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Our mandate is to ensure a reliable supply of high-quality water to our consumers. We spend a considerable amount of time working both locally and at the state level to see that drinking water remains clean and safe for everyone.
At the local level, our environmental staff conducts over 2,500 watershed inspections annually. Our police force patrols more than 400 square miles. Those inspections, combined with security measures, and a team of environmental analysts, laboratory technicians, lake crews and foresters, work together to safeguard the health of our reservoirs and groundwater aquifers.
We also look at existing land uses in towns and scrutinize proposed developments on public water supply watersheds and aquifer lands. All applicants before a municipal Planning and Zoning Commission, Inland Wetlands Commission or Zoning Board of Appeals for any project located within a public water supply watershed are required by Public Act 89-301 to notify the affected public water utility by certified mail within seven days of the application. Use this form to notify us.
Oftentimes in our review of development plans, we recommend that developers construct storm water treatment systems to minimize the impact of the proposed development on the environment and our water supplies. In fact, over the last 15 years, we have built man-made wetlands or treatment systems on our own watershed lands to improve storm water quality from surrounding areas. These systems include storm water management basins, grass swales and constructed wetlands that collect and treat runoff from parking lots, roads and lawns.
At the state level, we work to support legislation that protects the water and the environment. We backed the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP’s) efforts to adopt regulations for the protection of Connecticut’s public water supply aquifers. The adoption of land use controls in aquifer areas balances public health and economic concerns and allows for compatible industrial and commercial development in aquifer protection areas.
Another important element in our source water protection efforts includes owning and maintaining over 27,000 acres of watershed land. Our Land Use Plan, adopted by our boards, helps us make wise land use decisions. We continue to search out parcels on our watershed and aquifers that are for sale that will protect the public water supply. Buying and protecting watershed land is effective in preventing the degradation of water quality and helps to minimize treatment expenses. This is an important investment for the long-term protection of our region’s water supply. To learn more, please read The Land We Need for the Water We Use.