Pomperaug Watershed Based Plan
PRWC received a grant award from CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to update and upgrade its Watershed Management Plan to an EPA 9 Element Watershed Based Plan (WBP) in accordance with Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act. This is a critical first step to be eligible for future Federal funding for corrective-action projects to improve sections of river that do not fully support recreation or aquatic life because of water-quality or habitat limitations.
In particular, PRWC will develop plans to address elevated bacteria levels and alterations to the flow regime (historical channelization in particular). PRWC is developing the plan with input from watershed municipalities and other important stakeholders. We will be hosting a series of public forums and seeking input from residents, municipal leaders, town commissions, health departments, and key stakeholder groups (utilities, agriculture, business owners, environmental groups, etc). PRWC has engaged the services of 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 local streams listed as impaired by CT DEEP and EPA. There are three stream segments in the Pomperaug Basin where in-stream bacteria levels have been measured in excess of the water quality standard for recreation and thus have been listed as impaired.
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.
During the August 2018 presentation, PRWC and the environmental consulting team of Fuss & O’Neill summarized local impairments and nuances of the data supporting the designation of these stream segments, provided an updated look at the land cover conditions in the watershed, and explained the results of the pollutant loading model that were shared during the July presentations. A pdf copy of the presentation is available by clicking the image above.
Pomperaug Watershed Based Plan Documents
The following are Final versions of the Pomperaug Watershed Based Plan (dated September 27, 2018).