2021 Water Quality Report

Woody Trask, 10/25/2021

This report summarizes the findings of the 2021 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine (MIDAS ID#3750). Clarity readings and samplings were conducted monthly from June through September by Woody Trask with additional clarity readings taken mid-May to mid-October  by Michael Heskanen.

Since 2004, Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests. Phosphorus analyses are conducted by the DHHS Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory.

Result summary: Except for a higher than normal surface temperature, the results were consistent with readings obtained for the past several years.

The average clarity was slightly lower than last year but well above the historic average.

The average 5 meter core sample phosphorus reading was up slightly from last year but not  high enough to be of concern. The average bottom (12 meter) phosphorus reading was higher than last year but in line with the historic average.

Values for color, pH, alkalinity and conductance where all within the normal range of variation from the historic mean.

The average surface temperature taken at 1 meter depth was 23.9°C (75°F), 0.6°C (1.1°F) higher than last year and 1.0°C (1.8°F) higher than the average for the past 10 years.

 “Ice in” occurred on January 11, 2021, about a month later than last year, and the “ice out” date was April 4th making for a much shorter than average iced-over period. The historical average for “ice out” is April 14.

The results of this year’s monitoring are given below and in a separate DO/Temperature report.

Parameter2021Mean for Taylor Pond  since 1975Historic Mean for all Maine Lakes
Color21.2521.0428
pH7.17.016.82
Alkalinity18.7517.1411.9
Conductance, µS/cm10191.446
Total Phosphorous 5m core sample, µg/L12.0 vs. 11 in 202010.2512  
Total Phosphorous bottom grab, µg/L23 vs. 17.5 in 202024.55  (not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum4.0 vs. 4.2 in 20201.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5 (0.9 in 2012)
Secchi depth mean (m)5.14 vs. 5.35 in 20204.71  4.81 (5.2 in 2012)
Secchi depth max (m)6.2 vs. 7.0 in 20207.0 (2019)15.5 (13.4 in 2012)
Trophic State (by Secchi disk)36.41  48.92  45
Trophic State (by core Total Phosphorus)39.98  42.69    (not published)

Color:

Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color.  Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees.  Taylor Pond had a color measurement of 21.25 in 2021, which is the same as last year and lower than the mean for all Maine lakes of 28.  When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.  

PH:

A measure of the acid-base status of the pond.  Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.1 in 2021 which is slightly higher than the mean of 6.82 for all Maine Lakes.  Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6.  This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been very stable year to year.

Alkalinity:

A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH.  Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2021 was 18.75 compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 11.9.  This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity.  The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained constant and is not of concern.

Conductance:

Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water — the higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions.  Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable.  Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2021 was 101 compared to a historical mean of 91.2 and a mean of 46 for all Maine lakes.

Total Phosphorous:

A phosphorus analysis provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom.  Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water.  If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly.  Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a 5 meter core and bottom grab sampling technique.  Taylor Pond’s core sample phosphorous readings this year averaged 11.0 µg/L which is comparable to the historical mean of 10.25 and lower than the 12 reported for all Maine lakes.  In 2021 there were no 5 meter core results close to the 15 µg/L level that can initiate algal blooms.  Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain.  A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.

The bottom grab sample average of 23 µg/L was higher than last year’s average and close to the historical average.

Secchi Disk:

Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water.  Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water.  Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond, but pine pollen at times is also a major contributor.  The mean transparency for 2021 was 5.14 meters, 0.21 meters lower than last year but higher than the historic average for Taylor Pond of 4.70 and higher than the historical average for all Maine lakes.

Trophic State:

This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality.  The scale ranges from zero to over 100.  Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive).  Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity).  Taylor Pond measured at 36.41 by Secchi Disk readings and 39.98 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate).  Taylor Pond’s Trophic State as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of 45.

Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature Profiles:

The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at the surface and at one meter depth intervals monthly throughout the summer.  Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high enough level to sustain all animals.  Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated.  Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By July or August, this colder, deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for fish.  In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water.  This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab samples by the middle of the summer. The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond. The DO and Temperature profiles for 2021 are on a separate chart (attached).

Conclusions:

The conclusions remain essentially unchanged from last year, although the higher than usual temperature is a possible concern . The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes.  The potential for an algal bloom continues to be low to moderate, with the average Phosphorus of 12.0 µg/L for 2021 being in line with the historical average.  Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list.  This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed.  In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”. 

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer (see DO/Temp chart).  In addition, phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom.  Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975.  During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured.  Since 2004, the years Taylor Pond has been monitored by volunteers, there have been no appreciable algae blooms.  

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms.  Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery.  Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, potentially increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.  

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities.  The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston.  It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter.   It has an abundant bass, pickerel, and recently pike populations that thrive in its warm waters and attract people who enjoy fishing.  The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the Androscoggin River into Taylor Pond.  It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy.  It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty. 

METHODOLOGY:

Samples are collected at the deepest point in the pond.  This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers along with GPS coordinates.  This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation or GPS reading.  In addition to visual triangulation an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples.  Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler.  Core samples are taken with a core sampler  home-manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube.   The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR:  Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH: Performed on core samples using a Hach Bromothymol Blue test kit for pH.

CONDUCTANCE:  Performed on core samples using a HM Digital, Inc. Model COM-100 water quality tester for EC/TDS/Temp. Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY:  Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter. 

PHOSPHOROUS:  Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples.  Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the DHHS lab by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb). The results are the average of four samples taken once a month from June to September.

SECCHI DISK:  Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN:  Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth.  The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Water temperature is recorded at each depth tested.

TROPHIC STATE:  Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations.  For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15. 

2020 Taylor Pond Water Quality Report

by Woody Trask

An October morning on Taylor Pond

This report summarizes the findings of the 2020 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine (MIDAS ID#3750). Clarity readings and samplings were conducted monthly from June through September by Woody Trask with additional clarity readings taken May through September by Michael Heskanen.

Since 2004, Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests. Phosphorus analyses are conducted by the DHHS Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory.

Result summary: Results were quite consistent with readings obtained for the past several years with one notable exception. A new maximum clarity reading of 7.0 meters obtained on May 30 exceeded the previous high by 0.75 meters (about 2.5 feet). The average clarity was slightly higher than last year mostly likely due to a dry summer with less runoff going into the pond.

The average 5 meter core sample phosphorus reading was up slightly from last year but was consistent with the historical average. The bottom (12 meter) phosphorus reading by contrast was much lower than last year and was well below the historical average.

Water coloration was the same as last year and close to the historic average. 

Readings for pH and alkalinity were unchanged from past years. Conductivity was slightly higher.

The average surface temperature taken at 1 meter depth was 23.3°C (73.9°F), 0.3°C (0.5°F) lower than last year and 0.4°C (0.72°F) higher than the average for the past 10 years.

 “Ice in” occurred on the 4th of December 2019 (1 day earlier than 2018) and the “ice out” date was April 2nd (3 weeks earlier  than 2019). The historical average for ice out is April 14. 

The results of this year’s monitoring are given below and in a separate DO/Temperature report.

Parameter2020Mean for Taylor Pond since 1975Historical Mean for all Maine Lakes
Color21.2521.0428
pH7.17.016.82
Alkalinity2017.111.9
Conductance, µS/cm10591.246
Total Phosphorous 5m core sample, µg/L11.0vs. 10.25 in 201910.2112
Total Phosphorousbottom grab, µg/L17.5vs. 15.25 in 201924.58(not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum4.2vs. 3.8 in 20191.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5(0.9 in 2012) 
Secchi depth mean (m)5.35vs. 5.0 in 20194.704.81(5.2 in 2012)
Secchi depth max (m)7.0vs. 6.2 in 20197.0 (a new record high)15.5 (13.4 in 2012)
Trophic State (by Secchi disk)35.849.2045
Trophic State (by core Total Phosphorus)38.742.75
(not published)

Color:

Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color.  Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees.  Taylor Pond had a color measured at 21.25 in 2020, which is slightly higher than last year and lower than the mean for all Maine lakes of 28.  When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.   

PH:

A measure of the acid-base status of the pond.  Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.1 in 2020 which is slightly higher than the mean of 6.82 for all Maine Lakes.  Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6.  This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been very stable over the years.

Alkalinity:

A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH.  Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2020 was 20 (the same as last year) compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 11.9.  This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity.  The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained constant and is not of concern.

Conductance:

Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water — the higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions.  Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable.  Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2020 was 105 compared to a historical mean of 91.2 and a mean of 46 for all Maine lakes. 

Total Phosphorous:

A phosphorus analysis provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom.  Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water.  If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly.  Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a 5 meter core and bottom grab sampling technique.  Taylor Pond’s core sample phosphorous readings this year averaged 11.0 µg/L which is comparable to the historical mean of 10.21 and lower than the 12 reported for all Maine lakes.  In 2020 there were no 5 meter core results close to the 15 µg/L level that can initiate algal blooms.  Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain.  A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.

The bottom grab sample average of 17.5 µg/L was higher than last year’s average and lower than the historical average.

Secchi Disk:

Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water.  Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water.  Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond, but pine pollen at times is also a major contributor.  The mean transparency for 2020 was 5.35 meters, 3.5 m. higher than last year due primarily to a highest reading ever of 7.0 meters taken at the end of May. The mean for 2020 was higher than the historic average for Taylor Pond of 4.70 and higher than the historical average for all Maine lakes.

Trophic State:

This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality.  The scale ranges from zero to over 100.  Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive).  Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity).  Taylor Pond measured at 35.8 by Secchi Disk readings and 38.7 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate).  Taylor Pond’s Trophic State as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of 45.

Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature Profiles:

The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at the surface and at one meter depth intervals monthly throughout the summer.  Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high enough level to sustain all animals.  Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated.  Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By July or August, this colder, deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for fish.  In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water.  This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab samples by the middle of the summer. The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond. The DO and Temperature profiles for 2020 are on a separate chart (attached).

Conclusions:

The conclusions remain essentially unchanged from last year. The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes.  The potential for an algal bloom continues to be low to moderate, with the average Phosphorus of 11.0 µg/L for 2020 being in line with the historical average.  Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list.  This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed.  In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.  

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer (see DO/Temp chart).  In addition, phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom.  Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975.  During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured.  Since 2004, the years Taylor Pond has been monitored by volunteers, there have been no appreciable algae blooms.   

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms.  Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery.  Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, potentially increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.  

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities.  The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston.  It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter.   It has an abundant bass, pickerel, and recently pike populations that thrive in its warm waters and attract people who enjoy fishing.  The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the Androscoggin River into Taylor Pond.  It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy.  It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.  

METHODOLOGY:

Samples are collected at the deepest point in the pond.  This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers along with GPS coordinates.  This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation or GPS reading.  In addition to visual triangulation an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples.  Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler.  Core samples are taken with a core sampler  home-manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube.   The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR:  Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH: Performed on core samples using a Hach Bromothymol Blue test kit for pH.

CONDUCTANCE:  Performed on core samples using a HM Digital, Inc. Model COM-100 water quality tester for EC/TDS/Temp. Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY:  Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.  

PHOSPHOROUS:  Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples.  Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the DHHS lab by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb). The results are the average of four samples taken once a month from June to September.

SECCHI DISK:  Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN:  Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth.  The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Water temperature is recorded at each depth tested.

TROPHIC STATE:  Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations.  For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.  

Woody Trask

10/23/2020

2019 Water Quality Report

By Woody Trask

This report summarizes the findings of the 2019 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine (MIDAS ID#3750). Clarity readings and samplings were conducted monthly from June through September by Woody Trask with additional clarity readings taken May through September by Michael Heskanen.

Since 2004, Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests. Phosphorus analyses are conducted by the DHHS Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory in Augusta.

Result summary: Results were quite consistent with readings obtained for the past several years, with no result raising a potential concern. 

The average 5 meter core sample phosphorus reading was up slightly from last year but was consistent with the historical average. The bottom (12 meter) phosphorus reading by contrast was much lower than last year and was well below the historical average. The average clarity of 5.0 meters was slightly less than last year.  Water coloration was the same as last year and close to the historic average. Readings for pH and alkalinity were unchanged from past years. Conductivity was slightly higher. The average surface temperature was 23.6°C (74.5°F), 0.33°C (0.6°F) higher than last year and also 0.33°C higher than the average for the past six years.  “Ice in” occurred on the 5th of December 2018 (10 days earlier than 2017) and the “ice out” date was April 23rd (one day earlier  than 2018). The historical average for ice out is April 14. The results of this year’s monitoring are given below and in a separate DO/Temperature report.

Parameter2019Mean for Taylor Pond since 1975Historical Mean for all Maine Lakes
Color2021.0428
pH7.17.016.82
Alkalinity2017.011.9
Conductance, µS/cm10990.646
Total Phosphorous 5m core sample, µg/L10.25vs. 9.5 in 201810.1712
Total Phosphorousbottom grab, µg/L15.25vs. 21.25 in 201824.91
(not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum3.8 (on 9/18)vs. 4.8 in 20181.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5(0.9 in 2012) 
Secchi depth mean (m)5.0vs. 5.3 in 20184.684.81(5.2 in 2012)
Secchi depth max (m)6.2 (on 6/9)vs. 6.5 in 20186.52 (maximum ever recorded)15.5 (13.4 in 2012)
Trophic State (by Secchi disk)36.8
49.50
45
Trophic State (by core Total Phosphorous)37.7
42.84
(not published)

Color: Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color.  Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees.  Taylor Pond had a color measured at 20 in 2019, which is slightly higher than last year and lower than the mean for all Maine lakes of 28.  When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.   

PH: A measure of the acid-base status of the pond.  Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.1 in 2019 which is slightly higher than the mean of 6.82 for all Maine Lakes.  Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6. This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been very stable over the years.

Alkalinity: A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH.  Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2019 was 20 (the same as last year) compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 11.9.  This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity. The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained constant and is not of concern.

Conductance: Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water — the higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions.  Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable. Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2019 was 109 compared to a historical mean of 90.6 and a mean of 46 for all Maine lakes. 

Total Phosphorous: A phosphorus analysis provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom.  Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water. If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly.  Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors. Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a 5 meter core and bottom grab sampling technique.  Taylor Pond’s core sample phosphorous readings this year averaged 10.25 µg/L which is comparable to the historical mean of 10.17 and lower than the 12 reported for all Maine lakes. In 2019 there were no 5 meter core results close to the 15 µg/L level that can initiate algal blooms.  Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain. A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic. The bottom grab sample average of 15.25 µg/L was lower than last year’s average and lower than the historical average.

Secchi Disk: Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water.  Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water.  Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond, but pine pollen at times is also a major contributor. The mean transparency for 2019 was 5.0 meters, slightly less than last year due to some low readings in September but higher than the historic average for Taylor Pond of 4.68 and higher than the historical average for all Maine lakes.

Trophic State: This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality.  The scale ranges from zero to over 100. Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive). Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity).  Taylor Pond measured at 36.8 by Secchi Disk readings and 37.7 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate). Taylor Pond’s Trophic State as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of 45.

Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature Profiles: The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at the surface and at one meter depth intervals monthly throughout the summer.  Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high enough level to sustain all animals. Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated.  Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By July or August, this colder, deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for fish. In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water. This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab samples by the middle of the summer. The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond. The DO and Temperature profiles for 2019 are on a separate chart (attached).

Conclusions: The conclusions remain essentially unchanged from last year. The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes.  The potential for an algal bloom continues to be low to moderate, with the average Phosphorus of 10.25 µg/L for 2019 being in line with the historical average.  Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list. This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed.  In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.  

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer (see DO/Temp chart).  In addition, phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom. Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975.  During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured. Since 2004, the years Taylor Pond has been monitored by volunteers, there have been no appreciable algae blooms.   

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms.  Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery. Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, potentially increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.  

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities.  The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston.  It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter. It has an abundant bass, pickerel, and recently pike populations that thrive in its warm waters and attract people who enjoy fishing.  The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the Androscoggin River into Taylor Pond. It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy.  It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.  

METHODOLOGY: Samples are collected at the deepest point in the pond.  This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers along with GPS coordinates.  This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation or GPS reading. In addition to visual triangulation an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples.  Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler. Core samples are taken with a core sampler home-manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube. The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR:  Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH: Performed on core samples using a Hach Bromothymol Blue test kit for pH.

CONDUCTANCE:  Performed on core samples using a HM Digital, Inc. Model COM-100 water quality tester for EC/TDS/Temp. Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY:  Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.  

PHOSPHOROUS:  Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples.  Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the DHHS lab by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb). The results are the average of four samples taken once a month from June to September.

SECCHI DISK:  Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN:  Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth.  The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Water temperature is recorded at each depth tested.

TROPHIC STATE:  Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations.  For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.  

2018 Taylor Pond Water Quality Report

Woody Trask, 11/3/2018

This report summarizes the findings of the 2018 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine (MIDAS ID#3750). Clarity readings and samplings were conducted monthly from June through September by Woody Trask with additional clarity readings taken May through September by Michael Heskanen.

Since 2004, Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests. Phosphorus analysis was conducted by the DHHS Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory in Augusta.

Result summary: Most results were quite consistent with readings for the past few years with the exception of the average 5 meter core sample phosphorous reading which was well below the average for last year and lower than the historical average. (Yay!) Let’s hope this becomes the new norm.

The average clarity of 5.3 meters was slightly lower than 2017 mostly due to some low readings in May and the water was slightly less colored than last year.

Readings for pH, alkalinity and conductance were essentially unchanged from past years.

The average surface temperature was 73.9°F, 1.6°F lower than last year and equal to the average for the past five years.

“Ice in” occurred about the 15th of December and the “ice out” date was April 23rd, a few days earlier and later respectively than 2017. The historical average for ice out is April 14.

The results of this year’s monitoring are given below and in a separate DO/Temperature report.

Parameter 2018 Mean for Taylor Pond

since 1975

Historical Mean for all Maine Lakes
Color 18.75 21.06 28
pH 7.1 7.01 6.82
Alkalinity 20 16.9 11.9
Conductance, µS/cm 96.75 90.2 46
Total Phosphorus

5m core sample, µg/L

9.5

vs. 12.25 in 2017

10.17 12
Total Phosphorus

bottom grab, µg/L

21.25

vs. 21.75 in 2017

25.11 (not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum 3.8 May/4.7 June

vs. 4.8 in 2017

1.7 (minimum ever recorded) 0.5

(0.9 in 2012)

Secchi depth mean (m) 5.3

vs. 5.55 in 2017

4.68 4.81

(5.2 in 2012)

Secchi depth max (m) 6.5

vs. 6.0 in 2017

6.52 (maximum ever recorded) 15.5

(13.4 in 2012)

Trophic State (by Secchi disk) 35.9 49.81 45
Trophic State (by core Total Phosphorus) 36.6 42.96 (not published)

 

Color:  Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color.  Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees.  Taylor Pond had a color measured at 18.75 in 2018, which is slightly lower than last year and lower than the mean for all Maine lakes of 28.  When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.

PH:  A measure of the acid-base status of the pond.  Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.1 in 2018 which is slightly higher than the mean of 6.82 for all Maine Lakes.  Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6. This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been very stable over the years.

Alkalinity:  A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH.  Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2018 was 20 (the same as last year) compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 11.9.  This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity. The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained little changed and is not of concern.

Conductance:  Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water — the higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions.  Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable. Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2018 was 96.75 compared to a historical mean of 90.0 and a mean of 46 for all Maine lakes.

Total Phosphorus:  A phosphorous analysis provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom.  Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water. If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly.  Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors. Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a 5 meter core and bottom grab sampling technique.  Taylor Pond’s core sample phosphorous readings this year averaged 9.5 µg/L which is lower than the historical mean of 10.17 and lower than the 12 reported for all Maine lakes. In 2018 there was one reading of 14 which is close to the 15 µg/L level that can initiate algal blooms.  Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain. A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.

The bottom grab sample average of 21.25 µg/L was lower than last year and lower than the historical average.

Secchi Disk:  Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water.  Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water.  Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond, but pine pollen at times is also a major contributor. The mean transparency for 2018 was 5.3 meters, slightly less than last year due to some low readings in May but significantly higher than the historic average for Taylor Pond of 4.68 and higher than the historical average for all Maine lakes. Having had few major rain events in 2018 is a probable contributor to the good clarity readings.

Trophic State:  This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality.  The scale ranges from zero to over 100. Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive). Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity).  Taylor Pond measured at 35.9 by Secchi Disk readings and 36.6 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate). Taylor Pond’s Trophic State as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of 45.

Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature Profiles:  The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at one meter depth intervals monthly throughout the summer.  Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high enough level to sustain all animals.  Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated.  Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By July or August, this colder, deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for the fish. In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water. This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab samples by the middle of the summer. The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond. The DO and Temperature profiles for 2018 are on a separate chart (attached).

Conclusions:  The conclusions remain essentially unchanged from last year. The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes.  The potential for an algal bloom continues to be moderate, however, the average of 9 µg/L for 2018 was the lowest it has been in years and will hopefully be a continuing trend.  Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list. This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed.  In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer (see chart).  In addition, phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom. Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975.  During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured. Since 2004, the years Taylor Pond has been monitored by volunteers, there have been no appreciable algae blooms.   

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms.  Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery. Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, potentially increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.  

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities.  The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston.  It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter. It has an abundant bass, pickerel, and recently pike populations that thrive in its warm waters and attract people who enjoy fishing.  The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the Androscoggin River into Taylor Pond. It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy.  It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.

METHODOLOGY:  Samples are collected near the deepest point in the pond.  This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers.  This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation for Secchi disk readings. In addition to visual triangulation an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples.  Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler. Core samples are taken with a core sampler home-manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube. The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR:  Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH: Performed on core samples using a Hach Bromothymol Blue test kit for pH.

CONDUCTANCE:  Performed on core samples using a HM Digital, Inc. Model COM-100 water quality tester for EC/TDS/Temp. Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY:  Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.  

PHOSPHOROUS:  Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples.  Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the DHHS lab by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb). The results are the average of four samples taken once a month from June to September.

SECCHI DISK:  Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN:  Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth.  The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Water temperature is recorded at each depth tested.

TROPHIC STATE:  Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations.  For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorous TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.  

Water Quality Summary for Taylor Pond 2017

Woody Trask, July 2018

In summary, 2017 was a better than average year for water clarity although the water was slightly more colored (yellow/brown tone) than last year.

A full battery of tests (color, pH, alkalinity, conductance, phosphorus and clarity) was conducted monthly from June through September, with additional clarity readings taken by Michael Heskinen, who joined us this year as a certified water quality monitor. Thank you Michael! Phosphorus analyses of water samples taken from the surface and bottom of the pond were performed by the State of Maine Health and Environmental Testing Lab in Augusta. Surface samples showed a slight increase compared to last year but the bottom samples tested slightly lower. Just an anomaly? Who knows? We’ll see what happens in 2018. To my knowledge there were no reports of any significant algae blooms.

The readings for clarity averaged 5.55 meters (18.2 ft.) which is quite high compared to the historical average of 4.64 meters (15.2 ft.) and slightly higher than last year — a positive indicator of the health of the Pond.

The overall water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to all Maine lakes. Barring a major environmental event that causes significant soil erosion and phosphorus rich run-off entering the pond, the water quality is expected to remain stable going forward.

The ice-out date for spring 2018 was recorded as April 23, which was 4 days later than last year and about 9 days later than the historical average. The pond froze (gradually) over the last week in December, so there was a longer period of ice cover than last year which is considered beneficial to overall water quality.

TPA $500 Grant Program

Dana Little, June 10, 2018

The grant program that provides up to $500 to eligible homeowners continues to to work to improve our pond’s health.  Both Kristi Norcross and I volunteer to run the program which begins with a LakeSmart evaluation. In 2017 I visited eight homes and this year two homes so far.  Of these evaluations, one received the distinction of being a LakeSmart property. In addition this property received $500 for its lake-friendly improvements. In the past we hired consultants to provide LakeSmart consults which cost us several thousand dollars in 2016.  Since 2017 I have provided local expertise, with certification from the Maine Lakes Society, at no cost.

A LakeSmart property award is made when a homeowner designs their land so that it keeps the lake healthy.  LakeSmart recommendations include preventing rain from directly entering the pond, planting a buffer along the shore, not cutting grass less than three inches, avoiding pesticides and fertilizers and reducing lawn sizes.  No home is perfect but I can provide recommendations to improve and instructions on how to apply for a $500 grant to help make those improvements. I can also advise you on how to stay within the requirements of Maine’s shoreland zoning law and other regulations.

To find out more about a free LakeSmart evaluation and an opportunity to receive a $500 grant call Kristi Norcross at 577-6408.  The basic requirements for receiving a grant include:

  1. An initial LakeSmart evaluation
  2. Make improvements as recommended in the written evaluation
  3. Provide proof of associated costs
  4. Not make changes to the property that would worsen its score and
  5. Finally to have a follow up evaluation done to ensure that the work has been done satisfactorily.

WATER QUALITY SUMMARY FOR TAYLOR POND – 2016

By Woody Trask

In summary, 2016 was a better than average year for water clarity, including one reading that was just slightly higher than the previous record. Water levels were unusually low due to dry conditions, which may explain the high clarity readings, since fewer rain events meant less soil and nutrients being washed into the pond. Phosphorus level and the associated possibility of an algae bloom continue to be a major concern. However, I’m not aware of any blooms being reported.

The full battery of tests (color, pH, alkalinity, conductance, phosphorus and clarity) was conducted monthly from June through September, with additional clarity readings taken bi-weekly to establish a good data base. Phosphorus analyses of water samples taken from the surface and bottom of the pond were performed by the State of Maine Health and Environmental Testing Lab in Augusta. Surface samples showed no increase in phosphorous levels compared to last year but the bottom samples were higher and will be closely monitored in 2017 to see if it is a trend or just an anomaly.

Even though the testing results for clarity included the best ever single reading, the average was about the same as last year. The readings averaged 5.39 meters (17.7 ft.) which is quite high compared to the historical average of 4.64 meters (15.2 ft.) — a positive indicator of the health of the Pond.

The overall water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to all Maine lakes. Barring a major environmental event that causes significant soil erosion and phosphorus-rich run-off entering the pond, the water quality is expected to remain stable going forward.

The ice-out date for spring 2017 was recorded as April 19, which is a whole month later than last year and close to the historical average of April 14th. The pond also froze over the third week in December compared to January 5th last year. This was good, since a longer period of ice cover is generally considered beneficial to overall water quality.

Taylor Pond Water Quality Reports Archive 2009-2016

2016 Taylor Pond Water Quality Report 

by Woody Trask

This report summarizes the findings of the 2016 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine (MIDAS ID#3750). Readings and samplings were conducted monthly from June through September. Additional Secchi readings were taken throughout the summer. Since 2004 Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests.  Phosphorus analysis was conducted by the DHHS Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory in Augusta.

Result summary: Most results were quite consistent with readings for the past few years with two exceptions – total bottom phosphorus and maximum Secchi (clarity) reading.  A high phosphorus reading for the bottom sample in September might be explained by the sampling method since samples have been taken at a depth of 12 meters from the surface and, with extreme low water conditions this year, it means the last sample taken was closer to the bottom of the pond than samples taken in past years.  The second notable change was in the maximum Secchi reading which at 6.52 meters was just slightly higher than the maximum ever recorded. No changes in color, pH, alkalinity or conductance were observed. The “ice in” date was January 5th and the “ice out” date was March 19th, making for perhaps the shortest iced over period. A short period of ice cover is generally considered not good for the health of the pond. The historical average for ice out is April 14.

The results of this year’s monitoring are given below:

Parameter2016Mean for Taylor Pond   since 1975 Historical Mean for all Maine Lakes
Color2021.0728
pH7.27.06.82
Alkalinity2016.711.9
Conductance8989.946
Total Phosphorous   5m core sample, µg/L 11.5   vs. 11.7 in 2015 10.1312
Total Phosphorous   bottom grab, µg/L 25.8   vs. 17 in 2015 25.31(not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum4.5   vs. 4.45 in 2015 1.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5   (0.9 in 2012)
Secchi depth mean (m)5.39   vs. 5.48 in 2015 4.644.81   (5.2 in 2012)
Secchi depth maximum6.52   vs. 6.09 in 2015 6.52 (maximum ever recorded)15.5   (13.4 in 2012)
Trophic State (by Secchi disk)35.750.6045
Trophic State (by core Total Phosphorous)39.443.2(not published)

Color:  Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color.  Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees.  Taylor Pond had a color measured at 20 in 2016, which is the same as 2015 and lower than the mean for all Maine lakes of 28.  When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.   

PH:  A measure of the acid-base status of the pond.  Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.2 in 2016 which is slightly higher than the mean of 6.82 for all Maine Lakes.  Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6.  This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been very stable over the years.

Alkalinity:  A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH.  Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2016 was 20 (the same as last year) compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 11.9.  This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity.  The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained little changed and is not of concern. 

Conductance:  Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water — the higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions.  Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable.  Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2016 was 89 compared to a historical mean of 89.9 and a mean of 46 for all Maine lakes.

Total Phosphorous:  The phosphorus Measurement of phosphorous provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom.  Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water.  If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly.  Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a 5 meter core and bottom grab sampling technique.  Taylor Pond’s core sample phosphorous readings this year averaged 11.5 µg/L which is close to the historical mean of 10.11 and slightly lower than the 12 reported for all Maine lakes.  It is also below the critical level of 15, at which level one tends to see algal blooms.  Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain.  A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.  The bottom grab sample average of 25.8 ppm was considerably higher than past years but was almost identical to the historical average.

Secchi Disk:  Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water.  Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water.  Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond.  The mean transparency for 2016 was 5.39 meters, 0.09 m lower than last year and significantly higher than the historic average for Taylor Pond of 4.64 and higher than the historical average for all Maine lakes. The higher than normal readings may have been due to the unusually dry summer which resulted in less suspended matter being introduced into the pond.

Trophic State:  This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality.  The scale ranges from zero to over 100.  Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive).  Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity).  Taylor Pond measured at 35.7 by Secchi Disk readings and 39.4 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate).  Taylor Pond’s Trophic State as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of 45.

Dissolved Oxygen Profiles:  The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at one meter depth intervals throughout the summer.  Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high level to sustain all animals.  Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated.  Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By August, this colder deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for the fish.  In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water.  This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab samples. The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond.  Note: all bottom samples were taken at 12m below the surface to avoid contamination by bottom sediments.

Conclusions:  The conclusions remain unchanged from last year. The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes.  The potential for an algal bloom continues to be moderate and has not changed significantly from prior years.  Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list.  This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed.  In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.  

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer.  In addition, phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom.  Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975.  During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured.  Since 2004, the years we have been monitoring Taylor Pond ourselves, there have been no notable algae blooms.   

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms.  Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery.  In addition, the oxygen depletion at depths below 5 meters releases an increased amount of phosphorous to the water.  Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.  

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities.  The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston.  It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter.   It has an abundant bass, pickerel, and recently pike populations that thrive in its warm waters and attract people who enjoy fishing.  The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the Androscoggin River into Taylor Pond.  It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy.  It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.  

METHODS:  Samples are collected near the deepest point in the pond.  This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers.  This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation for Secchi disk readings.  In addition to visual triangulation an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples.  Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler.  Core samples are taken with a core sampler  home-manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube.   The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR:  Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH: Performed on core samples using a Hach Bromothymol Blue test kit for pH.

CONDUCTANCE:  Performed on core samples using a HM Digital, Inc. Model COM-100 water quality tester for EC/TDS/Temp. Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY:  Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.  

PHOSPHOROUS:  Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples.  Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the DHHS lab by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb). The results are the average of four samples taken once a month from June to September.

SECCHI DISK:  Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN:  Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth.  The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Water temperature at each depth tested is also recorded.

TROPHIC STATE:  Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations.  For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.  

2015 Taylor Pond Water Quality Report 

Woody Trask 10/21/15

This report summarizes the findings of the 2015 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine (MIDAS ID#3750). Secchi disc readings were conducted from June through September. Due to having to send the DO meter out for repair, testing for dissolved oxygen, temperature and other parameters was only conducted monthly from July to September. Additional Secchi readings were taken throughout the summer, with several readings taken to coincide with satellite overflights as requested by VLMP. Since 2004 Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests. Phosphorus analysis was conducted this year by the DHHS Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory.

Result summary: The results were rather conflicting as the clarity of the lake was quite a bit better than last year and the historical average but the Phosphorus readings were slightly higher and have increased slowly over the past three years. This bears watching as higher levels indicate an increase in the likelihood of experiencing algae blooms. No changes in color, pH, alkalinity or conductance were observed.

The ice out date was April 21. The historical average is April 14.

The results of this year’s monitoring are given below:

Parameter2015Mean for Taylor Pond   since 1975 Historical Mean for all Maine Lakes
Color2021.128
pH7.27.06.82
Alkalinity2016.611.9
Conductance8989.946
Total Phosphorous   5m core sample, µg/L 11.7   vs. 11.5 in 2014 10.112    
Total Phosphorous   bottom grab, µg/L 17   vs. 15 in 2014 25.3     (not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum4.45   vs. 4.0 in 2014 1.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5   (0.9 in 2012)
Secchi depth mean (m)5.48   vs. 4.78 in 2014 4.624.81   (5.2 in 2012)
Secchi depth maximum6.09   vs. 5.8 in 2014 6.5 (maximum ever recorded)15.5   (13.4 in 2012)
Trophic State (by Secchi disk)35.5     50.96     45
Trophic State (by core Total Phosphorous)39.6     43.2(not published)

* all bottom samples where taken at 12m depth to avoid contamination by bottom sediments

Color:  Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color. Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees. Taylor Pond had a color measured at 20 in 2015, which is slightly higher than the reading of 23 for 2014 and lower than the mean for all Maine lakes of 28. When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.

PH:  A measure of the acid-base status of the pond. Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.2 in 2015 which is slightly higher than the mean of 6.82 for all Maine Lakes. Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6. This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been very stable over the years.

Alkalinity:  A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH. Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2015 was 20 (the same as last year) compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 11.9. This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity. The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained little changed and is not of concern.

Conductance:  Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water — the higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions. Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable. Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2015 was 89 compared to a historical mean of 89.9 and a mean of 46 for all Maine lakes.

Total Phosphorous:  The phosphorus Measurement of phosphorous provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom. Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water. If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly. Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors. Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a 5 meter core and bottom grab sampling technique. Taylor Pond’s phosphorous this year averaged 11.7 µg/L which is close to the historical mean of 10.1 and slightly lower than the 12 reported for all Maine lakes. It is also below the critical level of 15, at which level one tends to see algal blooms. Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain. A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.

Secchi Disk:  Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water. Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water. Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond. The mean transparency for 2015 was 5.48, 0.7 meter higher than last year and significantly higher than the historic average for Taylor Pond of 4.62 and higher than the historical average for all Maine lakes. The higher than normal readings may have been due to the unusually dry summer which resulted in less suspended matter being introduced into the pond.

Trophic State:  This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality. The scale ranges from zero to over 100. Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive). Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity). Taylor Pond measured at 35.5 by Secchi Disk readings and 39.6 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate). Taylor Pond’s Trophic State as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of 45.

Dissolved Oxygen Profiles:  The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at one meter depth intervals throughout the summer. Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high level to sustain all animals. Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated. Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By August, this colder deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for the fish. In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water. This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab sample (17 at 12 meters* depth vs. 11.7 for the 5 meter core sample). The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond.

Conclusions:  The conclusions remain unchanged from last year. The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes. The potential for an algal bloom continues to be moderate and has not changed significantly from prior years but shows a concerning upward trend. Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list. This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed. In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer. In addition, phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom. Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975. During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured. In the years we have been monitoring Taylor Pond ourselves, since 2004, there have been no notable algae blooms.

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms. Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery. In addition, the oxygen depletion at depths below 5 meters releases an increased amount of phosphorous to the water. Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities. The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston. It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter.   It has an abundant bass and pickerel population that thrives in its warm waters and attracts people who enjoy fishing. The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for Alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the Androscoggin River into Taylor Pond. It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy. It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.

METHODS:  Samples are collected near the deepest point in the pond. This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers. This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation for Secchi disk readings. In addition to visual triangulation an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples. Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler. Core samples are taken with a core sampler home-manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube.   The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR: Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH: Performed on core samples using a Hach Bromothymol Blue test kit for pH.

CONDUCTANCE: Performed on core samples using a HM Digital, Inc. Model COM-100 water quality tester for EC/TDS/Temp. Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY: Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.

PHOSPHOROUS: Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples. Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the DHHS lab by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb). The results are the average of four samples taken once a month from June to September.

SECCHI DISK: Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN: Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth. The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Water temperature at each depth tested is also recorded.

TROPHIC STATE: Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations. For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.

2014 Taylor Pond Water Quality Report

by Woody Trask 11/19/2014

This report summarizes the findings of the 2014 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine (MIDAS ID#3750). Secchi disc readings, dissolved oxygen, temperature and chemical water testing was conducted monthly from June to September. Additional Secchi readings were taken throughout the summer, with several readings taken to coincide with satellite overflights as requested by VLMP (Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program). Since 2004 Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests. Phosphorus analysis was conducted this year by the DHHS Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory since the previously used Sawyer Environmental Chemistry Research Laboratory in Orono notified us that they were no longer allowed to do the testing for us.

Result summary: there were no significant changes in water quality compared to 2013.

The results of this year’s monitoring are given below:

Parameter2014Mean for Taylor Pond since 1975Historical Mean for all Maine Lakes
Color2321.128
pH7.27.06.82
Alkalinity2416.511.9
Conductance8789.946
Total Phosphorous 5m core sample, µg/L11.5 vs. 10 in 201310.012
Total Phosphorous bottom grab, µg/L15 vs. 19 in 201325.6     (not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum4.0vs. 3.2 in 20131.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5(0.9 in 2012)
Secchi depth mean (m)4.78 vs. 4.54 in 20134.64.81  (5.2 in 2012)
Secchi depth maximum5.80 vs. 5.54 in 20136.5 (maximum ever recorded)15.5 (13.4 in 2012)
Trophic State (by Secchi disk)37.551.445
Trophic State (by core Total Phosphorous)39.443.3(not published)

Color:  Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color. Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees. Taylor Pond had a color measured at 23 in 2014, which is slightly higher than the reading of 22 for 2013 and lower than the mean for all Maine lakes of 28. When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.

PH:  A measure of the acid-base status of the pond. Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.2 in 2014 which is slightly higher than the mean of 6.82 for all Maine Lakes. Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6. This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been very stable over the years.

Alkalinity:  A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH. Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2014 was 24 (vs. 20 last year) compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 11.9. This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity. The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained little changed and is not of concern.

Conductance:  Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water — the higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions. Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable. Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2014 was 87 compared to a historical mean of 89.9 and a mean of 46 for all Maine lakes.

Total Phosphorous:  The phosphorus Measurement of phosphorous provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom. Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water. If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly. Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors. Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a 5 meter core and bottom grab sampling technique. Taylor Pond’s phosphorous this year averaged 11.5 µg/L which is close to the historical mean of 10.0 and slightly lower than the 12 reported for all Maine lakes. It is also below the critical level of 15, at which level one tends to see algal blooms. Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain. A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.

Secchi Disk:  Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water. Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water. Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond. The mean transparency for 2014 was 4.78, about the same as last year and about the same as the historic average for Taylor Pond of 4.6 and very close to the average for all Maine lakes.

Trophic State:  This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality. The scale ranges from zero to over 100. Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive). Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity). Taylor Pond measured at 37.5 by Secchi Disk readings and 39.4 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate). Taylor Pond’s Trophic State as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of 45.

Dissolved Oxygen Profiles:  The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at one meter depth intervals throughout the summer. Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high level to sustain all animals. Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated. Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By August, this colder deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for the fish. In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water. This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab sample (15 at 12 meters* depth vs. 11.5 for the core sample). The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond.

* all bottom samples where taken at 12m depth to avoid contamination by bottom sediments.

Conclusions:

The conclusions remain unchanged from last year. The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes. The potential for an algal bloom continues to be moderate and has not changed from prior years. Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list. This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed. In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer. In addition, phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom. Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975. During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured. In the years we have been monitoring Taylor Pond ourselves, since 2004, there have been no notable algae blooms.

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms. Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery. In addition, the oxygen depletion at depths below 5 meters releases an increased amount of phosphorous to the water. Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities. The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston. It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter.   It has an abundant bass and pickerel population that thrives in its warm waters and attracts people who enjoy fishing. The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for Alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the Androscoggin River into Taylor Pond. It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy. It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.

METHODS:

Samples are collected near the deepest point in the pond. This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers. This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation. In addition an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples. Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler. Core samples are taken with a core sampler home-manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube.   The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR: Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH: Performed on core samples using a Hach Bromothymol Blue test kit for pH.

CONDUCTANCE: Performed on core samples using a HM Digital, Inc. Model COM-100 water quality tester for EC/TDS/Temp. Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY: Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.

PHOSPHOROUS: Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples. Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the DHHS lab by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb). The results are the average of four samples taken once a month from June to September.

SECCHI DISK: Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN: Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth. The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Water temperature at each depth tested is also recorded.

TROPHIC STATE: Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations. For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.

2013 Taylor Pond Water Quality Report

prepared by Woody Trask

This report summarizes the findings of the 2013 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine.  Periodic Secchi disc reading were taken by George Sheats. Woody Trask did monthly Secchi readings, dissolved oxygen and chemical water testing.  Since 2004 Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests.  The Sawyer Environmental Chemistry Research Laboratory in Orono has been performing the phosphorus analysis on water samples mailed to them.

Result summary: there were no significant changes in water quality compared to 2012.

The results of this year’s monitoring are given below:

Parameter  2013  Mean for Taylor Pond since 1975  Historical Mean for all Maine Lakes
Color2221.028
pH7.16.996.82
Alkalinity2016.311.9
Conductance8890.046
Total Phosphorous 5m core sample, µg/L10 vs. 9 in 20129.9712
Total Phosphorous bottom grab, µg/L19 vs. 29 in 201225.9(not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum3.2 vs. 4.0 in 20121.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5 (0.9 in 2012)
Secchi depth mean (m)4.54 vs. 4.47 in 20124.64.81 (5.2 in 2012)
Secchi depth maximum5.54 vs. 5.1 in 20126.5 (maximum ever recorded)15.5 (13.4 in 2012)
Trophic State (by Secchi disk)38.251.845
Trophic State (by core Total   Phosphorous)35.843.4(not published)

* all bottom samples where taken at 12m depth to avoid contamination by bottom sediments.

Color:  Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color.  Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees.  Taylor Pond had a color measured at 22 in 2013, which was lower than the reading of 26 for 2012 and slightly lower than the mean for all Maine lakes of 23.  When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.

PH:  A measure of the acid-base status of the pond.  Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.1 in 2013 which is slightly higher than the mean of 6.82 for all MaineLakes.  Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6.  This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been very stable over the years.

Alkalinity:  A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH. Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2013 was 20 (the same as last year) compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 11.9.  This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity.  The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained little changed and is not of concern.

Conductance:  Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water — the higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions.  Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable.  Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2013 was 88 compared to a historical mean of 90.1 and a mean of 46 for all Maine lakes.

Total Phosphorous:  The phosphorus Measurement of phosphorous provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom.  Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water.  If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly.  Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a 5 meter core and bottom grab sampling technique.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous this year averaged 10 µg/L which is the same as the historical mean of 9.97 and slightly lower than the 12 reported for all Maine lakes.  It is also below the critical level of 15, at which level one tends to see algal blooms.  Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain.  A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.

Secchi Disk:Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water.  Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water.  Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond.  The mean transparency for 2013 was 4.54, about the same as last year and about the same as the historic average for Taylor Pond of 4.6 but less than the average for all lakes of 5.21.

Trophic State: This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality.  The scale ranges from zero to over 100.  Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive).  Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity).  Taylor Pond measured at 38.1 by Secchi Disk readings and 37.4 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate).  Taylor Pond’s TrophicState as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of 45.

Dissolved Oxygen Profiles:  The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at one meter depth intervals throughout the summer.  Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high level to sustain all animals.  Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated.  Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By August, this colder deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for the fish.  In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water.  This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab sample (19 at 12 meters* depth vs. 10 for the core sample).  The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond.

Conclusions:  The conclusions remain unchanged from last year. The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes.  The potential for an algal bloom continues to be moderate and has not changed from prior years.  Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list.  This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed.  In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer.  In addition, phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom.  Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975.  During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured.  In the years we have been monitoring Taylor Pond ourselves, since 2004, there have been no notable algae blooms.

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms.  Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery.  In addition, the oxygen depletion at depths below 5 meters releases an increased amount of phosphorous to the water.  Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities.  The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston.  It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter.   It has an abundant bass and pickerel population that thrives in its warm waters and attracts people who enjoy fishing.  The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for Alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the AndroscogginRiver into Taylor Pond.  It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy.  It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.

METHODS:  Samples are collected near the deepest point in the pond.  This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers.  This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation for Secchi disk readings by Ralph Gould.  In addition to visual triangulation an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples.  Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler.  Core samples are taken with a core sampler  home-manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube.   The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR:  Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH and CONDUCTANCE:  Performed on core samples using a Hanna combination meter (temperature, pH and conductance HI 98129) with standardization using buffered control solutions at 7 and 4 and a conductance control solution of 1000.  Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY:  Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.

PHOSPHOROUS:  Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples.  Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the Sawyer Laboratory by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb). The results are the average of five samples taken once a month from June to October.

SECCHI DISK:  Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN:  Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth.  The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Water temperature at each depth tested is also recorded.

TROPHIC STATE:  Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations.  For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.

2012 Taylor Pond Water Quality Report

Prepared by Woody Trask

This report summarizes the findings of the 2012 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine.  Monitoring was conducted by Ralph Gould who performed biweekly Secchi readings and I did monthly Secchi readings, dissolved oxygen and chemical water testing.  Since 2004 Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests.  The Sawyer Environmental Chemistry Research Laboratory in Orono has been performing the phosphorus analysis on water samples mailed to them. There were no significant changes in water quality compared to 2011.

The results of this year’s monitoring are summarized below:

Parameter2012Mean for Taylor Pondsince 1975Historical Mean for all Maine Lakes
Color2621.028
pH7.16.996.82
Alkalinity2016.211.9
Conductance7790.146
Total Phosphorouscore sample, µg/L9vs. 11 in 20119.9712
Total Phosphorousbottom grab, µg/L29vs. 27 in 201126.1(not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum4.0vs. 3.9 in 20111.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5(0.9 in 2012)
Secchi depth mean (m)4.45vs. 4.7 in 20114.64.81(5.2 in 2012)
Secchi depth maximum5.1vs. 5.5 in 20116.5 (maximum ever recorded)15.5(13.4 in 2012)
Trophic State (by Secchi disk)38.552.245
Trophic State (by core Total Phosphorous)35.843.6(not published)

Color:  Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color.  Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees.  Taylor Pond had a color measured at 26 in 2012, which was higher than the reading of 17 for 2011 and slightly above the mean for all Maine lakes of 23.  When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.

PH:  A measure of the acid-base status of the pond.  Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.1 in 2012 which is slightly greater than the mean of 6.82 for all Maine Lakes.  Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6.  This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been stable over the years and has not significantly changed.

Alkalinity:  A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH.  Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2012 was 20 (the same as last year) compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 11.9.  This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity.  The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained little changed and is not of concern.

Conductance:  Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water — the higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions.  Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable.  Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2012 was 77 compared to a historical mean of 90.1 and a mean of 46 for all Maine lakes.   This does not represent a significant change but is a slightly positive change.

Total Phosphorous:  Measurement of phosphorous provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom.  Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water.  If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly.  Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a core and bottom grab sampling technique.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous this year was 9, which is marginally lower (better) than the historical mean of 9.97 for Taylor Pond and 12 for all Maine lakes.  It is also below the critical level of 15, at which level one tends to see algal blooms.  Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain.  A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.

Secchi Disk:  Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water.  Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water.  Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond.  The mean transparency for 2012 was 4.45, slightly lower than 2011’s average of 4.7, slightly lower than the historic average for Taylor Pond of 4.6 and less than the average for all lakes of 5.21.

Trophic State:  This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality.  The scale ranges from zero to over 100.  Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive).  Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity).  Taylor Pond measured at 38.5 by Secchi Disk readings and 35.8 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate).  Taylor Pond’s Trophic State as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of 45.

Dissolved Oxygen Profiles:   The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at one meter depth intervals throughout the summer.  Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high level to sustain all animals.  Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated.  Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By August, this colder deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for the fish.  In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water.  This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab sample (29 at 12 meters* depth vs. 9 for the core sample).  The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond.

* all bottom samples where taken at 12m depth in 2012 to avoid contamination by bottom sediments.

Conclusions:

The conclusions remain unchanged from last year. The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes.  The potential for an algal bloom continues to be moderate and has not changed from prior years.  Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list.  This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed.  In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer.  In addition, phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom.  Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975.  During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured.  In the years we have been monitoring Taylor Pond ourselves, since 2004, there have been no notable algae blooms.

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms.  Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery.  In addition, the oxygen depletion at depths below 5 meters releases an increased amount of phosphorous to the water.  Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities.  The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston.  It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter.   It has an abundant bass and pickerel population that thrives in its warm waters and attracts people who enjoy fishing.  The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for Alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the Androscoggin River into Taylor Pond.  It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy.  It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.

METHODS:

Samples are collected near the deepest point in the pond.  This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers.  This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation for Secchi disk readings by Ralph Gould.  In addition to visual triangulation an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples.  Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler.  Core samples are taken with a core sampler  home-manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube.   The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR:  Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH and CONDUCTANCE:  Performed on core samples using a Hanna combination meter (temperature, pH and conductance HI 98129) with standardization using buffered control solutions at 7 and 4 and a conductance control solution of 1000.  Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY:  Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.

PHOSPHOROUS:  Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples.  Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the Sawyer Laboratory by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb). The results are the average of five samples taken once a month from June to October.

SECCHI DISK:  Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN:  Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth.  The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Water temperature at each depth tested is also recorded.

TROPHIC STATE:  Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations.  For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.

5/21/2013

2011 Taylor Pond Water Quality Report   

Prepared by Woody Trask

This report summarizes the findings of the 2011 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine.  Monitoring was conducted by Ralph Gould who performed biweekly Secchi readings and I did monthly Secchi readings, dissolved oxygen and chemical water testing.  Since 2004 Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests.  The Sawyer Environmental Chemistry Research Laboratory in Orono has been performing the phosphorus analysis on water samples mailed to them.

The results of this year’s monitoring are summarized below:

Parameter2011Mean for Taylor Pond (since 1975)Mean for all MaineLakes    Measured in 2011
Color1720.923
pH7.16.996.77
Alkalinity2016.19.3
Conductance7990.541
Total Phosphorouscore sample11109
Total Phosphorousbottom grab27vs. 41 in 2010*26(not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum3.9 (after Irene)vs. 4.2 in 20101.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5 (minimum ever recorded)
Secchi depth mean (m)4.7 same as 20104.65.3
Secchi depth maximum5.5vs. 5.6 in 20106.5 (maximum ever recorded)15.5 (maximum ever recorded)
Trophic    State (by Secchi disk)37.752.642
Trophic    State (by core Total   Phosphorous)38.743.8(not published)

Color:  Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color.  Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees.  Taylor Pond had a color measured at 17 in 2011, the same as for 2010, which was below the mean for all Maine lakes of 23.  When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.

PH:  A measure of the acid-base status of the pond.  Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.1 in 2011 which is slightly greater than the mean of 6.77 for all MaineLakes.  Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6.  This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been stable over the years and has not significantly changed.

Alkalinity:  A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH.  Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2011 was 20 (slightly higher than last year) compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 9.3.  This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity.  The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained little changed and is not of concern.

Conductance:  Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water.  The higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions.  Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable.  Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2011 was 79 compared to a historical mean of 90.5.   This does not represent a significant change but is a slightly positive change.

Total Phosphorous:  Measurement of phosphorous provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom.  Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water.  If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly.  Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a core and bottom grab sampling technique.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous this year was 11, which is marginally higher than the historical mean of 10.  This is slightly above the average of 9 for all lakes in Maine in 2011.  It is also below the critical level of 15, at which level one tends to see algal blooms.  Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain.  A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.

Secchi Disk:  Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water.  Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water.  Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond.  The mean transparency this year was 4.7, the same as 2010, which is slightly better than the average for Taylor Pond of 4.6 but slightly less than the average for all lakes of 5.3.  A reading of 3.9 was obtained by both Ralph Gould and Woody Trask right after hurricane Irene but had returned to 4.5 only 11 days later.

Trophic State:  This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality.  The scale ranges from zero to over 100.  Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive).  Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity).  Taylor Pond measured at 37.7 by Secchi Disk readings and 38.7 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate).  Taylor Pond’s TrophicState as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the 2011 state average of 42.

Dissolved Oxygen Profiles:  The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at one meter depth intervals throughout the summer.  Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high level to sustain all animals.  Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated.  Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By August, this colder deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for the fish.  In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water.  This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab sample (27 at 12 meters* depth vs. 11 in a core sample).  The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond.

* all bottom samples where taken at 12m depth in 2011 rather than 13m in order to avoid hitting bottom and stirring up bottom sediments.

Conclusions:

The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes.  The potential for an algal bloom continues to be moderate and has not changed from prior years.  Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list.  This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed.  In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer.  In addition phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom.  Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975.  During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured.  In the years we have been monitoring Taylor Pond ourselves, since 2004, there have been no notable algae blooms.

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms.  Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery.  In addition, the oxygen depletion at depths below 5 meters releases an increased amount of phosphorous to the water.  Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities.  The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston.  It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter.   It has an abundant bass and pickerel population that thrives in its warm waters and attracts people who enjoy fishing.  The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for Alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the AndroscogginRiver into Taylor Pond.  It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy.  It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.

METHODS:

Samples are collected near the deepest point in the pond.  This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers.  This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation for Secchi disk readings by Ralph Gould.  In addition to visual triangulation an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples.  Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler.  Core samples are taken with a core sampler  home-manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube.   The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR:  Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH and CONDUCTANCE:  Performed on core samples using a Hanna combination meter (temperature, pH and conductance HI 98129) with standardization using buffered control solutions at 7 and 4 and a conductance control solution of 1000.  Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY:  Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.

PHOSPHOROUS:  Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples.  Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the Sawyer Laboratory by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb).

SECCHI DISK:  Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN:  Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth.  The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Water temperature at each depth tested is also recorded.

TROPHIC STATE:  Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations.  For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.

5/4/12

2010 Taylor Pond Water Quality Report

Prepared by Woody Trask

This report summarizes the findings of the 2010 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine.  Monitoring was conducted by Ralph Gould who performed biweekly Secchi readings and I did monthly Secchi readings, dissolved oxygen and chemical water testing.  Since 2004 Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests.  The Sawyer Environmental Chemistry Research Laboratory in Orono has been performing the phosphorus analysis on water samples mailed to them.

The results of this year’s monitoring are summarized below:

Parameter2010Mean for Taylor Pond (since 1975)Mean for all MaineLakes    Measured in 2009
Color172128
pH7.126.996.81
Alkalinity19.216.012
Conductance8690.846
Total Phosphorouscore sample111012
Total Phosphorousbottom grab4126(not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum4.21.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5 (minimum ever recorded)
Secchi depth mean4.74.64.81
Secchi depth maximum5.66.5 (maximum ever recorded)15.5 (maximum ever recorded)
Trophic    State (by Secchi disk)385345
Trophic    State (by core Total   Phosphorous)3944(not published)

COLOR:  Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color.  Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees.  Taylor Pond had a color measured at 17 in 2010 which was below the mean for all Maine lakes of 28.  When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.

PH:  A measure of the acid-base status of the pond.  Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.12 in 2010 which is slightly greater than the mean of 6.81 for all MaineLakes.  Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6.  This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been stable over the years and has not significantly changed.

Alkalinity:  A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH.  Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2010 was 19.2 compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 12.0.  This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity.  The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained little changed and is not of concern.

Conductance:  Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water.  The higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions.  Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable.  Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2010 was 86 compared to a historical mean of 91.   This does not represent a significant change.

Total Phosphorous:  Measurement of phosphorous provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom.  Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water.  If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly.  Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a core and bottom grab sampling technique.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous this year was 11, which is marginally higher than the historical mean of 10.  This is below the average of 12 for all lakes in Maine.  It is also below the critical level of 15, at which level one tends to see algal blooms.  Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain.  A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.

Secchi Disk:  Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water.  Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water.  Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond.  The mean transparency this year was 4.7 which is slightly better than the average for Taylor Pond of 4.6 but slightly less than the average for all lakes of 4.81.

Trophic State:  This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality.  The scale ranges from zero to over 100.  Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive).  Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity).  Taylor Pond measured at 38 by Secchi Disk readings as well as 39 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate).  Taylor Pond’s TrophicState as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of 45.

Dissolved Oxygen Profiles:  The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at one meter depth intervals throughout the summer.  Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high level to sustain all animals.  Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated.  Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By August, this colder deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for the fish.  In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water.  This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab sample (41 at 13 meters depth vs. 11 in a core sample).  The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond.

Conclusions:

The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes.  The potential for an algal bloom continues to be moderate and has not changed from prior years.  Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list.  This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed.  In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer.  In addition phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom.  Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975.  During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured.  In the years we have been monitoring Taylor Pond ourselves, since 2004, there has been no algae blooms.

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms.  Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery.  In addition, the oxygen depletion at depths below 5 meters releases an increased amount of phosphorous to the water.  Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities.  The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston.  It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter.   It has an abundant bass and pickerel population that thrives in its warm waters and attracts people who enjoy fishing.  The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for Alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the AndroscogginRiver into Taylor Pond.  It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy.  It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.

METHODS:

Samples are collected near the deepest point in the pond.  This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers.  This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation for Secchi disk readings by Ralph Gould.  In addition to visual triangulation an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples.  Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler.  Core samples are taken with a core sampler  home manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube.   The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR:  Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH and CONDUCTANCE:  Performed on core samples using a Hanna combination meter (temperature, pH and conductance HI 98129) with standardization using buffered control solutions at 7 and 4 and a conductance control solution of 1000.  Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY:  Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.

PHOSPHOROUS:  Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples.  Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the Sawyer Laboratory by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb).

SECCHI DISK:  Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN:  Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth.  The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in parts per million (ppm).

TROPHIC STATE:  Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations.  For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.

5/3/11

2009 Taylor Pond Water Quality Report 

prepared by Dana Little

This report summarizes the findings of the 2009 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine.  Monitoring was conducted by Ralph Gould who performed biweekly Secchi readings and myself who did all of the chemical water testing.  Since 2004 Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests.  The Sawyer Environmental Chemistry Research Laboratory in Orono has been performing the phosphorus analysis on water .

The results of this year’s monitoring are summarized below:

Parameter2009Mean for Taylor Pond (since 1975)Mean for all Maine Lakes Measured in 2009
Color322128
pH7.146.996.81
Alkalinity22.516.012
Conductance1239146
Total Phosphorouscore sample101012
Total Phosphorousbottom grab1126(not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum3.81.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5 (minimum ever recorded)
Secchi depth mean4.74.64.81
Secchi depth maximum5.66.5 (maximum ever recorded)15.5 (maximum ever recorded)
Trophic State (by Secchi disk)375345
Trophic State (by core Total Phosphorous)3744(not published)

COLOR:  Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color.  Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees.  Taylor Pond had a color measured at 32 in 2009 which is slightly above the mean for all Maine lakes of 28.  When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.

PH:  A measure of the acid-base status of the pond.  Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.14 in 2009 which is slightly greater than the mean of 6.81 for all Maine Lakes.  Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6.  This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been stable over the years and has not significantly changed.

Alkalinity:  A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH.  Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2009 was 22.5 compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 12.0.  This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity.  The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained little changed and is not of concern.

Conductance:  Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water.  The higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions.  Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable.  Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2009 was 123 compared to a historical mean of 91.   This does not represent a significant change.

Total Phosphorous:  Measurement of phosphorous provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom.  Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water.  If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly.  Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a core and bottom grab sampling technique.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous this year was 10, which is equal to the historical mean of 10.  This is below the average of 12 for all lakes in Maine.  It is also below the critical level of 15, at which level one tends to see algal blooms.  Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain.  A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.

Secchi Disk:  Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water.  Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water.  Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond.  The mean transparency this year was 4.7 which is better than the average for Taylor Pond of 4.6 and greater than the average for all lakes of 4.81.

Trophic State:  This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond.  The higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality.  The scale ranges from zero to over 100.  Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive).  Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity).  Taylor Pond measured at 37 by Secchi Disk readings as well as 37 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate).  Taylor Pond’s Trophic State as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of  45.

Dissolved Oxygen Profiles:  The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at one meter depth intervals throughout the summer.  Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high level to sustain all animals.  Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish  (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated.  Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By August, this colder deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for the fish.  In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water.  This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab sample (11 at 10 meters depth vs. 10 in a core sample).  The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond.

Conclusions:

The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes.  The potential for an algal bloom continues to be moderate and has not changed from prior years.  Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list.  This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed.  In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer.  In addition phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom.  Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975.  During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured.  In the years we have been monitoring Taylor Pond ourselves, since 2004, there has been no algae blooms.

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms.  Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery.  In addition, the oxygen depletion at depths below 5 meters releases an increased amount of phosphorous to the water.  Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities.  The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston.  It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter.   It has an abundant bass and pickerel population that thrives in its warm waters and attracts people who enjoy fishing.  The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for Alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the Androscoggin River into Taylor Pond.  It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy.  It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.

METHODS:

Samples are collected near the deepest point in the pond.  This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers.  This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation for Secchi disk readings by Ralph Gould.  In addition to visual triangulation an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples.  Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler.  Core samples are taken with a core sampler  home manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube.   The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR:  Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH and CONDUCTANCE:  Performed on core samples using a Hanna combination meter (temperature, pH and conductance HI 98129) with standardization using buffered control solutions at 7 and 4 and a conductance control solution of 1000.  Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY:  Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.

PHOSPHOROUS:  Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples.  Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the Sawyer Laboratory by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb).

SECCHI DISK:  Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN:  Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth.  The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in parts per million (ppm).

TROPHIC STATE:  Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations.  For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.

2016 Taylor Pond Water Quality Report

by Woody Trask

This report summarizes the findings of the 2016 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine (MIDAS ID#3750). Readings and samplings were conducted monthly from June through September. Additional Secchi readings were taken throughout the summer. Since 2004 Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests.  Phosphorus analysis was conducted by the DHHS Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory in Augusta.

Result summary: Most results were quite consistent with readings for the past few years with two exceptions – total bottom phosphorus and maximum Secchi (clarity) reading.  A high phosphorus reading for the bottom sample in September might be explained by the sampling method since samples have been taken at a depth of 12 meters from the surface and, with extreme low water conditions this year, it means the last sample taken was closer to the bottom of the pond than samples taken in past years.  The second notable change was in the maximum Secchi reading which at 6.52 meters was just slightly higher than the maximum ever recorded. No changes in color, pH, alkalinity or conductance were observed. The “ice in” date was January 5th and the “ice out” date was March 19th, making for perhaps the shortest iced over period. A short period of ice cover is generally considered not good for the health of the pond. The historical average for ice out is April 14.

The results of this year’s monitoring are given below:

Parameter2016Mean for Taylor Pond   since 1975Historical Mean for all Maine Lakes
Color2021.0728
pH7.27.06.82
Alkalinity2016.711.9
Conductance8989.946
Total Phosphorous   5m core sample, µg/L11.5   vs. 11.7 in 201510.1312
Total Phosphorous   bottom grab, µg/L25.8   vs. 17 in 201525.31(not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum4.5   vs. 4.45 in 20151.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5   (0.9 in 2012)
Secchi depth mean (m)5.39   vs. 5.48 in 20154.644.81   (5.2 in 2012)
Secchi depth maximum6.52   vs. 6.09 in 20156.52 (maximum ever recorded)15.5   (13.4 in 2012)
Trophic State (by Secchi disk)35.750.6045
Trophic State (by core Total Phosphorous)39.443.2(not published)

Color:  Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color.  Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees.  Taylor Pond had a color measured at 20 in 2016, which is the same as 2015 and lower than the mean for all Maine lakes of 28.  When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.   

PH:  A measure of the acid-base status of the pond.  Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.2 in 2016 which is slightly higher than the mean of 6.82 for all Maine Lakes.  Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6.  This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been very stable over the years.

Alkalinity:  A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH.  Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2016 was 20 (the same as last year) compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 11.9.  This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity.  The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained little changed and is not of concern. 

Conductance:  Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water — the higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions.  Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable.  Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2016 was 89 compared to a historical mean of 89.9 and a mean of 46 for all Maine lakes.

Total Phosphorous:  The phosphorus Measurement of phosphorous provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom.  Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water.  If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly.  Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a 5 meter core and bottom grab sampling technique.  Taylor Pond’s core sample phosphorous readings this year averaged 11.5 µg/L which is close to the historical mean of 10.11 and slightly lower than the 12 reported for all Maine lakes.  It is also below the critical level of 15, at which level one tends to see algal blooms.  Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain.  A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.  The bottom grab sample average of 25.8 ppm was considerably higher than past years but was almost identical to the historical average.

Secchi Disk:  Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water.  Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water.  Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond.  The mean transparency for 2016 was 5.39 meters, 0.09 m lower than last year and significantly higher than the historic average for Taylor Pond of 4.64 and higher than the historical average for all Maine lakes. The higher than normal readings may have been due to the unusually dry summer which resulted in less suspended matter being introduced into the pond.

Trophic State:  This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality.  The scale ranges from zero to over 100.  Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive).  Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity).  Taylor Pond measured at 35.7 by Secchi Disk readings and 39.4 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate).  Taylor Pond’s Trophic State as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of 45.

Dissolved Oxygen Profiles:  The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at one meter depth intervals throughout the summer.  Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high level to sustain all animals.  Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated.  Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By August, this colder deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for the fish.  In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water.  This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab samples. The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond.  Note: all bottom samples were taken at 12m below the surface to avoid contamination by bottom sediments.

Conclusions:  The conclusions remain unchanged from last year. The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes.  The potential for an algal bloom continues to be moderate and has not changed significantly from prior years.  Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list.  This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed.  In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.  

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer.  In addition, phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom.  Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975.  During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured.  Since 2004, the years we have been monitoring Taylor Pond ourselves, there have been no notable algae blooms.   

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms.  Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery.  In addition, the oxygen depletion at depths below 5 meters releases an increased amount of phosphorous to the water.  Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.  

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities.  The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston.  It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter.   It has an abundant bass, pickerel, and recently pike populations that thrive in its warm waters and attract people who enjoy fishing.  The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the Androscoggin River into Taylor Pond.  It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy.  It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.  

METHODS:  Samples are collected near the deepest point in the pond.  This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers.  This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation for Secchi disk readings.  In addition to visual triangulation an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples.  Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler.  Core samples are taken with a core sampler  home-manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube.   The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR:  Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH: Performed on core samples using a Hach Bromothymol Blue test kit for pH.

CONDUCTANCE:  Performed on core samples using a HM Digital, Inc. Model COM-100 water quality tester for EC/TDS/Temp. Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY:  Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.  

PHOSPHOROUS:  Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples.  Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the DHHS lab by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb). The results are the average of four samples taken once a month from June to September.

SECCHI DISK:  Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN:  Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth.  The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Water temperature at each depth tested is also recorded.

TROPHIC STATE:  Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations.  For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.  

2014 Taylor Pond Water Quality Report

by Woody Trask 11/19/2014

This report summarizes the findings of the 2014 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine (MIDAS ID#3750). Secchi disc readings, dissolved oxygen, temperature and chemical water testing was conducted monthly from June to September. Additional Secchi readings were taken throughout the summer, with several readings taken to coincide with satellite overflights as requested by VLMP (Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program). Since 2004 Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests. Phosphorus analysis was conducted this year by the DHHS Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory since the previously used Sawyer Environmental Chemistry Research Laboratory in Orono notified us that they were no longer allowed to do the testing for us.

Result summary: there were no significant changes in water quality compared to 2013.

The results of this year’s monitoring are given below:

Parameter2014Mean for Taylor Pond since 1975Historical Mean for all Maine Lakes
Color2321.128
pH7.27.06.82
Alkalinity2416.511.9
Conductance8789.946
Total Phosphorous 5m core sample, µg/L11.5 vs. 10 in 201310.012
Total Phosphorous bottom grab, µg/L15 vs. 19 in 201325.6 (not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum4.0vs. 3.2 in 20131.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5(0.9 in 2012)
Secchi depth mean (m)4.78 vs. 4.54 in 20134.64.81  (5.2 in 2012)
Secchi depth maximum5.80 vs. 5.54 in 20136.5 (maximum ever recorded)15.5 (13.4 in 2012)
Trophic State (by Secchi disk)37.551.445
Trophic State (by core Total Phosphorous)39.443.3(not published)

Color:  Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color. Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees. Taylor Pond had a color measured at 23 in 2014, which is slightly higher than the reading of 22 for 2013 and lower than the mean for all Maine lakes of 28. When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.

PH:  A measure of the acid-base status of the pond. Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.2 in 2014 which is slightly higher than the mean of 6.82 for all Maine Lakes. Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6. This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been very stable over the years.

Alkalinity:  A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH. Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2014 was 24 (vs. 20 last year) compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 11.9. This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity. The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained little changed and is not of concern.

Conductance:  Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water — the higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions. Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable. Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2014 was 87 compared to a historical mean of 89.9 and a mean of 46 for all Maine lakes.

Total Phosphorous:  The phosphorus Measurement of phosphorous provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom. Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water. If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly. Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors. Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a 5 meter core and bottom grab sampling technique. Taylor Pond’s phosphorous this year averaged 11.5 µg/L which is close to the historical mean of 10.0 and slightly lower than the 12 reported for all Maine lakes. It is also below the critical level of 15, at which level one tends to see algal blooms. Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain. A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.

Secchi Disk:  Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water. Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water. Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond. The mean transparency for 2014 was 4.78, about the same as last year and about the same as the historic average for Taylor Pond of 4.6 and very close to the average for all Maine lakes.

Trophic State:  This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality. The scale ranges from zero to over 100. Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive). Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity). Taylor Pond measured at 37.5 by Secchi Disk readings and 39.4 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate). Taylor Pond’s Trophic State as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of 45.

Dissolved Oxygen Profiles:  The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at one meter depth intervals throughout the summer. Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high level to sustain all animals. Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated. Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By August, this colder deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for the fish. In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water. This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab sample (15 at 12 meters* depth vs. 11.5 for the core sample). The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond.

* all bottom samples where taken at 12m depth to avoid contamination by bottom sediments.

Conclusions:

The conclusions remain unchanged from last year. The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes. The potential for an algal bloom continues to be moderate and has not changed from prior years. Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list. This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed. In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer. In addition, phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom. Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975. During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured. In the years we have been monitoring Taylor Pond ourselves, since 2004, there have been no notable algae blooms.

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms. Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery. In addition, the oxygen depletion at depths below 5 meters releases an increased amount of phosphorous to the water. Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities. The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston. It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter.   It has an abundant bass and pickerel population that thrives in its warm waters and attracts people who enjoy fishing. The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for Alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the Androscoggin River into Taylor Pond. It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy. It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.

METHODS:

Samples are collected near the deepest point in the pond. This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers. This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation. In addition an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples. Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler. Core samples are taken with a core sampler home-manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube.   The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR: Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH: Performed on core samples using a Hach Bromothymol Blue test kit for pH.

CONDUCTANCE: Performed on core samples using a HM Digital, Inc. Model COM-100 water quality tester for EC/TDS/Temp. Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY: Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.

PHOSPHOROUS: Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples. Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the DHHS lab by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb). The results are the average of four samples taken once a month from June to September.

SECCHI DISK: Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN: Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth. The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Water temperature at each depth tested is also recorded.

TROPHIC STATE: Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations. For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.