WRWA Works for Clean Water – Puddle by Puddle
Water in the form of rain is fairly clean when it leaves the clouds. When it hits the land it can be absorbed into plants and the ground, or it can hit hard surfaces, flowing off and picking up everything along the way; oil, bacteria, nitrogen, heavy metals, and other pollutants. What’s in the runoff (often called stormwater) can affect our drinking water, shellfish beds, fisheries, stream and river health, soil health, and other resources. Even when rain hits hot pavement it gets heated and then might flow into a cold stream, this has a specific negative impact. Several fish species, such as our rare and local sea-run brook trout, need cold and clean streams and are affected greatly by any large changes in temperature.
There are many ways of removing pollutants from stormwater to clean up the water re-entering our water supplies, streams, and rivers. Many times the solutions involve slowing the stormwater down so that it can absorb into the soil, which will helps to filter out pollutants. In other situations plants or mushrooms can help remove oils, heavy metals, and some excess nutrients. Other areas might require chemical or mechanical filters. These are just a few examples of solutions to stormwater pollution, and each site needs the proper solution to be tailored for the location.
WRWA is working to locate many of the stormwater issues in the watershed and provide resources to help clean up pollution. There are a number of local stormwater issues and projects that WRWA is focused on:
- Stormwater Projects at the Head of Westport – funded by Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program.
- Bacteria Source Tracking in the West Branch of the Westport River
- Public outreach on the importance of cleaning up after pets.
- Stormwater Pollution Treatment on Drift Road at Sam Tripp Brook
These projects are all in different stages of investigation, planning, and engineering. They are being worked on by the State, the Town, individuals, organizations, and local contractors. These are just a few of the stormwater issues around the Westport River watershed, and WRWA is working alongside many other groups and individuals to complete them in the most beneficial manner for the watershed. There are plenty of things that you can do on your own property to help lessen the amount of pollutants that enter into the watershed.
Visit these sites and learn how to be the solution to stormwater pollution. The best way to clean up stormwater pollution is to prevent polluted runoff in the first place.