Water Quality Report 2016
More News on ALS Study.
I’m glad the recent article in the Concord Monitor pointed out that cyanobacteria or blue
green algae are present in all New Hampshire lakes, not just Mascoma. See
A 2000 study of 50 lakes in New hampshire by UNH biologist Jim
Lynch showed that they all contained cyanobacteria. The ancient microorganisms
can be found all over the world, from Middle Eastern deserts to the Antarctic.
“They’re ubiquitous, they’re everywhere,” according to Dartmouth researcher
Elijah Stommel. Mascoma Lake does not have a unique problem so it should not
be singled out by the media. In reality, it should not affect our property values.
The problem with cyanobacteria is that it may cause ALS, commonly known as
Lou Gehrig's disease. Cyanobacteria produce a toxin that has been found in the
brains of some villagers with ALS on the island of Guam. What is unknown is
how the toxin got there. Was it ingested, taken in by respiration, or some other
mechanism. Dartmouth is sampling air and water samples around Mascoma
Lake to see how much if any toxin is present.
The best thing we can do to lessen cyanobacteria growth is to reduce the amount
of phosphorus entering the lake. This means using zero phosphate fertilizer on
the lawn and redirecting any runoff or overland flow away from the lake. Rain
barrels and rain gardens are a couple methods to capture and redirect runoff.
Observe where runoff from your property goes. If any of it goes directly into the
lake, try to intercept it and channel it to a low area where it can infiltrate into the
Part of your dues goes toward paying NHDES for laboratory analysis of our lake
water samples. MLA has water quality data dating back to 1991. The most
recent results can be found on
There is awmb/vlap/annual_reports/2015/documents/mascoma-enfield.pdf. There is a
wealth of data in the report that may not be of interest to everyone. Basically, the
lake is in good shape but we can make it better.