Maine Supports Project to Protect Great East and Wilson Lakes

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has awarded a Nonpoint Source Pollution Control project grant to the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance for 2015-2016. The “Great East Lake and Wilson Lake Watershed Implementation (Phase 2 Maine)” project will continue the work started in Phase 1 and address serious chronic road issues on Lakeside Drive on Great East Lake, residential properties on both Great East and Wilson lakes and work with both lake associations to further enhance the lake residents’ understanding of the connections between land activities and water quality.

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Erosion on Lakeside Drive after a midsummer storm

The newly formed Lakeside Drive Road Association is eager to work with AWWA and Maine DEP to correct chronic erosion issues along its road and residential properties. The sediment delivery to Great East Lake from Lakeside Drive is estimated to be well over 40 tons per year and the road association is committed to this repair and its long-term maintenance.

Many of the shorefront properties along Lakeside Drive have been impacted by the torrents of stormwater running off the road and the AWWA Youth Conservation Corps will assist those interested in repairing their landscapes to infiltrate the stormwater before it reaches the lake. In addition, the AWWA will continue assisting landowners around the rest of Great East Lake and on Wilson Lake to make their properties more lake-friendly.

Healthy septic systems are an important ingredient in healthy lakes. AWWA will partner with the Great East Lake Improvement Association and the Wilson Lake Association to survey residents within 250’ of the lake about their septic systems. The information will be analyzed to determine where septic outreach and potential cost-share funds for improvements to malfunctioning systems are needed.

If you own property on either Great East or Wilson and would like AWWA’s help with your landscape or have questions about your septic system give us a call at (603) 473-2500 or email

Funding for this project was provided in part by a Watershed Assistance Grant from the ME Department of Environmental Protection with Clean Water Act Section 319 funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Province Lake Water Sampling with Dr. Jim Haney, UNH

Dr. Haney and his Field Limnology class from UNH performed a variety of tests on Province Lake’s water and sediments back on September 3rd, 2013. Members from the NHDES, Province Lake Association, and AWWA were there to assist where needed, and we were lucky enough to get this video of Dr. Haney and his students capturing a core sample of the lake’s bottom.

The results from these tests will give lake managers and watershed scientists a better idea of the lake’s current condition and how it has changed over time. For more information on Dr. Haney’s visit, click here.

Dr. Haney lowers a water quality probe into Province Lake.


A student separates the water column into sections to find the properties of the water at different depths of Province Lake.

Dr. Haney explains an instrument which uses light to measure levels of chlorophyll-a and phycocyanin; the pigments found in algae and cyanobacteria, respectively.