The main focus of the conservation committee is twofold, (1) to serve as a source of quality scientific information about the Scantic River Watershed,
and (2) to promote interest in the Scantic River Watershed through public outreach, citizen science programs, and scholarships.
Scantic River Watershed Monitoring Program (WMP)
The ultimate goal of the WMP is to provide accurate information on water quality and overall watershed health to local conservation commissions and
to the State of Connecticut. The WMP consists of two individual programs; Abiotic Monitoring (Meter monitoring, Chemical analysis, Streamwalk) and
Biotic (Rapid Bioassesment by Volunteers, Silt Macroinvertebrate Survey)
In 2010 a HANNA multimeter was purchased by the SRWA for use in abiotic monitoring of the Scantic River. The meter-monitoring program began in late
summer of 2010 with the once a month survey of bridge overpasses in Somers, Enfield, and East Windsor, CT. Variables being recorded include, water
temperature, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, and pH. Results of the survey will be published annually in a “State of the Scantic Report”.
In the future, additional sites are expected to be added to the original sampling locations. Purchase of additional meters will allow more extended
monitoring to occur.
A chemical analysis program was begun in fall or 2010 with samples being taken from two locations in Somers, CT and several locations in East Windsor,
CT. Samples are tested for Nitrogen and Phosphorus levels. This data will be included in the “State of the Scantic Report”. Additional hand-held
meters and field chemical testing equipment will enable increased sampling of areas of interest.
The Streamwalk Program is a program designed by the NRCS and the State of Connecticut. In 2005, the SRWA conducted the first streamwalk of the Scantic
River. The streamwalk program will provide site-specific as well as reach-specific information on bank erosion, physical features of the stream,
and potential sources of pollution. The goal of the Conservation committee is to conduct a modified streamwalk program once every five years.
The biotic monitoring program of the WMP consists of two separate programs (1) Rapid Bioassesment by Volunteers (RBV) and (2) Silt Macroinvertebrate
Survey (SBS). The RBV program follows a state-mandated protocol for collection and identification of specimens, The Conservation committee will
conduct at least one RBV program in the Scantic River each year, and additional programs may be conducted as requested.
One of the greatest limitations of the RBV is that the methodology is based on the presence of riffles (areas of oxygenation caused by turbulence).
Riffles are typically associated with rocky substrates. The vast majority of substrates within the Scantic River fall within the silt/ sand particle
classification. In order to gain a better understanding of biotic health within the entire Scantic River, additional biological sampling methodologies
must be employed. With the purchase of Hester-Dandy samplers, the Conservation committee will be able to begin implantation of the SBS.