Drinking Water in the Pomperaug Watershed
Communities need clean water to be vibrant, healthy and sustainable. Lucky for us, the Pomperaug River flows through the heart of our community. This beautiful river is supported by numerous tributaries including the Nonnewaug and Weekeepeemee Rivers, by the underground aquifer, as well as by the land that encompasses these water resources. Together, these resources make up the 90-square mile watershed that ultimately feed into the Housatonic River in Southbury and eventually Long Island Sound.
One of the most important geological features of the Pomperaug Watershed is the underlying stratified-drift aquifer - the predominant source of potable water in the region. Many residents of the towns of Woodbury, Southbury and Bethlehem and many neighboring communities receive their water from the Pomperaug aquifer, which is made up of layers of glacially deposited sand and gravel that help filter and purify the water. While water from this source is abundant, it is not unlimited and its quality cannot be taken for granted as residential growth, land use and development continues to challenge the health of the watershed.
Thankfully, households that receive water from public supply wells – like those in Woodbury (Aquarion Water Company), Southbury (Heritage Village Water Company), and Watertown (Watertown Fire District) – can rest assured that their drinking water is being tested on a regular basis and that it must meet strict public health criteria established by the Safe Drinking Water Act (which is regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency). However, residents and businesses that draw their water from private wells are responsible for testing their water. Under local public health laws, new private wells must be permitted and pass inspection and potability testing. After that private well owners have the sole responsibility for testing the quality of their own drinking water and maintaining their own wells, which can be a real mystery. See the resources below to learn more about the Pomperaug aquifer, public water supplies, and how to test/maintain private drinking water wells in the Woodbury, Southbury and Bethlehem area.
To learn more about what you can do around your home and yard to help keep water clean, click on the links below.