Lake Health

Mission Statement
Long Term Health Plan
Analyses and Reports
Committee Activities
Erosion Control
Sewers at Amston Lake
Right of Way and Detention Basins

May 2024: The Lake Health Committee is hosting the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) on May 18 at 1:30 p.m. at the ALA clubhouse for an informative invasive species workshop. CAES will describe invasive species typically found in Connecticut through a presentation as well as having live plant samples. You’ll have an opportunity to see the milfoil that has been spotted in 2022 and 2023 at Amston Lake.

It is very important that District members who use the lake understand what milfoil and hydrilla look like. Many eyes on the lake will help us spot these invasives early so that they can be appropriately managed.

The Amston Lake Health Committee is also providing invasive species educational information at all boat pass handout dates in an effort to reinforce your learning experience.

October, 2023: The Pond and Lake Connection recently treated six locations around Amston Lake where invasive Eurasian milfoil had been found. Read their summary report by clicking here.

Additionally, the Connecticut Federation of Lakes distributed a very informative article about the invasive hydrilla spreading throughout our Connecticut waterways. Please take a moment to read through the article so that we can all be educated about this alarming situation. Additionally, click here to read the booklet “Connecticut’s Invasive Aquatic Plant, Clam and Mussel Identification Guide” from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station – there are numerous photographs to help us identify invasive plants in and around the lake.

Lake Health Documents

We hope you’ll spend some time exploring this page, and the wealth of information that the Lake Health Committee has uploaded to the Google Drive. The Lake Health Google Drive contains both current and historic test results, as well as years of reports from our limnologist. This Lake Health page contains numerous hyperlinks to these reports and is being continually updated with the most current information. 

How to protect our lake

Our lake is a recreational resource for every resident in our District. We need to remember that the health of our lake directly impacts us all. Without a healthy and clean lake, all property values will decrease. Let’s all work together to keep our lake clean and free of unwanted nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus).

Amston Lake Health Committee (ALHC) Mission Statement:  To develop, communicate, and implement a Lake Health Management Plan that identifies key activities necessary to maintain or improve the health of the Amston Lake watershed and lake environment for the Amston Lake District.

What you can do to protect our lake

Fertilizer use:  It is best not to use any fertilizers because if it helps grow your lawn and plants, it helps grow weeds in the lake as well. If you must use fertilizer – have your soil tested first so the proper amount can be applied, and only use fertilizers which have no phosphorus (the middle number on the fertilizer bag) as even a little phosphorus may contribute to algae and weed growth in District waters.

Amston Lake District Newsletter:   A newsletter is issued yearly which provides guidance on lake health and other topics regarding the Amston Lake District. Previous year’s newsletters can be found at Amston Laker.

Be a volunteer:   We are a committee of volunteers who monitor and work to improve the health of our lake. Our action item list and a description of our efforts can be found here: Lake Health Committee Activities. Feel free to contact us or come to a meeting if you are interested in becoming a volunteer.

Long Term Health Plan:  The Lake Health Committee has created a historical table of information which is used to research past events in order to plan for current issues. The Lake Management History folder contains detail for lake management and available archive documentation. The Lake Health Committee is constantly learning, and so can you. Please visit this educational folder to learn more about lake health and read detailed discussions with our limnologist in our current year folder.

Analyses and Reports:  Many types of reports are prepared as a result of lake monitoring practices. They may be performed monthly, yearly, or multi-yearly depending on how quickly lake conditions change or how often they are needed. Detailed information can be found for a specific year by reviewing past reports described below.

  • Annual Limnologist Summary Reports provide a summary of testing results and inspections performed over the past year and an analysis of lake health. These efforts first began in 1994 and have continued to present day. Each report evaluates previous year’s test results in order to capture the current lake health condition.
  • Bathymetry Reports show the lake’s depth in a topographical format. The most current map is more detailed due to improved technology. Comparing past and present bathymetry reports has been limited due to the availability of historical data.
  • Fish reports by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection show trends of our fish habitat and approximate fish populations. Our committee has combined the data in the reports showing the populations of fish types over the years.
  • Plant Surveys and Controls investigate past vegetation mapping of Amston Lake and summarize lake health with respect to the plants needed for a healthy lake. Excerpts from our limnologist’s yearly reports provide a quick look at previous year’s plant reviews, while detailed plant surveys provide a more complete picture of the entire lake. Vegetation treatments have been performed in the past with limited to poor results, which actually decreased the quality of the lake’s condition.
  • Current year testing activities are performed and recorded monthly, which may include deepwater, phytoplankton, stormwater, and bathing water (beach- E. Coli) samples.
  • A lake data spreadsheet is updated in July and November, and includes all storm- and deepwater testing at Amston Lake. This data is one of the primary methods of understanding our lake’s health.

Committee Activities

We are a very active committee and this page was created to educate members of the District on our efforts, as well as how they can help.

  • Amston Lake Health Committee meeting minutes provide a summary of the discussions at our meetings and include current open actions. All Lake Health meetings are open to Amston Lake District members.
  • ALHC testing efforts include deepwater, stormwater, and beach (bathing water) testing.  Much of this information is very detailed, and our committee is always willing to educate District residents in what we do and how they can help keep our lake beautiful.  Link to Committee activities.
  • Amston Lake Management Procedures and Planning Guide is a document that provides a history of Amston Lake along with information about the watershed, topography, wastewater, lake monitoring, aquatic plant ecology, and other items.  Please take a look at this educational material.
  • Barley straw has been used at Amston Lake with spotty results.  General information about barley straw can be found here.
  • Amston Lake Historical Document Management This spreadsheet includes documentation since 1974 that can be searched to find information about Amston Lake health. This document can be searched by titles, description, author, issue date, overview, and category to locate information. 
  • A Lake Management History Spreadsheet tracks approximately 10 lake management areas and describes efforts performed over the years to focus our attention on pertinent issues.

Erosion Control

Erosion is a major contributor to poor lake health. Anything that goes into the storm drain by your home can go straight into the lake. This means that everyone’s property affects lake health.  The use of plants, rocks, detention basins or similar impediments to water flow can help to minimize sediment getting into the lake. The information below describes methods our lake health committee is working on to monitor and minimize erosion.

  • Stormwater:  In 2008 a detailed stormwater analysis was prepared for the town of Hebron to document inflow conditions on the Hebron side of Amston Lake. This analysis continues to be used to support our stormwater collection activities.
  • Amston Lake Stormwater/Drains : The ALHC researched all the storm drains around the lake, how they are interconnected, if they contain a sump (basin at the bottom to catch sediment), and where they enter the lake. Members began documenting catch basin depths, before and after yearly spring cleaning, along with any changes to storm drains that may have occurred. A table was developed to track the yearly measurements.
  • Master Drainage (Stormwater) Plan:  This goal was identified in the Town of Lebanon 2020 POCD (Plan of Conservation and Development).  A budget target was listed, but the town has yet to commission this plan that would include Amston Lake. Our hope is that expected federal infrastructure funding, coming to the state and/or town, can be used to support the plan, as improvements in storm drains on the Lebanon side of the lake are badly needed to further improve lake health.

Sewers at Amston Lake

Residents of Amston Lake are served by the sewer systems in Hebron and Lebanon and are directed not to flush any type of wipe, even those advertised as “flushable.” For more information, visit the Hebron Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) page, or the Lebanon WPCA page. For specific information about the Lebanon low-pressure sewer system, including a list of do’s and don’ts, as well as a list of banned items, click here.  

Right Of Way (ROW) and Detention Basins (plunge pools):  Lake Health Committee members observe water flow during heavy rainstorms. Erosion control priorities are established and corrective measures are reviewed. While some projects require considerable engineering, including numerous back and forth discussions with town departments, committees, and individuals to achieve final approval, others are straightforward and easily performed. The folders for erosion control show efforts around Amston Lake.