clean is it?
Lunger/ Guest Commentary
Thursday, June 23,
I can see people on the beach from our
kitchen window and I'm glad to see so many people enjoying Morses Pond
today. We paddled over earlier and spent several hours playing on the new
Cape Cod sand, swimming, eating and cooling off under the umbrellas.
Pond is a great place to go with the whole family. I find that my kids are
entertained for a longer period of time on Morses Pond than at any of the
local pools. They spend hours digging and building bridges in the sand,
swimming in the shallow and deep waters, buying snacks from the vending
machines, sliding down the new slide and playing on the playground and
swings. They even enjoy trying to keep up with the little sunfish. There
is also more shade at the pond than at the pools, especially with the new
umbrellas. The kids usually only want to stay at the pool for an hour or
two but today we spent four hours at the pond and they didn't want to come
seems that some people in Wellesley don't like to swim in Morses Pond as
they think it may be unclean. However, I'm not sure people realize that at
least 40% of our drinking water in Wellesley is coming from wells just
outside of Morses Pond. Our town water is derived from an aquifer that
Morses Pond helps replenish. Thus, it remains imperative for the town to
keep Morses Pond water clean. Of course, the Department of Public Works is
continually testing our water after treatment to ensure that our drinking
water meets or exceeds the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Morses Pond water isn't crystal clear. The water is somewhat brown due to
the tannins from dead leaves, the churning of the water and to algae.
Supposedly, the water replenishes itself each month as it flows through to
Lake Waban. During the summer swimming months the Recreation Department
evaluates the clarity and conditions of the pond on a daily basis and is
required by state regulations to close the pond if the pond has less than
four feet of visibility. This visibility ensures that the lifeguards can
see everyone swimming.
people prefer swimming in a chlorinated pool. Unfortunately, normal
chlorine levels kill most things but not everything. A local sports club
found this out two years ago when a large number of people were exposed to
a major outbreak of cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium is an intestinal
parasite generally found in developing countries that causes severe
diarrhea and dehydration. Due to the volume and flow of water in Morses
Pond, this type of outbreak is much less likely to happen.
problem with Morses Pond is the Canada Geese poop. To reduce the number of
Canada Geese coming to the beach, the Recreation Department now posts
pretend coyotes on either side of the docks after closing. Actually, I
rarely see or hear the geese at the beach and we hope to get a pretend
coyote for our own backyard soon. Swans also keep the geese away. We now
have a family of swans swimming happily at Morses Pond, two adults with
four little signets. Between the pretend coyotes and the swans, our
neighbors tell us that there are fewer geese on the beach than in years
Health Department also tests the waters for fecal coliform bacteria on
Monday mornings and, if necessary, on Wednesdays as well. They have only
closed the beach once in the past four years due to a high fecal coliform
bacteria count. Any communicable disease outbreak in Wellesley is reported
to the Health Department. The Health Department then tries to determine
the source of the exposure. There hasn't been any links of a communicable
disease outbreak to Morses Pond in recent history.
the past, more people used Morses Pond than they do today. Just a few
years ago, Morses Pond belonged to the Suburban League and had a swim
team. Although there isn't a swim team today, the swimming lessons are
very good and private lessons are available. Fishing was more common as
people fished for bass, pickerel and sunfish. A little over 10 years ago,
people sailed on Morses Pond and there were Sunday Regatta sailing races.
Unfortunately, today the weeds and algae in Morses Pond make sailing
impossible as the centerboard gets clogged.
wish more people in Wellesley would come, visit Morses Pond, and enjoy
this wonderful resource. The sand is much nicer than in the past and the
umbrellas and the breeze are wonderful on a hot day. Maybe if more people
will come and enjoy the beach then more people will take an active
interest in helping to improve our pond. The Friends of Morses Pond have a
new website www.morsespond.org that outlines many of the issues and
thoughts about our pond. Please stop by and come for a swim!
Lunger lives on Pickerel Road