Plan to clean up Lake approved

May 22, 2020 by

Published in the May 22, 2020 edition.


WAKEFIELD — The Town Council last week accepted a recommendation of the Clean Lake Committee and voted to authorize the DPW to apply for a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Action Grant to fund proposed stormwater improvements on Main Street between Carriage Lane and Salem Street.

Clean Lake Committee Chairman William Renault, Jr. (the Town Engineer), appeared before the Town Council via Zoom teleconferencing, along with committee vice chair Claire Moss (the town’s Environmental Manager) and committee member Brie Weiler-Reynolds to discuss the recommended project.

Moss said that the committee had decided to prioritize the Main Street project using a “watershed approach,” which she said would provide water quality improvement by preventing nutrients from fertilizers and other sources from entering the Lake through stormwater, rather than treating the Lake itself.

Renault discussed the details of the project, which would consolidate and treat outfalls along Main Street, going from 19 outfalls to 10 outfalls. It would also involve installation of 10 new green stormwater treatment retrofits, including bioretention/rain gardens, tree box filters, porous pavers, street trees and installation of four treatment units within the roadway shoulder. The work would result in an estimated loss of 15 spaces of 188 total parking spaces.

Renault said that these steps would result in a 51% to 79% removal of annual phosphorous load and a 67 percent to 89 percent removal of annual nitrogen load entering the Lake. The proposed annual load removal would exceed the upcoming MADEP & EPA Standard, Renault noted.

Phosphorous and nitrogen levels play a role in the proliferation of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), which has plagued the Lake for years, often turning the water a deep green color in late summer.

The Town Council appointed the Clean Lake Committee earlier this year. The Committee’s goal is to make Lake Quannapowitt swimmable and fishable. The Committee is focused on implementation of new strategies to improve the water quality of the Lake while being compliant with federal and state government regulations. A focus will also include improving stormwater solutions for Lake Quannapowitt, Crystal Lake, and other waterways within Town.

The committee aims to achieve better alignment and coordination between Department of Public Works and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) efforts to maximize efficiencies and tactically create maximum impacts to improving water quality.

The Committee will consider the work and assessments of previous committees while pursuing new grant funding opportunities and developing new connections with available local and regional resources. The work of the Clean Lake Committee is expected to be ongoing and extend over several years.


In other business last week, the Town Council:

• Appointed Michael Owen to the Veterans Advisory Board.

• Approved a request from the Wakefield elementary schools to hang a “Congratulations to Wakefield’s 4th Grade “Moving On” Class of 2020” banner across Main Street just outside of the Americal Civic Center from June 1 through June 15, 2020.

• Approved a proposed Inter-Municipal Agreement for the School Nutrition Director between the Reading Public Schools and the Wakefield Public Schools.

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