The ponds of Brewster, MA, provide an important habitat for aquatic life and are a great natural resource for our community. Yet, the scenic beauty and recreational benefits often mask the problems growing beneath the surface.
Only five of Brewster’s Ponds are now considered to be of high quality when compared to Cape Cod Commission pond guidelines.
A vast majority of Brewster’s ponds suffer some level of impairment including lack of clarity, nutrient loading and low dissolved oxygen which limits survival in the aquatic habitat.
Cape Cod’s Ponds serve as a looking glass into the future of our drinking water and Cape Cod’s aquifer provides 100% of our drinking water.
Recharged entirely by precipitation, the groundwater is extremely susceptible to contamination from various land uses and activities. Brewster and most of Cape Cod’s drinking water quality is generally very good.
But, over the past fifteen years, there has been a trend toward some degradation. Nitrate levels in public drinking water supplies are rising. The correlation between human development and aquifer degradation is evident.
According to the Brewster Freshwater Ponds Final Report, a review of total nitrogen to total phosphorus ratios shows that all Brewster ponds are “phosphorus limited,” which means that management of phosphorus will be THE KEY for determining water quality in these ponds. It also means that reductions in phosphorus will have to be a part of any remediation plans.
Interested in local efforts to save Cape Cod’s Ponds, contact The Brewster Ponds Coalition. Together we can keep Brewster’s ponds healthy, safe and beautiful.