Editorial: Storm-Drain Culvert

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On the afternoon of 3 April I took a walk along the portion of Whitehall State Park that parallels Spring Street. I was most pleasantly surprised to hear this harbinger of Spring in the small pond approximately opposite 42 Spring St. (ensure your computer's volume is turned up)

http://s53.photobucket.com/user/wlgtoo/media/Spring%20Lane/LWH/secondpon...

Continuing past that pond, I came next to the constructed settling basin serving the Ralph Road storm-drain culvert which runs under Spring Street. As one can plainly see in the following video, the efficacy of this basin is quite obvious by the quantity of silt contained within. To the best of my knowledge, despite having pointed out the ‘ full’ state of this basin 2 years ago to appropriate Hopkinton Officials, it has not been cleaned and is fuller than it was then, and water continues to flow around the one end where the soil has eroded. Despite the lack of appropriate maintenance, and marginal design and construction, it clearly functions well, meeting its design requirement; separating silt from storm water and minimizing the sediment entering Lake Whitehall and its surroundings.

http://s53.photobucket.com/user/wlgtoo/media/Spring%20Lane/LWH/Ralph_zps...

The culvert for the Longwood Drive storm drain system has no settling basin. The Town did approach the State (DCR) with a plan to build a settling basin for this culvert, but DCR refused, preferring, apparently, to allow the silt and sediment from Longwood Drive to flow, unimpeded, into the park.

http://s53.photobucket.com/user/wlgtoo/media/Spring%20Lane/LWH/Longwood_...

The consequence of this unimpeded flow is still another ‘Silent Spring’ here on Spring Lane. (please forgive the video being upside down, I’ve not much experience doing videos with my phone)

http://s53.photobucket.com/user/wlgtoo/media/Spring%20Lane/LWH/firstpond...

That this destruction has been allowed to continue for nearly 30 years is beyond all reason. I know that this pond will never again be the pristine vernal pool that was here for years, but there is no reason that the continued degradation need continue when the solution, poorly maintained as it may be, is readily apparent at the Ralph Road, storm-drain culvert.

Sincerely,

Edwin E Harrow