PLYMOUTH COUNTY– On Wednesday, July 13 the Central Plymouth County Water Commissioners met to edit a letter they are sending as a direct appeal to Brockton water consumers.
Only two of the four commissioners were present, although the third appeared by cellphone and the Brockton Commissioner did not attend the meeting.
The thrust of the letter is to make Brockton residents aware of the consequences their water consumption is having on neighboring communities, and their officials’ lack of a response to the issue.
Brockton, which can divert water from the Monponsett Lake into Silver Lake and pumped out as Brockton’s supply, is under the microscope as their diversions are blamed for keeping Monponsett Lake, especially West Pond, stagnant and unhealthy, encouraging cyanobacteria to reproduce.
This summer cyanobacteria numbers have soared as the temperatures have risen, causing MassDEP to recommend closure of West Pond.
This has done little to stop recreational boaters from using the pond, even fishing in it, despite posted warnings that the West Pond of the lake is closed.
A test on Monday, July 11th was even more disturbing than previous tests. According to the MassDEP and local officials, the West Monponsett Pond samples showed cyanobacteria levels of 1,174,000 cells/ml, up from 613,000 cells/ml at 4th Avenue Beach the week before. Last week, 592,000 cells/ml were found at the state boat ramp, and 632,000 cells/ml were found at Ocean Avenue Beach.
This is much higher than the cutoff rate of 70,000 cells/ml that the state considers for human safety.
The East Monponsett sample, collected at the Rt. 36 boat ramp, showed a cyanobacteria level of 14,500 cells/ml, up from 950 cells/ml the week before.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recommends that the current advisory remain in place, and the town is abiding by that recommendation.
MassDEP plans to collect samples again this week.