Selectmen unanimously voted to approve recommendations regarding Stevens Pond treatment.
After meeting with environmental management consultants, Division of Public Works Director Bruce Thibodeau recommended treating the pond with a low dose of aluminum to
Last summer, Stevens Pond was closed suddenly because of blue-green algae, and it remained closed for most of the season. The problem, experts said recently, had to do with bacteria enjoying too much food. Blue-green algae thrives on phosphorus, and high levels of phosphorus in the pond allowed the algae to grow and bacteria levels to skyrocket.
"Early treatment of aluminum will help to strip the algae of of the water column," Thibodeau said. "Then we'll continue to monitor it, and consultants will be on board with sampling if we need to."
The project is expected to cost about $25,000.
In the long term, Thibodeau said, consultants may evaluate the watershed and help design a watershed management plan.
And all that snow many people have been complaining about might actually help alleviate the situation.
"I have a feeling that some of the reason we had the issue last year was because it was so warm and the pond didn't freeze," Thibodeau said.
The pond can't be flushed using Lake Cochichewick, because it would bring the lake -- which supplies the town with drinking water -- down to hazardous levels. And the pond isn't deep enough to aerate it.
The aluminum treatment will have to go through a permitting process and will be reviewed by the conservation commission.