Pond Village Voice
March 2021
Welcome to Pond Village's first newsletter
In addition to celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims discovering our Pond, this past year many of us living in Pond Village realized the constancy and importance of water in our shared history. Fresh water was the draw for the first settlement here. Pond Villagers continue to share land, flora and fauna, and the resources provided by our common watershed and aquifer.

Since the Truro News platform can be used by our neighborhood to enable communication when appropriate to all residents of our watershed, this platform allows us to develop a casual forum in which we can share neighborhood “news.” You are receiving this copy because you are a past recipient of the neighborhood blast emails.
For some fun
Be sure to catch Pond Villager Rob Dutoit's Lecture Series on the History of Landscape Painting (Part II) Tuesday, March 23rd 10-12. More...
Partnering Again with the Conservation Trust
JUST IN -- The TCT has signed a Purchase and Sale to acquire a 1.4-acre waterfront parcel on the southern shore of Pilgrim Pond. An extremely generous anonymous donor has provided the backbone for this addition to the Pond Village Preserve with an incredible gift. The TCT also is providing significant funding, and has asked for the neighborhood to help in raising an additional $125,000 from private donors to support this effort. More information is coming to your inbox soon or see PondVillage.org for further information on how to become involved or how to donate. 
Peepers in Winter on Pilgrim Pond
If you’ve been within earshot of Pilgrim Pond in the spring, you’ll know and remember the sound of spring peepers, from twilight and well into the night, every night in Spring. These tiny frogs are under 1 inch, and yet the males create a spring chorus ranging in volume from 65 to 90 decibels.
Looking over the pond in winter, you might wonder: where are those peepers now in all this quiet, and how do they all come back in such loud abundance? 
Peepers don’t migrate, they hibernate right here in Pond Village. Peepers have physiology such that, if they settle into protected spots under mud or leaves or bark in the Fall, they can survive being frozen; their body temperatures can drop as low as 21F. Peepers’ cells process sugars into a type of intra-cell antifreeze, and those same cells simultaneously expel water. These two adaptations cooperate to allow the frog and its organs to survive the winter freeze.  
These sugars ferment as winter proceeds, and this fermentation provides a sufficient low level of energy to keep the dormant and silent frog alive. This supply of energy dwindles in late winter. By early spring, just as the human snowbirds are returning to Cape Cod, the dormant peepers come out of dormancy. 
Sometimes they can be heard as early as March, so keep listening, it won't be long now.
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Water Testing Program Update
Thanks to the 50+ Pond Villagers who have thus far participated in our drinking water testing program. Not only has this been helpful to you, it has demonstrated our willingness to engage in important matters of public health.
If you haven't had your water tested, please do so. The larger our sample size the more statistically significant our results, and the stronger our voice in managing the safety of our wells and Pond. Free test kits are still available in the blue box next to the Chapel on Pond Rd. If you find it's empty, please email Mary Ann Larkin and she'll make sure it is restocked.
Below is a chart showing the nitrate results of the 50 tests done since the program began late last summer.
Financial Help Upgrading Your Septic System
The Truro Board of Health has issued a sunset regulation on cesspools, giving people until Dec. 31, 2023 to replace them.
If you are the owner of a cesspool or failed residential septic system, major financial support is likely available from the Barnstable County Community Septic Management Loan Program. This program provides loans at 5% interest over 20 years to fund all costs directly related to a septic system upgrade that complies with Title 5 requirements. Expenses covered include design and installation, and loans can be approved within 24 hours. Alternative septic systems qualify for funding. State tax credits for septic system repair are also available for primary residence property owners. The funds were made available by the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust, which provides financial assistance to local governments to prevent groundwater pollution and protect drinking water. More information and applications are available at https://www.barnstablecountysepticloan.org
Worth following -
Study Proposed for Provincetown Water
Some members of the Select Board are proposing to spend $77,670 to study extending Provincetown water to the Pond Village area. No one has yet said how many millions of dollars that would cost Truro taxpayers, and to what benefit. We will be writing more about this soon.
But the proposal for the study indicates a water tower would be needed, which would be a strong new presence on our skyline. The photo is a mockup of the actual Eastham water tower.
See this link to EWG which shows the contaminants in the Provincetown water after it is treated.
Town water is expensive and treated. Many residents of other towns will only hook up to town water as a last resort. Some board members in town have suggested that if we upgraded our few remaining cesspools, and regularly pumped and inspected our septic systems, our nitrate levels could be reduced to safe levels. Others blame higher levels on stormwater runoff from the upgradient Rt 6 roadways.
Cloverleaf Safety Appeal Update
The 40B process allows developers to build more densely, provided they do not jeopardize public health and safety. In the ZBA’s review of the Cloverleaf project’s effect on health – thanks to the diligence of Pond Village residents and others – public comment resulted in an improved wastewater treatment standard.
Many are disappointed that the ZBA closed discussion before a looming safety issue could be adequately addressed. Because of the very high density, they are asking where, without sufficient parking space, will the overflow go, along Highland Road? Will a Truro child playing in the narrow, busy road fall victim to a tragic accident?
A number of Truro citizens have stepped forward with equal concern for those who have no voice in the process---Cloverleaf’s future residents and visitors---and filed an appeal to review the design for safety.
Healthy Water Habits
Get your Vaccine and Keep Washing your Hands!  
This is our new mantra as we gratefully embrace the vaccination stage of the Covid Pandemic. Consider the hand soap you are using for all of the hand-washing. Can you switch to a brand that is less harmful to the environment?   According to Healthline, it takes an average of 2 months to change a behavior into a habit. My family has resolved to clean-up our cleaning products so we contribute less phosphorus and fewer harmful chemicals to our Aquifer. We started a year ago with our liquid hand-soap. Imagine if ALL of the 130 or so homes in Pond Village changed this one habit. See the following link for some ideas (7th Generation is also found in local markets): https://springpowerandgas.us/eco-friendly-hand-soaps/
Town Meeting Calendar of Key Dates

  • March 23, 2021 Last day to file nomination papers with the Registrar
  • May 1, 2021 Annual Town Meeting, Time and Location to Be Announced - likely outside at the School, with rain date May 2, but subject to confirmation.
  • May 11, 2021 Annual Town Election, 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM Location to Be Determined
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About the Pond Village Voice
The Pond Village Voice has been created by a volunteer group of neighbors, to benefit residents of and visitors to the Pond Village Watershed. As always, please email us your news, comments, and suggestions to PondVillageNewsAdmin
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