Flow Restoration Plans

Indian Brook and Sunderland Brook are currently on the State of Vermont’s impaired waters EPA 303(d) list, determined to be primarily a result of stormwater runoff. In an effort to restore both Brooks and lift their impairment designation, a flow-based Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was developed for Indian Brook and Sunderland Brook, which outlines required reductions in stormwater high flows and increase in baseflow. Vermont developed TMDLs for impaired watersheds using flow as a surrogate for pollutant loading. The flow targets are the basis for the Flow Restoration Plans (FRPs), developed in accordance with the MS4 General Permit Subpart IV.C.1 as a required part of the Town’s Stormwater Management Program.

The Flow Restoration Plan for Indian Brook showed that approximately 41.5% of the high flow target and indicated that the Town and Village needed to construct the following four projects in order to meet the target:

  • Retrofit of two stormwater ponds into a storage chamber and sand filter on the LDS Church Property (Town)
  • Retrofit of a the detention pond into underground storage and infiltration chambers located on Sydney Drive (Town)
  • Retrofit of a terraced detention basin into a gravel wetland located on Fairview Drive and Main Street (City)
  • Retrofit of a natural detention area into a gravel wetland located on the corner of Mansfield Avenue and Brickyard Road (City)

The Town and City successfully secured grant funding for all four projects. The City constructed the gravel wetland on Fairview Drive and Main Street in 2019. The gravel wetland on Mansfield Avenue and Brickyard Road and the retrofit of the detention pond on Sydney Drive were constructed in 2020. The LDS Church is expected to be constructed in 2024. Detailed information regarding these project can be found on the Current Projects page. 

The Flow Restoration Plan for Sunderland Brook showed that the high flow target was being exceeded by 214% and that no additional projects were needed. The Department of Environmental Conservation acknowledged and approved this Plan. Sunderland Brook will be further monitored to determine whether its designated impairment status can be lifted. 

The Flow Restoration Plans for Indian and Sunderland Brooks can be viewed on the Town of Essex and City of Essex Junction’s Joint Stormwater Committee Page:  Stormwater Committee Supporting Documents

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