Water Quality

The Saugatucket River, with its long history of use in industry and urban setting, unfortunately has impaired water quality. Stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces near the river (parking lots, roofs, sidewalks, etc.) carries with it bacteria from pet and other animal waste, fertilizers, pesticides/herbicides, oils from vehicles, road salt, and many other pollutants.

Richard Youngken measures Secchi depth, an indicator of water clarity, in Saugatucket Pond.

The Saugatucket River and some of its impoundments (ponds) have been monitored for water quality by volunteers with the University of Rhode Island Watershed Watch (URI WW) program and Salt Ponds Coalition for many years. The data from this monitoring can be accessed through the Google Map below, which also shows the locations of water quality testing sites of the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association (WPWA), Salt Ponds Coalition (SPC), Save the Bay (STB), and in the Coastal watershed. WPWA placemarks are blue, SPC placemarks are green, STB placemarks are pink, and Coastal and Saugatucket placemarks are yellow. Click on a placemark to access information pages (PDF format) with links to analytical data for each site. All samples were analyzed and data were provided by URI WW. Friends of the Saugatucket hopes to resume monitoring of some dormant sites as funding allows.

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