Province Lake Watershed Plan Underway!

Over the past few years, Province Lake has experienced extensive, lingering blooms of potentially toxic algae.  In addition, the lake is considered “impaired” by NH DES standards due to high phosphorus and chlorophyll a. The Province Lake Associationrecently kicked-off a watershed management and planning effort to identify opportunities and provide a roadmap for improving Province Lake’s water quality now and for the future.


Province Lake Watershed Plan Steering Committee at a recent meeting at the Province Lake Golf Club. Members include representatives from the Province Lake Association, the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance, Effingham Conservation Commission, Town of Wakefield, Town of Parsonsfield, Province Lake Golf Club, Green Mountain Conservation Group, FB Environmental Associates, NH Department of Environmental Services, and Maine Department of Environmental Services.

 Province Lake, with a surface area of 1008 acres, is set with a 7.3 square mile watershed and is located in Wakefield and Effingham NH and Parsonsfield ME.  Province Lake flows to the Saco River watershed and is drained by the South River to the northwest.  The lake is fed by Hobb Brook and several small tributaries.The plan will identify sources of pollution, propose solutions, and promote public involvement in the planning and restoration process. The planning process will include reviews of lake water quality data, pollution modeling, field surveys, and identification of on-the-ground opportunities to fix pollution sources. This information will be used to develop site-specific recommendations for practices, projects and programs that can be implemented cooperatively at the local level to improve water quality.

Additionally, two demonstration projects will be constructed next summer to clean up polluted storm water. The University of New Hampshire will work with the Province Lake Association and the Town of Wakefield to design and install innovative storm water treatment practices to remove pollution from runoff.  The treatment devices will be located near the lake where they will be visible as examples of what future pollution prevention projects could look like as the plan moves forward.

The Province Lake Association is working with the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance, FB Environmental Associates, the towns of Wakefield NH, Effingham NH, & Parsonsfield ME, the Green Mountain Conservation Group, the NH Department of Environmental Services, the ME Department of Environmental Protection and many other local volunteers to develop the plan.

Public meetings will be held this summer to promote local involvement in the plan, gather input for the plan, and learn more about residents’ concerns about the lake. This project will benefit all who use and enjoy Province Lake. To stay up-to-date on planning efforts, visit the Province Lake Association web site:

Funding for the Province Lake Watershed Plan project is provided in part by a Watershed Assistance Grant from the NH Department of Environmental Services with Clean Water Act Section 319 funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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