Norwalk, Saugatuck and Rowayton Harbor are being continuously monitored in a combined effort by Norm Bloom & Son, LLC and Earthplace, the Nature Discovery Center in Westport. Volunteers under the direction of myself, Dick Harris of Bloom’s Oyster Fishery, and Peter Fraboni of Earthplace monitor the waters for dissolved oxygen content (DO), salinity, temperature, bacteria and chlorophyll on a weekly basis. Any instances of low DO, grey or black water, or elevated bacteria counts discovered in storm drain systems are reported to the local public works department for repairs.
For example, the Norwalk Public Works Department has a pipeline camera which can travel through the pipeline systems and identify leaks in short order. Once a leak is identified through repetitive bacteria testings by volunteers and confirmed with pipeline camera, Public Works makes the necessary repairs, which could include replacing a leaking joint or replacing several hundred feet of failed sewer line. Harbor Watch, another organization we work with closely, monitors 10 continuously running storm drain systems discharging into Norwalk Harbor for increased E. coli bacteria counts, and has been doing so since 2011. This cooperative effort with the City of Norwalk has resulted in repairs to 15 leaks of various kinds, including everything from failed laterals to illegal discharges to a storm drain system. Credit goes to Ralph Kolb, Senior Environmental Engineer from the Norwalk Water Pollution Control Authority.
Now, along with the operators from the pump-out non-profit group East Norwalk Blue, which reduces the possibility of vessels discharging waste from holding tanks, we are growing ever more efficient at reducing, repairing, and eliminating sources of contamination that degrade the water quality of our Long Island Sound.
We hope this serves as an introduction for you to our conservation efforts. Contact us here if you’d like to know more or get involved.