Public Access Boat Ramp in Sutton Meets the 21st Century

The Sutton Highway Department has been hard at work the past couple of weeks bringing new technology to the Public Access Boat Ramp at Torrey Road. These improvements are possible through the federally funded EPA/DEP grant (Clean Waters Act s. 319 Non-point Source Pollution Grant) written, obtained and managed by the MPA to address stormwater and pollution runoff into the lake. The town is reimbursed for all materials used in the project.

As I understand it, the two old storm drains brought stormwater to a pipe which ran under the length of the parking lot to a ditch which led directly into the lake. These weeds at the outlet are the direct result of that runoff.

In addition to updating the two stormdrains/catch basins, this filtering pool will catch the nutrients before they enter the lake. Grass seed has been planted with a straw mat put down to prevent erosion until the grass takes hold. The existing weed bed in the lake lies beyond the temporary hay bales.

This area is designed to catch rainwater running directly on the pavement of the parking lot. The center is the location of a “rain garden” which will be planted later in the season. The soil has been prepared with 3-4 feet of a compost/wood chip mix and will be planted with native species which will tolerate, or should I say thrive, in moist conditions.

Today, the pavement was removed from this area in preparation for the pervious pavers. A grid, which can tolerate light traffic yet allow a special grass variety to grow through, will enable parking lot runoff to penetrate into the ground rather than run into the lake unfiltered.

All 21st century technology to filter stormwater going into the lake thereby improving water quality and decreasing the growth of invasive weed species. Our Sutton Highway Superintendent reports that the rain garden design technology learned here at Manchaug Pond is now being considered by the town for use on a new parking area at their Marion’s Camp facility on Lake Singletary. These projects will also help the town satisfy EPA stormwater mandates.

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