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Swimming at Walden Pond not a good idea right now, state warns

Walden Pond State Reservation announced today it'd be best to stay out of the water at the historic pond for the time being:

A Red Flag warning has been posted at Walden Pond and swimming is discouraged in this area until further notice. For more information regarding water quality at DCR beaches, please call the DCR beaches Hotline at (617) 626-4972.

The reservation didn't specify the reason for the warning, but past red-flag warnings have gone up there are the detection of bacteria that could make swimmers sick, which often happens after runoff from heavy rains, such as the ones we've had over the past few days.

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Comments

Before they ripped out all the RR ties at Thoreau Cove and ran wire fences everywhere to keep people out, forcing people to go to the kid beach or force 10 people into one narrow access point. Not that I'm bitter. No wait, yes I am.

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Voting closed 17

They posted it according to state law - this happens a lot after heavy downpours, particularly when there has been little rain for a long while.

A lot of it is dog crap and lawn treatments. Some of it may be Combined Sewer Overflows and Stormwater Overflows in bodies of water that have them.

Learn more here: https://matracking.ehs.state.ma.us/Environmental-Data/recreational-water...

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Voting closed 21

.... kinda like any beach in Quincy after heavy rain?

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Voting closed 9

The threshold is around 0.25 inches of rain in the last 48 hours - but there has to be a source of runoff - like a river, a creek, etc.

That link I posted above has historic data for 2002 to 2018. It also has current data for marine beaches. You can pick a beach and take a look.

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Voting closed 7

Walden Pond isn't bordered closely - at all - by lawns.

Dogs aren't allowed.

Concord doesn't have sewers.

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Voting closed 15

Concord does have sewers.

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which half of walden pond is in, but never gets credit for.

that said, walden's water gets nasty since the only way out for it is evaporation - no outlets, and only a spring to feed it

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Voting closed 6

It is bordered by a 4 lane highway (rte 2) another rd (126) and RR tracks in the rear. Thats a whole lot of run-off headed to the low point which is the pond.

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Voting closed 11

Walden was closed due to high test levels for e coli. In MA, swimming beaches are required to test for this on a regular basis. You can call that "unlikely", but it happened and the nutrients and bacteria came from somewhere.

Here's where:

Septic tanks are big contributors in wet weather.

Water flows through both human and natural channels into water bodies over quite a distance, including underground.

Agricultural runoff also has impacts.

We all know how effective "banning dogs" is.

Barnstable County has a good explanation of how this works.

Here's a graphic for you to learn from:
IMAGE(https://www.coxcolvin.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/water-cycle-source-USGS-with-credit-framed.jpg)

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Voting closed 13

Ponds are gross, the ocean is way better.

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Voting closed 11

Thank you for your always informative comments!

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Voting closed 8

Why couldn't they explain why?

"Red flag" is meaningless to me. "Bacteria" will definitely make me want to obey this restriction.

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Voting closed 6