CLIC Water Quality Info

(Or skip down to the Secchi Disk and VCCP Sections)

Water Quality Facts for the Chiputneticook Lakes - In a Nutshell:

Lake Polution FACTS:

Seven positive actions that we can all take:

  1. With your local neighbors, form a "Road Association" and get a copy of the Camp Road Maintenance Manual published by the Kennebec County Soil & Water Conservation District, available online at:

    If you know a contact person on your camp road responsible for road maintenance (person who contacts contractors) Please send me or call me with his name, address and telephone number. I would like to get some road maintenance material in his hands. (207-446-8980)

  2. Hire road contractors that will implement the maintenance practices described in the manual. (See CLIC's list of State DEP Certified Contractors BELOW)

  3. Next Spring: if you see the streams running brown with sediment, put your boots on and find it's source. If it's your road ditch, talk to the people in charge of the road. It's amazing what a few silt barriers, diversions, grass seed, mulch and matting can do to eliminate this runoff. And once again, remember, "Runoff (which contains soil & fertilizer) will destroy a lake's spawn habitat, its water quality and its fishery."

  4. If you cannot resolve the discharge, contact your local Code Enforcement Officer (CEO).

    • CEO Mike Noble - covers Orient, Weston and Danforth - 207-290-1538

    • Howard Pelkey – NB Watercourse/ Wetland Tech. - 506-457-4850

      (Or call your
      Town Office)

    • Report any problem to the CLIC Water Quality Committee indicating the course of action that you have already taken (hopefully we will have a contact in place for next year)

      Important: Ask to be kept informed of progress taken to resolve your problem.

  5. If you observe heavy discharge of soils in Public, State or Provincial Road ditches resulting from lack of erosion control - contact:

    • Maine DOT Road Ditches - 207-764-2060

    • NB DOT Road Ditches - Paul Reardon - 506-279-6002

    • Town Road Ditches - Your local Town Office

  6. Use phosphorus-free fertilizer if you choose to fertilize your lawn. The CLIC Water Quality Committee wants to remind all camp owners, especially those along the lake please use phosphorus-free fertilizer on your lawns if you like mowing grass. It's sold under the brand name "Safe and Simple" by the Blue Seal Company, and is easily found in the Chip Lakes area...we're not aware of other suppliers (but if there are any, we'll list them if we are made aware). There are several 'organic' fertilizers out there, but they are not recommended for use around water. While they are low in some chemicals, most are very high in phosphorus, which is the major enemy of clean lake water. Runoff from lawns and dirt from construction projects is high in phosphorus, which causes algae blooms, throws off the natural balance of lake water, suppresses oxygen levels in lake water, and ultimately harms all fish. Our lakes are a gift and we ALL must treat them with care. Known sources of phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer are:

    • Daves' Hardware - Danforth - 448-7215

    • Aroostook Milling - Houlton - 532-6130

    (If you know another source, e-mail ChipLakeINFO<AT> and we'll list it here.)

    COLA’s bill to limit the use of lawn fertilizer with phosphorus was signed into law on May 1! Many thanks to those who helped win this fight. SUMMARY - This act amends 38 MRSA 419, which bans cleaning agents containing phosphates, to add a prohibition against the sale or use of phosphorus-containing-fertilizer for non-agricultural lawn or turf unless: (a) a soil test indicates that additional phosphate is needed; or (b) the fertilizer will be used in establishment of a new lawn [and does not apply to fertilizers used for agricultural crops, or for flower or vegetable gardening and does not apply to compost]. When establishing new grass on bare soil, the fertilizer must be tilled into the soil. The seller of fertilizer containing phosphorus for use on lawn or turf shall identify such fertilizer by sign approved by the Department of Environmental Protection indicating that the product may not be used except as indicated. The sign must be positioned between four and seven feet above the floor and prominently posted where fertilizers containing phosphorus for use on lawn or turf are displayed.

    Thank you! Dan Buckley and Maggie Shannon of Maine Congress of Lake Associations

    Maine Congress of Lake Associations
    P.O. Box 426
    Belgrade, ME 04917
    Visit and

  7. Remove all weeds from any watercraft and motor and fishing equipment before using them in any lake...and from any trailer used to transport and launch a boat.

Administrative Positions that we need to fill: (in 2012 and beyond)

  1. CLIC Milfoil Committee Chairman and committee workers

    • Makes sure signs at boat landings are up.

    • Puts milfoil pamphlets in town offices

    • Organizes one or two weekend boat checks at public landings

    We can pass this year on finding volunteers for milfoil inspections. The Milfoil Chairman would be more of an "information oriented" leader. Initially he would see that Landing Milfoil signs get put up. Just need a couple volunteers interested in making sure that town offices and local stores have an ongoing supply of milfoil literature. Lake associations down state have built small hang-on-the-wall boxes that hold pamphlets concerning milfoil, non-point runoff (soil erosion) and other lake protection literature that DEP will provide free. They also include lake association pamphlets and applications in these boxes. The boxes could have the CLIC name at the top and maybe a sticker on the front. These lake association boxes are placed in town offices and any stores willing to allow us to do so.It would be nice if we could get 4 or 5 of these boxes built. Are you interested?

  2. CLIC Erosion Committee workers

    • Contact person for erosion sites that have already been reported to CEO, State or Town

    • Keeps track of effort by officials to resolve problem

  3. CLIC CANADIAN Water Quality Chairman (starting in 2012)

    • Help organize with the State agency, a "Lake Smart" Program for the Chiputneticook Lakes
      (I will help but don't have time to do it justice. RolandTilton, US WQ Chairman)

Please contact me if you’re interested in volunteering for any of these positions (207-446-8980)

Roland Tilton - CLIC US Water Quality Chairman


CLIC Water Monitoring Program - Secchi Disk Readers

More info is being developed for this section

If you are interested in being trained to do Secchi Disk Readings (water transparency measurements) on any of the Chiputneticook Lakes, contact for information about how to sign up to participate.

Readings must be taken bi-weekly throughout the summer months at assigned locations and written reports are required twice during the summer. In addition to several long-time monitors being recertified, nine new CLIC members were trained and certified in 2007 to monitor locations on several of our local lakes including North Lake (2 locations), East Grand Lake (6 locations), Deering Lake (1 location), Brackett Lake (1 location) and Spednic Lake 4 locations).  We need more Secchi Disk Monitors.

Visit the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program:

Back up to the Water Quality Section - VCCP is immediately below

Volunteer Contractor Certification Program (VCCP)

The following local contractors attended a CLIC-sponsored workshop on May 10th to learn the proper techinques to prevent (soil from camp roads and other earth-moving projects) from eroding into our lakes thus causing non-point pollution. They have recently completed additional requirements and have officially been certified by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. If you are considering having any earth-moving work...especially camp road work done, please consider using these contractors. Others are in the process of being certified.

Colin Bartlett and Leigh Putnam from Colin Bartlett & Sons in Orient.

Lyle Hamilton of L.R. Hamilton Land Services in Princeton.

Thanks for the contractor's seminar. We certainly need to thank the CLIC board for their [financial] support to put this event on. We also need to thank the owners and support staff at the First Settlers Lodge for all the extra effort and excellent food. If one hasn't seen the atmosphere and the accommodations provided at this facility, they are really missing out. Further appreciation needs to be extended to DEP Bill Laflamme and DOT Mr. Annis for their splendid presentation of the seminar.

Whether or not a contractor follows up on the final step to be certified, they will at least understand why it is so critical to keep the soil out of our ditches, streams and ultimately the lakes. It's simply the life or death of the [the Chiputneticook Lakes] and the St. Croix Waterway. I hope that in the following months we can get the message out to all CLIC members and any other concerned citizens wishing to pass on to future generations a pristine lake and a healthy fishery, that continued non-point runoff of dirt into their lake will ultimately result in a green, algae plagued lake and a sure loss of their Salmon and trout fishery. We're already seeing it's impact on [the Chiputneticook Lake's] smelt population. If they don't think it will happen on this system of lakes, they need to talk to the folks downstate that never saw the sky falling until it was too late.

I'm confident contractors will think twice about dumping bank run sand and gravel directly into the lake. Hopefully property owners won't ask contractors to do such anymore. We've asked NB officials to look into the matter of stipulating the use of only crushed stone, if further permits are to be issued for new boat landings or replenishing eroded material on pre-established beaches. It makes no sense to employ the best management practices for erosion control on our road system, if we continue to dump this nutrient rich material directly into the lake. If this activity is observed in Maine, it is a violation. No permit to my knowledge will entertain this activity. One needs a permit in NB to create a boat landing or deposit any material into the lake.

The road associations around our [the Chiputneticook Lakes] need to understand that ongoing work on their camp roads may carry an additional cost to do things right. The days of simply attempting to get the water off the road and into a ditch, have cost our lakes dearly. The DITCH now needs to be stabilized with the appropriate erosion control to prevent a discharge of soils into a stream or the lake. I hope that lake residents, on these roads, will ask their road contractors to finish the job right and implement erosion control measures that they were taught at the seminar. The contractors that gave up a day of work to attend this seminar need the support of all shore front owners. We will periodically post the names and telephone numbers of certified contractors in hopes that anyone concerned about their lake will utilize their services and training. These contractors will not only know how to stabilize a road but also any construction site within a lakes watershed.

In Maine

If anyone sees eroded soil discharging into a lake:

  1. Try to locate it's source.
  2. Correct the problem if possible, if you are unable to do so.
  3. Call your town office and report the problem.
  4. Request that the Code Enforcement Officer look into the matter and keep you advised of the progress to resolve the problem.
  5. If you have a further problem getting the issue resolved. Call DEP (Department of Environmental Protection in Augusta.

* Code Enforcement Officer - Mike Noble - 207-290 -1538 was not able to attend the seminar because of prior commitment. But, I'm sure he will promptly address any of your concerns regarding a soil discharge into a water body in the following towns : Orient, Weston, Danforth.

In New Brunswick

*NB also has a law to prevent a discharge of soils into a water body. Some of their requirements and setbacks are more restrictive than Maine. It will be easier to report the problem to NB Environment - 506-444-5149. The director for Fredericton Regional Office Dennis Deveau and his assistant Howard Pelkey attended the seminar. They were both very much in tune with these environmental issues and interested in protecting [the Chiputneticook Lakes] from unnecessary non-point soil discharges. There are different agencies handling specific areas around the [the Chiputneticook Lakes]. I think that Howard Pelkey could easily determine which agency should respond to your concern.

NB DOT Supervisor Paul Riordon at 506-279-6002 also attended the seminar adding a good deal of NB humor and expressing an interest in making sure provincial road ditches around our lakes will be stabilized with appropriate erosion control. He coined the saying, MULCH, MULCH, MULCH. If you have any soil discharge concerns coming from provincial roads give him a call.

NB DNR Officer Charles Bell (Canterbury Office) also attended the seminar. Charles' office is responsible for Crown Land logging etc.. discharge issues. As a result of recent governmental downsizing there are only a small handful of personnel within his office covering an extremely large area. They wear several hats as they attempt to protect the fish and game and deal with Forestry issues. It's unfortunate with the abundance of fish and game and the tremendous opportunities that this resource could provide the province, the downsizing has forced them to concentrate their efforts on forestry. Contact your provincial leaders and ask them to reconsider downsizing this extremely valuable agency. [The Chiputneticook Lake's] water quality and your fishery depends on their continued effort.

NB Hydro Seeder - Tim Dickinson 506-328-5329 attended the seminar. This outfit will not only hydro seed your road ditch and construction site in NB, he now has the training to install other erosion control to keep soil on site and out of the lake.

Once again, we all owe the local contractors who attended the seminar our support. Hire a certified contractor for all earth moving activity. The list will be published as the final step in certification is met.

A 50 pound bag of conservation mix grass seed is a good start to secure your existing raw soil ditches.

Some of the LOCAL contractors that attended are:


Paul Hamilton - Skiff Lake
Charles Gould - Fosterville
Tim Martin - Woodstock
Jack Keilty - Canterbury
Lonnie Forbes - Upper Coverhill
Tim Dickinson - Woodstock? Hydroseeding
and Charles Bell, Denis Deveau, Paul Reirdon & Howard Pelkey


Leigh Putnam - Amity
Colin, Brent & Micah Bartlett - All Orient
Cary Brown & Patrick Foss - Weston
Carl Davis, Barry Gillis & Donald Parker - Danforth
Paul Cushman - Brookton
Scott & Willard Hanington - Wytopitlock & Reed Plt.
Matthew & Nathan LaPlant, Lyle Hamilton & Clay Sprague - Princeton
and others from Prentiss, Macwahoc, Lincoln, West Enfield, Milo & Houlton & Oakfield

If anyone is contemplating road or ditch work this summer, these contractors, although they aren't officially certified yet (except those in red), now KNOW what to do.

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