding like a broken record, but we're into the beginnings of another drought. Belgrade has only received 0.16" of rain (actually drizzle) in the past eleven days. Not nearly enough replenishment for our ponds or our gardens. With a lack of precipitation should be an increase in water quality/clarity due to the lack of phosphorous run-off but such is not the case this year. We are already seeing a heavy concentration of the blue-green algae, Gloeotrichia, which normally doesn't rear its ugly head until the water temperature is around 78°F and up, not 66°F which is where we are at today. I hope to report more on this in future columns.

As previously reported, Great Pond's Belgrade Village dam and Long Pond's Wings Mill dam have been completely shut down for four weeks now. Salmon/McGrath will continue to have its one gate cracked just three turns to allow for the required 1 cfs flow. As of this writing, Great Pond is now down 1" from full pond. Long Pond is now down 1.32" below full pond with Salmon/McGrath now at 4⁄10" below full pond. So, you can see that the lack of precipitation is beginning to have an effect already on our water levels with summer just starting. Remember that once the air temperature hits 80°F and above, we lose 3⁄10" a day due to evaporation, so you can see why our water levels are of a concern.

But this is all for those volunteers on your Dams Committee to fret about. All you have to "worry" about is "Do I put on SPF 30 or 50? Do we go to into the Village before or after lunch?" The lake looks great and feels great at a perfect 80°F. What's not to love! Enjoy the family, your vacation and this incredibly beautiful weather and please stay safe!

Dick Greenan is secretary to the Belgrade Lakes Watershed Dams Committee.