Audrey Valentine, 5, of Ayer jumps into the water at Sandy Pond in Ayer on Monday afternoon on the first day of summer 2016. SUN/JOHN LOVE

AYER — Folks in town love their ponds. They love them so much they hired a consultant to study the waters.

The resulting report will provide a guide for future pond management, said Brian Colleran, conservation administrator. The information will be especially important as work on the Master Plan progresses.

“We have a really well-crafted floor from which to move forward,” he said.

The consultant studied each of the town’s ponds separately. Water quality, effects of stormwater management and safety came under the microscope.

Each pond is unique, with its own distinct chemical personality, even though they are all joined by streams, Colleran said.

Long Pond is a gem of ecology, he said. The report found healthy vegetation, including two types of carnivorous plants.

Flanagan Pond, is intriguing since it is so weedy and so close to residences, he said. Some of the plants are invasives, according to the report.

The report includes suggested, distinct project for effective pond management. Remediation is already underway.

The Department of Public Works has already done about 50 percent of the suggestions. “That was really neat,” Colleran said.

The report prioritizes its suggestions that include monitoring, stormwater management and vegetation controls. It also gives cost estimates that can be used for planning.

See the full report at

What you can do:

Do not fertilize. Runoff can cause algae blooms reducing water clarity and leading to beach closures.

Build a raingarden. These gardens, designed to filter runoff, look good and protect water quality.

Use a rain barrel. Runoff from roofs can be used for landscaping and reduce runoff to streams.

Keep the street gutters and drains clear. Do not use them to dump chemicals because the outlets drain directly into Ayer’s ponds.

Don’t feed waterfowl. Some human food is harmful to the birds and feeding promotes large flocks that degrade the shorelines.

Pick up pet waste. And, don’t put it in storm drains.

Control soil erosion. Plant some ground cover to stabilize erosion-prone areas on your property.