Stormwater runoff has a major impact on the cleanliness of the Saugatucket River. Rainwater running off of lawns and impervious surfaces (pavement, sidewalks, roofs, etc.) carries with it bacteria from pet and other animal waste, lawn fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, road salt, oils from vehicles, and trash. Water quality in the Saugatucket River would be helped by preventing stormwater from reaching the river until after it has had a chance to be filtered through the ground (rain gardens or retention basins) or by vegetation (vegetated river buffers), and by making sure that water entering road drains that lead to the river is as clean as possible.
One way that Friends of the Saugatucket is helping to improve the cleanliness of stormwater is by applying brightly colored medallions to storm drains on roads in the Saugatucket watershed (the lands from which water drains to the Saugatucket River). Friends of the Saugatucket will be applying these medallions to town roads, and will be working with Save the Bay to apply their medallions on state roads. These medallions will remind people that anything that goes into these drains ultimately impacts the Saugatucket River.
Another way we can all help the water quality in the Saugatucket River is to keep our eyes open for overflowing sewers and visible oil spills. Alerting the town to these problems makes it possible for those responsible to correct them.