Town makes progress protecting aquifer

The long-awaited Level A mapping of the aquifer that lies under New Milford has been completed by United Water Company.

The map was released Oct. 1 by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), with the final, more detailed, adopted version coming Oct. 9 to the town.

The map delineates the Aquifer Protection Area which runs, roughly, from the north in the Boardman district, under the Housatonic River, then south along Route 7. That area becomes the regulatory boundary for land-use controls designed to protect active public water supply wells from contamination.

Mayor Patricia Murphy reinstated the town's Aquifer Protection Agency and, now, with this Level A mapping in place, the agency is expected to have teeth to protect the aquifer.

"There will be regulations adopted concerning commercial/industrial building in the area of the map," said Ken Bailey, superintendent for the town's Water Pollution Control Authority.

"There will be a meeting early next month of the Aquifer Protection Commission to go over the DEP regulations, fine tune them and adopt the regulations for the town," he added.

The DEP has established a model of aquifer regulations and standards that could be adopted as is or expanded by the town, explained spokesman Dennis Schain.

Resident Anne Cutter, who is running for a seat on the Town Council, said she has a commitment to aquifer protection. Ms. Cutter is pleased the Level A mapping is completed.

"When you have a resource that you have no recourse to replace if something happens, you have to protect it," she said.