Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for Phosphorus in Buck, Long, and Cranberry Ponds Monroe County, New York
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AbstractBuck, Long, and Cranberry Ponds (WI/PWL IDs 0301-0017, 0301-0015, and 0301-0016, respectively) are located along the Lake Ontario shoreline in the Town of Greece, within Monroe County, New York. Over the past couple of decades, the ponds have experienced degraded water quality that has reduced the ponds’ recreational and aesthetic value. In particular, recreational suitability has become less favorable due to excessive weed growth in the ponds. All three ponds have high concentrations of total phosphorus. Long Pond has the highest concentrations followed by Cranberry and then Buck Pond. A variety of phosphorus sources contribute to the poor water quality in Buck, Long, and Cranberry Ponds. Water quality in the ponds is influenced by runoff events from the drainage basin, as well as loading from residential septic tanks positioned close to stream segments and pond shorelines. In response to precipitation, nutrients, such as phosphorus – naturally found in New York soils – drain into the ponds from the surrounding drainage basin by way of streams, overland flow, and subsurface flow. Nutrients are then deposited and stored in the bottom sediments of the ponds. Phosphorus is often the limiting nutrient in temperate lakes and ponds and can be thought of as a fertilizer; a primary food for plants, including algae. When ponds receive excess phosphorus, it “fertilizes” the pond by feeding the algae. Too much phosphorus can result in algae blooms, which can damage the ecology and aesthetics of a pond, and in turn, the economic well-being of the surrounding drainage basin community. The results from sampling efforts confirm eutrophic conditions in Buck, Long, and Cranberry Ponds, with the concentration of phosphorus in the ponds exceeding the state guidance value for phosphorus (25 ?g/L or 0.025 mg/L, applied as the mean summer, epilimnetic total phosphorus concentration), which increases the potential for nuisance summertime algae blooms. In 2002, Buck, Long, and Cranberry Ponds were added to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) CWA Section 303(d) list of impaired waterbodies that do not meet water quality standards due to phosphorus impairments (NYS DEC, 2008). Based on this listing, TMDLs for phosphorus are being developed for the ponds to address the impairment.
DescriptionPrepared for: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 290 Broadway New York, NY 10007 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 625 Broadway, 4th Floor Albany, NY 12233 Prepared by: The Cadmus Group