DEEP: Pawcatuck Watershed TMDL

The Pawcatuck River Bacteria TMDL
in Stonington and North Stonington, CT
A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) document has been drafted for the Pawcatuck River Watershed. This TMDL document is an appendix to the Statewide Bacteria TMDL and follows similar format to the additional 84 appendices already approved by CTDEEP and EPA. The Pawcatuck document includes reduction goals for 11 impairments found on 10 segments in the basin.  All impairments are anticipated to be included in the 2014 Integrated Water Quality Report when it is completed later this year. For further information beyond this webpage download the Final Pawcatuck River Watershed TMDL.
Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act requires states to develop a Total Maximum Daily Load Analyses or an equivalent plan to identify the cause and sources of the impairments, set environmental goals to resolve the impairments, and implement the necessary changes.  The cause for the impaired segments has been identified as indicator bacteria.  Additional details on the bacteria impairments and links to documents are provided below on this page.
{Freshwater Impairments Pawcatuck River}

The Pawcatuck River consists of one mainstem freshwater segment in Connecticut. This segment also serves as the state border between Connecticut and Rhode Island. An additional five freshwater tributaries were analyzed for bacteria loads during the development of the TMDL.  The five tributaries and mainstem are highlighted in the map of freshwater impairments. Details on each freshwater segment are included in a table in the Pawcatuck TMDL fact sheet. All of the tributaries are considered Class A waterbodies and have been compared with the Connecticut Water Quality Standards. None of these freshwater streams are meeting the standards for recreation due to elevated levels of indicator bacteria. The goal value for recreation in freshwater bodies in Connecticut is a single sample maximum of 410 colonies / 100 ml and 126 colonies / 100 ml for a geometric mean.
The TMDL document also includes analysis of four estuary segments along the shoreline in Long Island Sound. These 4 segments, or pieces, are impaired for indicator bacteria.  One piece, (CT-E1_001-SB) is impaired for shellfishing (fecal coliform bacteria) and recreation (enterococci bacteria).  Two of the estuary pieces are classified as SA waters and must meet criteria goals for direct shellfish consumption.  The remaining two pieces are classified as SB waters and must meet commercial shellfishing water quality goals.  The pieces that are SB waters have the letters SB in their identification.
{Pawcatuck Saltwater Impaired Segments}
Connecticut water quality criteria are a geometric mean of 14 colonies / 100 ml and 90% of samples less than 31 colonies / 100 ml for SA waters.  In SB waters the criteria are geometric mean of 88 colonies / 100 ml and 90% of samples less than 260 colonies / 100 ml.
The Connecticut marine water quality criteria for recreation is 500 colonies / 100 ml for single sample maximum and 35 colonies / 100 ml for geometric means in non-designated swimming areas.  The recreation impairment for the estuary piece is a non-designated swimming comparison.
All of the included pieces in the TMDL document are summarized with some details in the table below. A description of the piece and impairment in addition to reduction goal values for the segment are included for more understanding of the Pawcatuck Watershed and its water quality issues.
Waterbody ID Waterbody Name Location Square Miles Recrea-tion Direct Shellfish Com-mercial Shellfish  Re-duction Goal %
CT1000-00_01 Pawcatuck River-01 From head of tide, Rte 1 crossing in Pawcatuck, CT -Westerly, Upstream to RI border.  5.38 (linear miles)  NOT  ///  ///  98
CT1000-01_01 Lewis Brook From the mouth of Lewis Brook into the Pawcatuck River to the outfall of Lewis Pond  0.14 (linear miles)  NOT  ///  ///  98
CT1000-05_01 Hyde Brook  From mouth of Hyde Brook into the Pawcatuck to the outfall of an unnamed pond  0.55 (linear miles)  NOT  ///  ///  95
CT1000-04_01 Kelly Brook From mouth of Kelly into Pawcatuck River upstream to wetlands complex source 0.71 (linear miles)  NOT  ///  ///  91
CT1000-03_01 Lassellís Brook From the mouth of Lassellís Brook into the Pawcatuck upstream to source at Elmridge Road 0.87 (linear miles)  NOT  ///  ///  96
CT1000-00_trib_01 Iron Brook From mouth of Iron Brook into the Pawcatuck River to the outfall of an unnamed  pond 0.17 (linear miles)  NOT  ///  /// 84 
CT-E1_001-SB LIS EB Inner - Pawcatuck River (01), Stonington Eastern portion of LIS, Inner Estuary in Pawcatuck River from Stanton Weir Point US to Saltwater limit, parallel to RR and Mechanic Street, Clarks Village, (Stonington). 0.10  NOT  ///  NOT
83 (REC)
90 (SHELL)
CT-E1_002-SB LIS EB Inner - Pawcatuck River (02), Stonington Eastern portion of LIS, Inner Estuary in Pawcatuck River from mouth at Pawcatuck Point, upstream to Stanton Weir Point. 0.31  U  ///  NOT  90
CT-E2_001 LIS EB Shore Wequetequock Cove, Stonington Eastern portion of LIS from RR crossing on east side of Wequetequock cove to mouth of Pawcatuck River, out approximately 1000 ft offshore (Little Narragansett Bay). 0.61  FULL  NOT  ///  56
CT-E3_001 LIS EB Midshore - Stonington Eastern portion of LIS from approximately 1000 ft offshore (Little Narragansett Bay), out to CT/NY State line. 0.58  U  NOT  ///  90
Waterbody ID Waterbody Name Location Square
Recrea-tion Direct Shellfish Com-mercial Shellfish Re-duction Goal %
FULL= Designated Use Fully Supported, NOT=Designated Use Not Supported, ///=Not Applicable
Public Comment Opportunity
CT DEEP held a public comment period on the DRAFT TMDL with a notice of intent to adopt printed in the New London Day on May 8th.  CT DEEP and RIDEM then held a collaborative public outreach meeting in Westerly, RI on May 14, 2014 at the Westerly Public Library at 4 pm. A slide presentation was delivered at the meeting detailing the impairments and highlighting new information and analysis of water quality issues in the Pawcatuck River Watershed.
Written comments were received by CT DEEP and the public comment period closed on June 9, 2014.  An official response to received comments is published on this webpage and a final document has been posted and submitted to EPA for approval.
  Response to Comments

Content last updated October 12, 2018