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Lake and Watershed Protection

Joy Pond.  Photo by Gail Dickinson.Maintaining high quality water resources is critical for both human consumption and to support natural ecosystems. The majority of Woodstock residents obtain their drinking water from private or small public onsite wells. In A Plan of Open Space and Conservation, the Woodstock Conservation Commission made a series of recommendations designed to protect water quality in the future, including: establishing aquifer overlay protection zones, inventorying important aquifer recharge areas, including clear watershed protection goals in the Plan of Conservation and Development, limiting the impacts of impervious surfaces in Woodstock, establishing riparian protection zones, protect in critical areas of public water supply watershed from improper land uses, classifying wetlands by their functional value, and protecting vernal pools.

Bacteria, nutrients such as phosphates and nitrates, sediment (soil), toxic substances (e.g., heavy metals, oil and grease, and pesticides), trash, and airborne pollutants (e.g., acid rain) threaten water quality.  Invasive plants (e.g, purple loosestrife, water chestnut, Eurasian watermilfoil) can cause great harm to natural ecosystems. You can help prevent or control pollution of watersheds by paying attention to the following Do's and Don'ts:

DO... DON'T...
  • Follow guidelines for septic tank maintenance.
  • Use non-phosphate detergents.
  • Seed and mulch bare soil within one week of clearing. Put hay bales down slope of cleared areas.
  • Leave or plant naturally vegetated areas (buffer strips), and leave/place rocks along lake shores, streambeds and ditches.
  • Preserve natural topography. Properly shape roads, ditches and driveways to reduce soil erosion.
  • Use organic materials (e.g., compost), and biological or cultural controls in your landscape.
  • Use fertilizer sparingly.
  • Prevent runoff from driveways, roofs, lawns, etc., from going directly into lakes/streams. Detain runoff in depressions, or divert flow to flat, wooded areas.
  • Use chemicals as a last resort. Seek the least hazardous product to accomplish the job. Purchase the smallest amounts needed. Follow directions carefully. Store hazardous materials in a contained areas.
  • Pick up pet wastes and dispose of them in the garbage or toilet.
  • When boating, bring back what you take out.
  • Repair, paint and maintain boats in dry dock.
  • When leaving a lake or river, remove any visible aquatic vegetation (weeds) from boat, propeller, anchor, lines and trailer and discard in trash.
  • Discard all live aquatic bait in a suitable containers.  Empty live wells and bait buckets.
  • If you move your boat from lake to lake, dry out your boat for at least two days or wash down hull with tap water before launching again; and flush engine cooling system, bilge areas and live wells with tap water.
  • Choose native or non-invasive exotic plants for water gardens. Buy from a reputable nursery.
  • Manage excessive algae or weed growth in lakes with input from the CT DEP Lakes Management Program at (860) 424-3716.
  • Conserve water.
  • DON'T use excessive amounts of herbicides and pesticides in gardens or on lawns.
  • DON'T apply fertilizer right before it rains.
  • DON'T put leaves, branches or other organic matter into a lake.
  • DON'T wash cars near lakes, streams or drainage ditches.
  • DON'T dump motor oil down a storm drain or on the ground.  Recycle it.
  • DON'T allow water to run directly off roads into lakes or streams.
  • DON'T fill or dredge unless necessary.  (Permits are required).
  • DON'T dispose of paint thinners or chemical products on the ground.
  • DON'T put in excessive impervious surfaces (paving, etc.). Less than 10% is recommended.
  • DON'T throw litter on the ground or down storm drains. Recycle as much as possible.
  • DON'T sweep leftover sand from the road or driveway into storm drains.
  • DON'T dump trash or plastic into water bodies.
  • DON'T dump boat sewage into a lake.
  • DON'T overfill fuel tanks on boats or pump out oily bilge water.
  • DON'T build water gardens near natural waterways.
  • DON'T dispose of aquatic plants (e.g., plants from aquariums or water gardens) by releasing them into a natural waterway.
  • DON'T plant purple loosestrife in your garden. No varieties are sterile.
  • DON'T release live aquatic bait into the water.
  • DON'T feed waterfowl.

More Information:

The following links provide more information about what you, as a homeowner, can do to help protect the quality of Woodstock's groundwater and surface water.

References:  All information on this website is intended for your general knowledge.  You should consult with the appropriate regulatory agencies for specific requirements.

Conservation Commission
Not all chemicals are bad.  Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example,
there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.

- Dave Barry