MONPONSETT WATERSHED ASSOCIATION
We are activists. We are advocates. We are the voice of the water.
MWA is a grassroots all-volunteer community group committed to the maintenance and preservation of the Monponsett Ponds. This includes clean drinking water for the city of Brockton and a clean, safe environment for the people, flora and fauna of Halifax, Hanson, and beyond.
If you support safe, clean water for all, love the town of Halifax, love wildlife, enjoy watersports, you should join or donate to Monponsett Watershed Association.
Would anyone want to drink this green water?
Of course not!
In 1964 a Massachusetts law was passed giving the city of Brockton access to Monponsett Pond as an emergency, supplemental water supply. A dam was built on Stump Brook. Water was/is diverted from West Monponsett Pond to East Monponsett Pond then to Silver Lake in Kingston for treatment and distribution to the city of Brockton. This water movement opposes the natural flow of water, which is from East Monponsett to West Monponsett to Stump Brook.
Fast forward to 2011 and discover that operational practices degraded Monponsett Pond’s water – mostly West Monponsett; but East Monponsett also has concerns. Combined with other factors, harmful algae blooms occurred in one or both ponds in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020.
When clear water morphs to green paint, you know a body of water is in trouble!
West Monponsett Pond is hyper-eutrophic, meaning pollution from many sources including cranberry bog runoff, storm water runoff and residential development. Excessive water diversions to Silver Lake and Stump Brook dam closures also contribute.
To help control the growth of toxic algae, aluminum sulfate treatments were applied to West Monponsett Pond in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
In 2012 the Halifax Board of Health sparked the idea of the Monponsett Watershed Association, created to educate the public and to restore and preserve both East & West Monponsett Ponds for clean water and safe recreational use. Kudos to John Delano and Cathy Drinan for their guidance and support.
In 2013 MWA worked with the Halifax Board of Selectmen to organize a Monponsett Working Group (MPWG) to bring town, city, and state officials to the table. Senators Thomas Kennedy and Michael Brady and Representatives Tom Calter and Josh Cutler were supportive and involved with the MPWG.
In 2014 MWA officers went to State House to fight for continued testing of West Monponsett by DPH and DEP & MWA worked with state representatives to re-establish the Central Plymouth County Water District to oversee Brockton’s water management.
In 2015 MWA organized a petition to Governor Baker for his assistance. The petition collected 620 signatures in 48 hours and was delivered to the governor’s office by Representative Tom Calter.
In 2016 MWA organized a second petition to Governor Baker for his further assistance. The petition collected over 1000 signatures and was delivered to the governor’s office by Representative Tom Calter. Money was budgeted by the State to help fund treatments for the pond.
Education brochures were mailed to local residents by Monponsett Watershed Association in 2014 and 2015. In 2017, the education campaign combined nogreenwater.com billboards and website. Education brochures were mailed in 2018 and 2019.
GRANTS TO STUDY MONPONSETT PONDS INCLUDE
2013 MA DPH: Sustainable Water Management Initiative 1 (SWMI)
2014 MA DER: Stump Brook and Monponsett Ponds Priority Project
2014 US EPA: Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST), a pilot modeling tool
2015 MA DEP: Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SWMI) - Implemented
2017 US EPA & New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission in partnership with Narragansett Bay Estuary Program: Stormwater Outfall Assessment
10.15.2016 City of Brockton changed operational procedures to NOT divert whenever testing indicates there is a cyanobacteria bloom that exceeds the Mass DPH standard of 70,000 cells/ml.
10.24.2016 MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, DEP: Total Minimum Daily Load (TMDL) as required by US EPA & Federal Clean Water Act. Phosphorus level set at 20 pbb then later revised to 18 ppb.
12.15.2016 MA DEP: Public Hearing on TMDL
03.22.2017 MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, DEP: In the matter of the City of Brockton: Administrative Consent Order (ACO) and Notice of Noncompliance. An immediate requirement was operating Stump Brook dam so that at least 900,000 gallons per day leave West Monponsett Pond to Stump Brook at all times, not just during diversions.
01.24.2018 Resource Management Plan (RMP) Scope of Work, Draft. The RMP turns the ACO into actionable statement of work items such as review of historical information, collection of data under various scenarios, estimating seasonal releases from Stump Brook Dam, and Operating Procedures for Silver Lake diversions and Stump Brook Dam.
02.06.2018 City of Brockton: Public Hearing on Resource Management Plan Scope of Work, Draft
07.19.2018 Resource Management Plan Scope of Work, Response to Comments published
07.19.2018 City of Brockton, Massachusetts, Resource Management Plan Scope of Work, Final. Total timeline for completion: 2 years.
05.17.2019 First Amendment to Administrative Consent Order Enf Doc No:00006883. Total timeline for completion amended: Now 5 years 10 months.
09.04.2019 Watershed-Based Plan (WBP) being developed by Mass DEP according to EPA guidelines for 319 funds
IRS designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
MA AGO: 057949
Non-profits & charities document search: http://www.charities.ago.state.ma.us
Facebook: Monponsett Watershed Association
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL LAW ACT 371
In response to severe drought conditions in the early 1960s, in 1964 the Massachusetts Legislature
approved Act 371; “An act establishing the Central Plymouth County Water District and authorizing the
City of Brockton to extend its source of water supply.” The legislators declared Act 371 to be, “… an
emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of public convenience.”
The emergency has long since passed, but the law remains along with the consequences of many years of diversions that lessen absorptive capacity by reducing new water additions to West Monponsett Pond that otherwise would improve flushing and reduce stagnation.