Bantam Lake Watershed Projects
CT DEEP in association with local stakeholders and the US EPA have initiated efforts within the Bantam Lake Watershed to help address impacts to aquatic habitat for fish and other organisms from nutrients. Bantam Lake is Connecticut’s largest natural lake and it is an important resource for boating and swimming. It has a history of frequent harmful algal blooms (HABs). The lake’s watershed includes the towns of Bethlehem, Goshen, Litchfield, Morris, Washington and Torrington.
Bantam Lake is listed in the Connecticut Integrated Water Quality Report as impaired because of nutrients. In order to improve water quality in the lake, CT DEEP is developing an approach to evaluate and reduce nutrient loads to lakes and impoundments to improve water quality for both the people and ecological communities that use the lake. This approach will provide a framework to evaluate and develop specific implementation strategies for pollution sources to reduce excess nutrient loading from activities within the watershed. A reduction in nutrients will likely also reduce the frequency of HABs within the lake or impoundment and improve recreational opportunities within the watershed. Bantam Lake has been selected as the first lake where this approach will be developed.
The first step involves water quality modeling, to help determine where nutrients are coming from and also the quantity of nutrients already within or entering the lake system. Once the study of nutrients within the lake and its watershed is complete, CT DEEP will be developing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) document to address the water quality impacts of nutrients. This document will follow the format of the Statewide Bacteria TMDL, with a Core Document and lake-specific appendices. An appendix will be developed for Bantam Lake.
In addition to the TMDL, CT DEEP is also developing an approach to provide a U.S. EPA 9 Element Watershed Based Plan (WBP), as an add-on to the Bantam Lake Appendix. Together, these documents will provide a platform to address nutrient impacts on Connecticut lakes. In this case, they will provide a detailed analysis and plan for Bantam Lake. Documents and materials relating to this project will be added to this web page. Please check back periodically to learn about progress on this project.
Bantam Lake Webinar Summary May 7, 2020 (PDF)
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Content Last Updated July 23, 2020