Stormwater Regulations

Developers and/or contractors are required to be in compliance with the DEEP's General Permit for the Discharge of Stormwater and Dewatering Wastewaters Associated with Construction Activities (Construction General Permit). If a proposed development or redevelopment project disturbs one or more acres or land, either individually or collectively, as part of a larger common plan, and results in a point source discharge to the surface waters of the state directly or through the Town's Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), then they are potentially obligated to obtain authorization under the DEEP's Construction General Permit. As part of the DEEP's Construction General Permit, developers and/or contractors may be obligated to provide a copy of the Stormwater Pollution Control Plan to the Town upon request. See additional information regarding the requirements for the DEEP's Construction General Permit.


Did you know that a variety of human activities have the potential to pollute Connecticut's ground and surface water resources?

These human activities, such as fertilizing the lawn or washing the car, increase runoff and often contribute pollutants to the runoff that may end up in surface waters or can infiltrate into groundwater. If pollutants from these nonpoint sources are in high enough concentrations, the surface or groundwater may become impaired. In Connecticut, stormwater runoff from urban areas and construction activities are two of the most significant categories of nonpoint source pollution.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has worked to develop programs, technologies and legislation with both local and national significance that are protective of water resources, and is currently leading a national pilot program to monitor nonpoint source pollution at residential development sites. Annually the Town of Waterford submits an Annual Stormwater Report to DEEP. The Stormwater Management Plan for the Town of Waterford is available for review here on this site, in the Planning and Zoning office at the Town Hall (15 Rope Ferry Road) or at the Public Works Office (1000 Hartford Turnpike)

Additional Stormwater management information can be found through the following links.

Stormwater and Water Quality:

Stormwater and Impervious Cover:

Pet Waste:

Fertilizer, Pesticides, and Herbicides:

Impacts of Illicit Discharges:

Waterford Waterbodies Pollutants of Concern - Bacteria, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Turbidity:

Community Engagement Groups:

Protecting Water Quality from Urban Runoff:

NPDES Stormwater Program:

Save the Sound:

How You Can Help Keep Our Waterways Clean

Waterford is located within the Thames River Watershed and the Southeast Coast Watershed, meaning that many of its ponds, streams, wetlands, and other waterways drain directly into the Thames River and the Niantic River, and ultimately to the Long Island Sound. This also means that the water that passes through the Town's storm drain system also ends up in the rivers and the sound.

Many people think that water pollution is caused by industry. In the past, most of it was, but today, a major threat to rivers and ponds is untreated stormwater runoff. Much of this untreated, polluted runoff reaches the local waterways through storm drains, eventually reaching the rivers and the sound.

Storm drains are found on town streets on the side of major roads, bridges and highways, as well as in parking lots. Storm drains are holes or openings with a grate over them, leading to underground piping that carries water to a stream or pond and channels the runoff into nearby waterbodies.

When it rains, the water meets hard surfaces (impervious areas) like roofs or paved parking lots, streets, and driveways, it flows as runoff, traveling down streets and gutters into storm drains, which then carry it into nearby rivers and ponds.

As water flows down streets and across parking lots and lawns it picks up pollutants such as:

  • Pet wastes, grass clippings, and leaves
  • Oil, gas, and antifreeze from leaking vehicles
  • Litter including plastic bags, waste paper, bottles, and cans
  • Fertilizers and pesticides
  • Sand, salt, and soil from roads, unpaved driveways, or construction sites

Runoff is not typically treated. It carries pollution directly into the storm drains, which discharge to the rivers, streams, ponds, and wetlands. Storm drains throughout the Thames River Watershed and the Southeast Coast Watershed, including those in Waterford, carry runoff containing motor oil, gasoline, pet waste, pesticides, fertilizers, paints, and detergents straight into the rivers, streams, ponds and wetlands. Some people still think that it's fine to dump trash and pollutants right into storm drains! The contaminants destroy the water's ecosystem, killing fish, frogs and plant life and making the water unsafe for us as well.

Some of the Ways You Can Help Keep Our Waterways Clean

  • Use less fertilizer on your lawn. You can use less fertilizer, still keeping your lawn healthy and green, and reduce pollution in the process. Many lawns don't need nearly as much fertilizer recommended on fertilizer bags. Too much fertilizer can make your lawn susceptible to diseases and pests; and, the excess fertilizer that's not absorbed by your lawn runs off into the storm drains.
  • Use fewer toxic pesticides and less often. All pesticides, even natural ones, are poisons. Some that seem safe to use in your home can be lethal in the environment. Many natural pesticides are extremely toxic to fish. Use pesticides sparingly and prepare and use only the amount that is absolutely necessary.
  • Compost your yard waste. Grass clippings, leaves and garden trimmings can block storm drains and they use up oxygen from water, leaving less for fish and other aquatic life. If you have the ability, compost grass clippings, leaves and pulled garden weeds. The Waterford Transfer Station will accept leaves at no cost and brush at a nominal fee. The Town will even pick up leaves and brush at your house during special collection days listed on the website.
  • Don't litter! Garbage that washes down storm drains contaminates our waterways and can harm or kill wildlife.
  • Properly dispose of your pet waste. Pet waste is basically raw sewage. Dispose of it far from all water sources and storm drains, preferably with household trash.
  • Recycle freon units, mattresses, furniture, propane tanks, electronics, household batteries, lightbulbs, scrap metal and other common bulky waste. Waterford residents can dispose of all of these items, many free of charge, at the Waterford Transfer Station. See more information on the Transfer Station
  • Take hazardous household materials to authorized collection sites. Promptly repair fluid leaks in cars, trucks and other motorized equipment. Bring your used motor oil to the Town Transfer Station. Discard any of your hazardous items at one of the annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days - free of charge.
  • Wash your car on the lawn and use a vegetable-based liquid soap or bring it to the car wash. Washing the car on the lawn allows the water to absorbed into the soil rather than running off your driveway. Or bring your car to a commercial car wash where the facilities employ clean water practices.
  • Limit your use of sand and salt. Don't compromise your safety when it comes to using sand and salt on your driveway and steps, but don't overdo it. Salt can poison your drinking water supply and sand can runoff into rivers and streams, destroying fish habitat.
  • Help keep storm drains clear of debris. Keep and eye on the storm drains in your neighborhood. If you notice leaves, garbage, or other debris covering the drains, as long as it's safe, lend a hand by removing the debris and disposing of it properly or contact Waterford Public Works so that they can remove the debris.
  • Spread the word and participate in community engagement groups. Most storm drain pollution is caused by the actions of uninformed people. Share what you know and help protect our rivers, streams, ponds, and wetlands.