Water Quality


After four decades since it was enacted, the Clean Water Act (CWA) has been called one of the greatest environmental laws in our nation’s history (see Environment America study, attached). ​ ​ State agencies like the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) are responsible for assessing the state of our waterways periodically. Like a physician administering a check-up, the state looks at whether the biological, chemical and physical condition of the state’s waterways support specific uses like drinking and recreating, and whether the water is healthy enough to support aquatic life. If there is evidence that a waterway does not fulfill its intended use(s), then that segment will be classified as “impaired” and put on a pollution “diet,” called a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). A TMDL is the maximum amount of a pollutant that the waterbody can absorb while still meeting waterquality standards.

In the Naugatuck Watershed, there are impaired reaches along the mainstem Naugatuck River, Steele Brook, Great Brook, Mad River, Hop Brook and Long Meadow Pond Brook. These waterbodies were classified as impaired due to high levels of indicator bacteria.The majority of these segments are found in the southern section of the watershed (see map on DEP TMDL factsheet).

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Reports



US Environmental Protection Agency