Plan Implementation


Plan implementation will be led by the Waukewan Winona Lake Study Advisory Committee.  Local participation is an integral part of the success of this plan, and should include the leadership of NHDES, local municipalities (including Meredith, New Hampton, Center Harbor, Holderness, and Ashland), local lake associations, local schools, community groups, local businesses, road associations, and individual landowners.  The advisory committee will need to meet regularly and be diligent in coordinating resources to implement practices that will reduce NPS pollution in the Lake Waukewan and Lake Winona watershed.

Action Plan Return to Top

The Action Plan was developed through the combined efforts of the LWA and FB Environmental, as well as the advisory committee.  The Action Plan is a critical component of the plan because it provides a list of specific strategies for improving water quality and the means to make the water quality goals a reality.  The Action Plan consists of action items to help address threats identified within five major categories in no particular order of priority:

  1. Best Management Practices (BMPs)
  2. Wastewater Systems
  3. Municipal Ordinances, Planning, & Land Conservation
  4. Education & Outreach
  5. Water Quality Monitoring


In addition to the goal of nutrient (phosphorus) reduction, the Action Plan was also developed to foster thinking about long-term strategies for improving the water quality and related natural resources within the watershed, and to promote communication between citizens, municipalities, and state agencies.  The Action Plan outlines responsible parties, potential funding sources, approximate costs, and an implementation schedule for each task within each category.  Current cost estimates for each action item will need to be adjusted based on further research and site design considerations.

Best Management Practices (BMPs)


Lake Waukewan/Winona Action Plan – Best Management Practices

Best Management Practices (BMPs) are restoration tools that property owners can use to minimize impacts from stormwater runoff and restore degraded areas, particularly along shorelines that feed directly to the lakes.  This could be as simple as planting vegetated buffers, installing gravel driplines along roof edges, and ensuring that runoff from paths and driveways is filtered into the ground rather than running overland and into the lake.  Coordination with landowners is crucial for successful implementation of BMPs identified in this Action Plan because mitigation measures will need to be implemented on private land.  The 2014 watershed and shoreline surveys identified and prioritized several areas within the watershed that should be treated for erosion and/or stormwater runoff issues.

Wastewater Systems

Waukewan_ActionPlan_wastewater systems_Page_1

Lake Waukewan/Winona Action Plan- Wastewater Systems

Septic system effluent typically stores a thousand times the concentration of phosphorus in lake waters, which means that a small amount of effluent could have a major impact on the lake. An old or improperly-maintained septic system can also result in the delivery of chemicals and hormones used in pharmaceutical and personal care products, as well as the delivery of disease-causing bacteria or viruses that cause gastro-intestinal illness in swimmers. Inundation of systems by groundwater greatly enhances the transport of phosphorus and pathogens to the lake. Therefore, it is critical to ensure adequate setbacks and good vertical separation from the seasonally-high groundwater table.

Based on the watershed modeling that has been completed, septic systems are the third and second largest source of phosphorus to Lake Waukewan and Lake Winona, respectively. The contribution of septic systems was estimated to provide 9% (28.3 kg TP/yr) and 13% (13.6 kg TP/yr) of the total phosphorus load to Lake Waukewan and Lake Winona, respectively. A wastewater inspection and maintenance program will help reduce phosphorus and bacteria loading to these lakes. Significant reductions in phosphorus loading to the lakes will be achieved if landowners take responsibility to evaluate and maintain their systems, and make necessary upgrades, especially to old systems, cesspools, and outhouses.

Municipal Ordinances, Planning, & Land Conservation


Lake Waukewan/Winona Action Plan – Municipal Ordinances, Planning, and Land Conservation

Municipal land-use regulations are a guiding force for where and what type of development can occur in a watershed, and therefore, how water quality is affected because of this development.  The buildout analysis conducted by FB Environmental indicates that there is considerable need for improvement in protecting water quality through non-structural BMPs, such as municipal ordinance adoption or revisions for new or re-development.  Action items related to this element have been divided into those relating to wastewater systems, development planning, other regulations, good housekeeping, and land conservation.  These action items will help guide municipalities in making effective ordinance or regulation changes that protect water quality within the Lake Waukewan/Winona watershed.

Education and Outreach


Lake Waukewan/Winona Action Plan – Education and Outreach

Education and outreach activities can be used to enhance public understanding of the water quality and encourage community participation in watershed restoration and protection activities.  Much effort has already been done by various groups (e.g. Towns of Meredith, New Hampton, Center Harbor, WWAC, local lake associations, LWA, Lakes Region Planning Commission (LRPC), Belknap County Conservation District (BCCD), New Hampshire Lakes Association (NH LAKES), etc.) in the watershed to educate, communicate, and coordinate with the community for the protection, preservation, and improvement of the quality of Lake Waukewan and Lake Winona.  Local lake associations and the Waukewan Watershed Advisory Committee are the primary entities for education and outreach campaigns in the watershed and for implementation of this plan.  The various local lake associations and the WWAC should continue all aspects of their education and outreach programs and consider developing new ones or improving existing ones to reach more watershed residents.

Water Quality Monitoring


Lake Waukewan/Winona Action Plan – Water Quality Monitoring

Monitoring programs are crucial for evaluating the effectiveness of watershed planning activities and determining if water quality goals are being achieved over the long-term.  This Action Plan includes recommendations for enhancing current water quality monitoring efforts, including sample collection from lakes and tributaries, and continuation of the Weed Watch and Lake Host programs.  Since volunteers typically conduct many different monitoring activities, it will be critical to continue building on the success of the local lake associations’ ongoing education, outreach, and water quality monitoring programs.

Lake Monitoring – It is recommended that monitoring continue at all existing lake sampling locations.  Alterations to the monitoring plan may include:

  • Increase sampling frequency to examine how nutrients are distributed in the water column and processed throughout and outside of the growing season.
  • Sampling at pre-determined times of year to maintain a consistent dataset. Such times could include spring turnover, peak of summer algal growth, and fall turnover.
  • Promoting advanced research collaborations with other groups active in the lake system to collect data with more frequency and for additional parameters. Consider working with universities to develop a cyanobacteria monitoring program, conduct a sediment core study for the lakes, or conduct a boat traffic study.
  • Conducting a dissolved oxygen study at the lakes. Both lakes have issues with DO depletion in the deeper waters through the summer.  Collecting temperature and DO profiles with greater frequency (and year-round) could help determine the extent of DO depletion and how it relates to sediment phosphorus release.

Tributary Monitoring – It is recommended that monitoring continue at all existing tributary sampling locations.  Alterations to the monitoring plan may include:

  • Capturing water samples at new sites and year-round to better quantify pollutant loading from tributaries in the watershed.
  • Capturing water samples during storm events to examine peak discharges and measure inputs of sediment and nutrients during heavy rains. These samples may be collected either by manual or automated grab sampling during storm events; these automated sampling devices are deployed at collection sites and triggered to fill when water rises to a pre-determined level (e.g., the samplers may be positioned so that they fill when the water rises 6 inches).
  • Deploying data loggers to capture continuous water quality information. Data sondes and loggers may be deployed at strategic locations in rivers, streams, and lakes to capture continuous (e.g., every 30 minutes) data on a number of parameters, including water temperature, dissolved oxygen, specific conductivity, turbidity, and chlorophyll-a or algae abundance.  Data such as these could be valuable for understanding water quality processes in the watershed.
  • Using water level loggers. These are a specific type of logger that measure continuous water level in a river, stream, or lake. In flowing waters, water level can be converted to stream discharge.  Coupled with water chemistry data, loading rates of nutrients may also be calculated with continuous flow data.

Indicators and Benchmarks to Measure Progress Return to Top

Establishing indicators and numeric targets (benchmarks) to quantitatively measure the progress of this plan will provide both short and long-term input about how successful the plan has been in meeting the established goals and objectives for the watershed.

Indicators are derived directly from tasks identified in the Action Plan.  While the Action Plan provides a description of tasks, responsible parties, a schedule, and estimated annual costs associated with each task, the indicators are developed to reflect how well implementation activities are working, and provides a means by which to track progress toward established goals and objectives.

The following environmental, programmatic, and social indicators and associated benchmarks will help measure the progress of this plan.  These benchmarks represent short-term (2017), mid-term (2020), and long-term (2025) targets for improving water quality in these waterbodies.  Setting benchmarks allows for periodic updates to the plan, maintains and sustains the action items, and makes the plan relevant to ongoing activities.  The advisory committee will review the benchmarks for each indicator on an ongoing basis to determine if progress is being made, and then determine if the watershed plan needs to be revised because the targets are not being met.

Environmental Indicators are a direct measure of environmental conditions.  They are measurable quantities used to evaluate the relationship between pollutant sources and environmental conditions.  They assume that BMP recommendations outlined in the Action Plan will be implemented accordingly and will indirectly result in water quality improvement, including reductions in median in-lake TP concentrations, the duration and extent of anoxic conditions at deep holes, and the frequency of peak flows to tributaries from unbuffered impervious or bare soil surfaces that carry phosphorus-laden sediment.

Environmental Indicators
Programmatic Indicators are indirect measures of watershed protection and restoration activities. Rather than indicating that water quality reductions are being met, these programmatic measurements list actions intended to meet the water quality goal.

Programmatic Indicators

Social Indicators measure changes in social or cultural practices and behavior that lead to implementation of management measures and water quality improvement.

Social Indicators

Estimated Costs and Technical Assistance Needed Return to Top

The cost of successfully implementing this watershed plan for Lake Waukewan and Lake Winona is estimated at $324,200 over the next 10 years.  However, many costs are still unknown and should be incorporated into the Action Plan as information becomes available.  This includes both structural BMPs, such as fixing eroding roads and planting shoreline buffers, and non-structural BMPs, such as improving ordinances.  Annual BMP costs were estimated based on a 10-year total for the initial BMP installation plus 10 years of maintenance.  Therefore, the annual BMP costs are not truly representative of how funds will likely be allocated during implementation since the annual costs may be higher earlier in the 10-year plan and less toward the end.

Estimated Costs

A diverse source of funding and a funding strategy will be needed to match these implementation activities. Funding to cover ordinance revisions and third-party review could be supported by municipalities through tax collection, permit fees, or violation fees. Monitoring and assessment funding could come from a variety of sources, including state and federal grants (Section 319, ARM, Moose Plate, etc.), private foundations, and municipalities. Funding for education and outreach might also be expected to come from these sources as well as the local lake associations. Funding to improve septic systems, public and private roads, and shoreland buffers could be expected from property owners most affected by the improvements. As the plan evolves into the future, the Advisory Committee will play a key role in how the funds are raised, tracked and spent to implement and support the plan.

Evaluation of the Plan Return to Top

Annual advisory committee meetings should be organized to review the status of goals and objectives presented in this watershed management plan. It is recommended that an adaptive management approach be used to assess annual progress, determine key projects for the following year, and provide a venue for sharing information with watershed stakeholders. Adaptive management is the process by which new information about the health of the watershed is incorporated into the plan. This process allows stakeholders the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of restoration and monitoring activities before implementing future actions. Tasks listed in the Action Plan should be tracked and recorded as they occur, and new tasks should be added to the plan as determined through the adaptive management process. All achievements, such as press releases, outreach activities, number of sites repaired, number of volunteers, amount of funding received, and number of sites documented, should be tracked. Stakeholders can then use the established indicators to determine the effectiveness of the plan.

Conclusion Return to Top

Watershed residents, landowners, business owners, and recreationalists alike have a vested interest in protecting the long-term water quality of Lake Waukewan and Lake Winona for future generations.  The goal of this plan is to improve the dissolved oxygen concentrations in the bottom depths by reducing the amount of pollutants, sediments, and nutrients that enter the lakes.  The lake study advisory committee has chosen to reduce the median in-lake phosphorus concentrations by 10% and 5-10% in Lake Waukewan and Lake Winona, respectively, over the next 10 years.  This goal can be reached if management actions discussed in this plan are implemented accordingly.  Implementation of this plan over the next 10 years is expected to cost $324,200, and will require the dedication and hard work of municipalities, conservation groups, and volunteers to ensure that the actions identified in this plan are carried out accordingly.  The Action Plan will need to be updated as the plan is implemented and new action items are added, in accordance with the adaptive management approach.