About the Harvey Lake Watershed Association
The Harvey Lake Watershed Association is a nonprofit organization formed in August of 2003 and registered with the New Hampshire Secretary of State. The association’s mission, according to its bylaws, is to “preserve and protect the quality of Harvey Lake and its surroundings for the collective interests of lake users.”
The lake is very vulnerable to degradation, including salt loading from Route 4 and 202, a major state highway which runs within 100 feet along the lake’s northern shore, as well as erosion from gravel roads and aging septic systems from lakeside homes and cottages.
The watershed association, which consists of 54 members, including Coe Brown Academy, monitors the water quality of Harvey Lake, primarily through the N.H. Department of Environmental Services’ Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP). Association volunteers use testing equipment secured from a challenge grant though the New England Grassroots Environmental Coalition. Three times each summer, volunteers take samples at various points around the lake. These samples are tested by the state at the association’s expense, and the data have been recorded for several years to establish trend lines and analyze phosphorous, salinity, and other attributes.
For the past several years, the VLAP testing has indicated a high level of phosphorous loading at the inlet, which is located on the eastern shore of the lake. This inlet is the main water source for the lake and extends for several thousand feet northerly to a marshland known as Tucker Brook.
The town transfer station is in this general direction, as well as Northwood Meadows State Park. A seasonal stream runs from the area, under the park road and into the wetland that Tucker Brook runs through before going under Harmony Road.