Snow and rain will filter through the pavement, keeping harmful runoff from entering sewers and polluting the Quinnipiac River.
Save the Sound is celebrating the completion of a porous pavement installation project in at Trumbull Park in Plainville on Monday. The 4,000 square feet of porous asphalt will allow approximately 400,000 gallons of rainfall to infiltrate the ground annually, replenishing the aquifer rather than entering the stormwater management system.
Porous asphalt, although similar in appearance to traditional asphalt, contains small air spaces that allow water to seep through the pavement into the ground below, rather than run off the surface. The water then percolates through the soil, which filters it, helping to recharge the regional aquifer.
The effort is part of Save the Sound’s Quinnipiac River Groundwater Recharge Project, which uses green infrastructure to recharge the local aquifer with water naturally filtered by the soil. Groundwater contamination at the Old Southington Landfill during the 1970s closed a drinking water well, caused long-lasting damage to groundwater, and rendered millions of gallons of water unable to be used as drinking water in the Quinnipiac River watershed. Following a five-year legal battle in which CFE participated, the EPA and the responsible parties reached a settlement to compensate for clean-up costs and the loss of drinking water resources.
The Quinnipiac River Groundwater Natural Resources Damages Fund, administered by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, is now supporting an effort by Save the Sound, and its project partners, Connecticut Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials Program (CT NEMO), and the United States Geological Service, to implement green infrastructure to recharge aquifers of the Quinnipiac River watershed.
Other Save the Sound initiatives funded under the project include installation of nine rain gardens at homes in Southington that act as sponges and filters to temporarily hold and clean rainwater flowing off roofs and driveways. A final green infrastructure installation at Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park in Wallingford will round out the project later this summer.