Towns asked to conserve water because of low flows in Pomperaug River

Towns asked to conserve water as river flows in Pomperaug River reach low
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 11:24 PM EDT
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SOUTHBURY, CT (WFSB) - River flows in the Pomperaug River are at a low because of the lack of rainfall in Connecticut.

Water conservationists are asking some towns to change how they use their water.

We haven’t seen a good amount of rain in a while here in Connecticut, but keep in mind the water you use can impact the eco system in the Pomperaug River, and some communities are being asked to conserve.

“We’re in a stage right now where the Pomperaug River is at about 7 cubic feet per second, about a half foot to a foot of depth in the river,” said Carol Haskins, Executive Director of the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition.

CT Water, Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition, and the town of Southbury are asking residents and businesses in the Pomperaug River base in Southbury, Middlebury and Oxford to reduce their water usage.

“The Pomperaug is a river that can respond quickly to rainfall if we get a couple of good, stead days of rain, the river level can come back up, but it tends to drop off just as quickly,” said Dan Meaney, Director of Corporate Communications for the Connecticut Water Company.

70-percent of the water in the river is ground water. The rest comes from rain, which we haven’t seen much of.

With these shallow depths, it makes it hard for fish to move up and down the river, affecting their growth patterns.

“If we can reduce the amount of volume that’s being pulled out of the ground, it will help retain that flow,” said Haskins. “With the absence of rain, really the water that we’re seeing in the river is ground water, it’s not being filled back up by rain.”

Whether you get water from a public water utility or private well, it’s all coming from the same source.

“It typically comes from ground water, a well, a hole in the ground. And it’s drawing water from that same resource, that same underground water supply,” said Meaney. “It’s that withdrawal of water that really has an impact on the Pomperaug River stream.”

Three main things you can do to reduce the amount of water you use:

  • Dishwasher & washing machine is full
  • Turn off faucet when brushing teeth
  • Reduce outdoor irrigation, don’t plant new vegetation

“There’s so many things that you don’t really need to run your water for and you can be a little more aware of what you’re doing. That’s all it takes, a handful of people here and there, and little by little everything gets better,” said a Heritage Village resident.

Hopefully we get some steady days of rain soon, but in the meantime, you’re urged to take these things into consideration.