Stormwater Issues in Rhode Island & Middletown

Stormwater Concerns

Stormwater management is an essential undertaking for the safety and wellbeing of a municipality and its residents. With mounting evidence about the effects of climate change on precipitation patterns and the impact it will have on low-lying states, like Rhode Island, the need for improved stormwater management can no longer be ignored. Water quality requirements are not being met, flood damage is becoming more frequent and expensive to repair and stormwater infrastructure is increasingly outdated and undersized. 

With these concerns in mind, the Stormwater Steering Committee identified stormwater issues that it felt required the most attention in Middletown:

Aging Infrastructure

  • Causes flooding and safety hazards
  • Costly repairs
  • Town-wide issues

Drinking Water Quality

  • Increased treatment costs for water supply
  • Newport reservoirs are considered eutrophic to highly eutrophic
  • Public health concerns over Cyanobacteria blooms (blue green algae)

Impaired Waters/Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL)

  • Costly treatment efforts and stormwater management program upgrades
  • Current impaired water bodies on 303d list of impaired waters:
    • Bailey's Brook
    • North Easton Pond
    • Maidford River
    • Paradise Brook
  • Department of Environmental Management (DEM) proposed additions to 2014 303d list: 
    • Gardiner Pond
    • Nelson Pond
    • South Easton Pond

Beach Closures

  • Beach closures cost the town money in tourist revenue
  • Impaired streams discharge to the bays and beaches
  • Recreational and commercial (shell/fishing) uses get interrupted

Flooding

  • Erosion, washouts and road closures
  • Street flooding
    • Bailey Brook
    • Berkley Avenue (safety concern: fire trucks get diverted)
    • Forest Avenue