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PEPPERELL — The draining of a pond just off the Main Street Rotary had homeowner Bill Murphy distressed.

It is now filling back up after repairs were made over the course of about a week. The pond, which is partly owned by the town, was been drained by the Highway Department after Director Peter Shattuck said he noticed the water level in the pond slowly lowering. He traced the problem to the rotary-side discharge, where water was flowing around a headwall and flashboards, apparatus that kept the pond level up.

After the work began in earnest on June 21, prior to the pond being drained over three days beforehand. It wasn’t completed until last Wednesday.

“The problem was effecting drainage down Main Street, there is a culvert under the rotary, it was causing undermining erosion and impinging on the headwall,” Shattuck said.

Homeowner Bill Murphy said he was disappointed with the timing after crews failed to return the following day.

“Who planned to do it on the last day of the week?” said Murphy. “I think it’s a shame to plan it like that, they are absolutely killing it.”

Extensive erosion had stalled the work, Shattuck said, after crews had removed the headwall, large chunks of concrete fell into the pond bed. He went on to say that highway workers were removing trees from sidewalks that day, a project he had scheduled ealier in the week.

Another challenge, according to DPW Director Ken Kalinowski, was that the repair called for a 48 inch concrete pipe, something that “the department does not normally stock.”

“We were searching for the better part of an hour,” he said.

The pipe was ordered and prepped over the weekend. Kalinowski said the New Hampshire concrete company from which it was ordered even helped install it early last week.

Over the weekend, with the pond water level low and a heat wave bearing down on the region, Murphy said he was worried about pond life.

“On Friday the water was within an inch, there are tadpoles, herrings, turtles and other things in there,” he said. “I’m amazed.”

Furthermore, Murphy added, children from Varnum Brook Elementary School and Nissitissit Middle School often venture over to the pond to study the wildlife, often spending “hours exploring the pond.”

Conservation Administrator Paula Terrasi, whom Shattuck said he conferred with on the project before it began, said the pond life will be safe. The Conservation Commission provided an environmental permit for the work.

“There was a channel flowing through it, and a pool, I did a walk through of the brook,” Terrasi said. “It’s the smell more than anything, the wildlife adapts.”

By burrowing into the mud or moving on downstream, the pond life is able to weather the drain, according to Terrasi. Herons can benefit from feeding in the small pools as well, she said.

“Any alteration might displace them temporarily, but for the most party, they have the stream,” she said.

Highway removed debris such as rocks and car tires from the culvert, according to Terrasi, which will benefit the waterway.

Shattuck said before he began the work, he went to Auto Clinic, the business Murphy operates, to discuss the need for the repairs. He said Murphy understood.

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