Chase's Pond Watershed
A watershed is an area of land where all the water under it or draining from it goes into a common outlet. In the case of York Water District, the outlet is Chase’s Pond. This long, narrow, and shallow pond has served as the sole supply source for the town of York’s drinking water since 1896.
The Chase’s Pond watershed is located just west of Interstate 95. Chase’s Pond forms the head waters of the Cape Neddick River. Much of the water in the pond flows from the south facing slope of Mount Agamenticus.
This map shows the acreage owned by the York Water District within the watershed fall line.
Mount Agamenticus is at the center of a push to conserve thousands of acres by multiple public and private organizations in the region. This conservation effort began in the late 1970’s and continues to this day. Today, Mt. A. welcomes approximately 50,000 visitors annually. Hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and bird watching are among the many recreational opportunities available here.
The Chase’s Pond watershed is bordered by Scituate Road and Chase’s Pond Road to the south and east, Mount Agamenticus to the north and Kittery Water District Folly Pond, Middle Pond, Boulter Pond and Bell Marsh Reservoir watershed areas to the south and west.
The Town of York is lucky to have two Public Water Suppliers: York Water District and Kittery Water District with their combined five water supplies located in York. The combined total acreage the two Districts own and manage is about 5,000 heavily wooded acres with management roads and trails that are open to the public for limited passive recreation. This all lies just south of Mount Agamenticus and its 7,000+ acres of conservation land. This area is managed by the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Program through the York Parks & Recreation Department.
York Water District has a long history and very strong ties to the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Program. In fact, the York Water District leases access to the summit via Mt. A Road, parking lots and trails to the Town of York for public access to this unique area known for its large intact forest and biological richness.
In 1997, the District initiated a watershed patrolling program to help curb unwanted and illegal activities taking place on the watershed property surrounding Chase’s Pond. Patrols were conducted by treatment plant staff during typical working hours, Monday through Friday.
Realizing most of these activities were taking place after hours and on weekends, in 2000 we changed the patrolling program to include evenings and weekends when most activity takes place. Patrols, photos, and reports (data collection) were important pieces of the program.
In 2003 after years of gathering patrol data, the York Water District and York Police Department entered a unique partnership. A District employee would be trained to become a reserve police officer. This would give the employee full police power and authority while patrolling.
In 2004 after completing all required training, the Kittery Water District joined this partnership, and YWD employee, Gary Stevens, now a member of the York Police Department, also began patrolling the Kittery Water District watershed property to the south and west of our watershed.
This move was a very important step in the protection of five public water supplies and 5,000 acres or water resource land owned and managed by two separate Water Districts. This began a long steady decline of unwanted and often illegal activities taking place in the area.
In 2010 the patrolling program took another step when our patrol officer began year-round patrols of Mount Agamenticus trails.
Watershed ATV Permit Program
The York Water District and Kittery Water District together allow the use of All Terrain Vehicles on all management roads and most trails on a limited basis. Together the Districts manage a Watershed ATV Permit program. This program was initiated in 1997 to control the increasing amount of ATV’s and ATV related problems in the watershed.
Our watershed ATV permits are only available to people who live and/or own property in the Towns of Kittery, Eliot or York, these are the towns the two Districts provide water to. Each ATV must have its own permit.
Dirt Bikes, motorcycles and motor driven cycles are not allowed on District property.
Applications can be obtained from the website here, or at the York Water District office 86 Woodbridge Road York, Maine, Kittery Water District office 17 State Road Kittery, Maine or the York Water District Resource Protection Office 9 Eber Drive, York, Maine.
To apply for a permit the applicant must possess a legal, current State of Maine ATV Registration. The registration must show the applicant has a Kittery, Eliot or York address for each ATV in need of a permit. After completing the application, you can submit it online or return it to one of the offices. Once approved you will be sent a watershed permit sticker in the mail.
All permits expire with the State of Maine ATV registration on June 30th and must be renewed annually.