NEW BEDFORD - Sassaquin Pond has jellyfish. A newly-designed water filtration system, known as a jellyfish filter, has been added to the city's Sassaquin neighborhood to protect the pond from pollution from storm water runoff.

The Department of Infrastructure installed the jellyfish filter developed by Contech Engineering Solutions. In addition to the new filtration system, the DPI has also installed 16 tree wells and updated two head walls that surround the pond to further protect it.

“Anything that goes through that manhole will have the filtration system working,” DPI Action Commissioner Manny Silva said. “They're very easy to remove- those tree-filters, and we'll be able to take them out to clean them and put them back in. If they need to be replaced then we'll replace them.”

The filtration system will remove 99% of trash, 80% of copper, 89% of total suspended solids, and other pollutants from the pond. The filter processes 154 gallons per minute before releasing it into Sassaquin Pond. The jellyfish filter was also designed with an emergency overflow space that activates during major storms, preventing flooding in the area.

With the system installed and currently operational the water quality of the pond is expected to improve. Michael Frey was involved in the work at the pond and says that houses that treat their lawns with fertilizer still harm the pond when the nitrates from the fertilizer runs off into the pond during storms.

“If we get people to understand that live in the watershed, and we're not talking just around the pond, it goes north all the way to Vibra Hospital, east all the way to on the other side of Acushnet Avenue, and south beyond Cherokee Street,” Frey explained. “All of those homes that use fertilizer on their lawns are a major detriment to the pond.”

Mayor Jon Mitchell thanked the DPI workers who installed the filters throughout the Sassaquin neighborhood and says that the pond is a place in the city that “amazes” outsiders.

“It's such a great place. The pond is one of these places where if you take someone from outside of New Bedford and you bring them here, they say 'oh my God, I'm amazed',” Mitchell said. “Sassaquin Pond has been an oasis in the North End for generations, and my administration has been committed to protecting it for generations to come.