The Five Mile River Watershed encompasses approximately 7,995 acres of land. It begins at the northern boarder of New Canaan, CT, crosses the town center of New Canaan, and includes West Norwalk and the easternmost portion of Darien, before it ends at the Five Mile River Harbor.
The watershed includes the areas around the streams & brooks that feed the Five Mile River (tributaries), such as Holy Ghost Fathers' Brook and Keelers Brook.
Like many suburban/urban river systems, the water quality of the Five Mile River and its tributaries could be improved. Upper and middle portions of the watershed are impacted by the effects of residential stormwater runoff.
Stormwater runoff is a significant source of non-point pollution; as stormwater flows over driveways, lawns and roads, it picks up trash & debris, chemicals, dirt, pet waste, and other pollutants and travels toward our streams. The water quality issues in the lower portions of the watershed are compounded by increased residential density and greater impervious surfaces (parking lots, roads and roofs) associated with development along the I-95 & Route 1 corridor.
A Watershed Report Card for the Five Mile River Watershed was distributed in the summer of 2012. It provides information about water quality monitoring in the watershed and the results. Overall, some key pollutants are too high in most of the watershed. This Report Card is a good place to start learning more about your watershed.
Since watersheds crosses political boundaries, Watershed Based Plans are developed to help guide actions throughout the watershed. A Watershed Based Plan tries to identify and quantify the pollutants and the pollutants sources that are causing water quality issues in the watershed. With the administrative oversight of the South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA), a Watershed Based Plan for the Five Mile River Watershed was completed in the summer of 2012. The Plan presents a model to characterize certain pollutants (indicator bacteria, nitrogen, phosphorus, & sediment) across the watershed. Portions of this plan are now being implemented.