Two Lake Quinsigamond beaches reopen, but other problems persist
By Bonnie Adams, Government EditorShrewsbury- Two beaches on Lake Quinsigamond have been reopened after passing tests done by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the city of Worcester’s Division of Public Health. The beaches located at Regatta Point and Lake Park Beach were temporarily closed over the weekend after being deemed unsuitable for swimming due to elevated bacteria levels.
However, officials said bacteria levels are still high in the area south of the Kenneth Burns Bridge (that connects Shrewsbury to Worcester via Route 9) to Anna Street on the Worcester side of the lake. The public is advised to not swim, bathe or fish in this area until further notice.
Officials said a failing pumping station that caused a sanitary sewer overflow in the vicinity of 83 Lake Avenue, Worcester is to blame. This pump is expected to be replaced sometime next year.
Pollution of a different type – garbage thrown down the staircase near the Shrewsbury side of the bridge near the White City Plaza also continues to be a problem. Despite the best efforts of different groups, the spot is often littered with large amounts of trash, empty liquor bottles and even shopping carts.
Barbara Kickham Sahagian, the president of the Lake Quinsigamond Watershed Association (LQWA), said her group, along with the town of Shrewsbury, the Regional Environmental Council and the city of Worcester, has often tried to get the problem under control.
“We have asked the stores to retrieve their own carts, but once they are trashed, they don’t want them. I reported the shopping carts under the bridge last fall to the Shrewsbury Police because I believed they were a navigational hazard,” she said.
She added that as the project to replace the bridge is due to start this fall, it is believed that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (who is overseeing the project) will remove the trash at that time.
“The new bridge will not have a stair case down to the water. Some people feel that there should be more access available to residents, on the other had there is more opportunity for vandalism,” she noted.
For more information on LQWA go to http://www.lqwa.org. For more on the bridge project go to http://www.massdotprojectkenburnsbridge.info/index.html.
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