Over the past several months, PRWC has been working with Fuss & O'Neill, an environmental consulting firm, to update the Pomperaug Watershed Management Plan to a 9-element Watershed Based Plan for approval by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The focus of our Watershed Based Plan is to reduce the amount of bacteria entering the local streams which are listed as impaired by CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and EPA. There are three stream segments in the Pomperaug Basin where in-stream bacteria levels were measured in excess of the water quality standard for recreation. While the data supporting these listings have been limited, further evaluation is still required to remove these streams from the State’s list of impaired waters.
A key milestone in developing plans to reduce bacterial level was to estimate the potential volume of it that could be carried from the watershed lands into our rivers and streams. We used a pollutant loading model to make such an estimate. The model also provided us with estimates for other pollutants including nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus as well as total suspended solids (a factor of soil erosion). The model used the most recent land cover data, precipitation data, soil data, and more to estimate the relative sources of these pollutants and their potential volumes that could enter our streams.
PRWC’s Land Use Committee will be using this information to determine what practices can be implemented to reduce the pollutant loads and where they may most effectively be implemented to improve in-stream water quality.
We encourage you to review the findings of the pollutant loading model and to attend one of the upcoming information sessions (to be scheduled) to learn more about the model results and next steps in developing and implementing the updated Watershed Based Plan.