NORWAY — One of three areas tested at Hobbs Pond last November showed evidence of pollution, according to results reviewed at Thursday’s selectmen meeting.

Signs warn visitors about algae in July 2022 along Hobbs Pond in Norway. Steve Sherlock/Sun Journal file

Algae has affected water quality at Hobbs Pond the past couple of years. The Lakes Association of Norway, a volunteer group that receives funding from the town, conducted tests at three sites in November — the public boat launch, the culvert at the bend in Hobbs Pond Lane and the culvert at the lake west of the cemetery.

The goal was to determine the source of the pollution.

Cow DNA and E. coli was present only at the bend. No human DNA was detected, meaning the source of the algae is not coming from septic and sewer systems.

Saying the source is likely cow manure, the lakes association said its findings are preliminary and that more testing is required at additional locations.

“There are several farms owned by different farmers that need to be investigated,” the report said.


The level of phosphorous in the pond has dramatically increased in the past couple of years. After being stable at about 20 parts per million through 2020, the levels at the bottom of the lake jumped to 38 ppm in 2021 and 44 ppm in 2022.

Phosphorous is a major component in the growth of algae.

Cyanobacteria was visible in the water for three weeks in 2021 and nine weeks in 2022. Cyanobacteria are microscopic bacteria that live in all types of waterbodies. A large growth of these bacteria results in algal blooms.

The group also plans to conduct a water survey in the spring.

In other business, the board approved a liquor license for 290 Main Street restaurant in the downtown area. The board also approved catering permits for Western Maine Gourmet Services to hold five events at Victorian on Main at 230 Main St. beginning Thursday, Feb. 23, and running five days through March 16. Each event will be catered by Maurice restaurant of Paris.

A Justice Assistance Grant for $3,491.11 was accepted for reimbursement for the purchase of protective clothing for the police department.

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