SALEM — Public concern about using chemicals to kill invasive plans in Arlington Pond has halted the project.
Town Manager Keith Hickey told selectmen this week residents questions about the impact has prompted of the Arlington Pond Protective Association to hold off on herbicide treatment.
“Where we stand now is the project is on hold until next year,” Hickey said.
The work by Aquatic Control Technology of Sutton, Mass., was postponed after concerns were voiced earlier this month that the herbicides could contaminate the pond and private wells.
Arlington Pond and Canobie Lake are the town’s two major sources for drinking water.
Hickey and association president Howie Glynn have said the state Department of Environmental Services backs the project and the treatment would not affect drinking water.
The association has applied for a matching grant from the DES to pay for the nearly $22,000 project. The plan calls for treating approximately 25 acres of the 238-acre pond with two herbicides, Clipper and Reward, to combat spiny naiad and fanwort.
It would have been the first time the pond has been chemically treated because the weeds have became a nuisance, according to Glynn. Weeds have not been removed from the pond since it was excavated in the 1980s, he said.
Glynn declined to comment on the postponement, referring all questions to Hickey.
After Aquatic Control Technology sent letters about the work to Arlington Pond residents in early April, Phil Smith of Nowell Court became upset.
Smith told selectmen he was worried about what could happen to the water. The company’s notice to abutters asked them to contact the firm if their wells are within 50 feet of the water.
“To put a foreign substance in the water may have some effect on the well,” he said. “Most of the wells on Arlington Pond are less than 50 feet.”