Grant to South Portland will help treat Trout Brook

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SOUTH PORTLAND — The city recently received a $10,000 grant from the Department of Environmental Protection to help build a treatment system to improve water quality in Trout Brook. 

The funds were left over from a $100,000 grant awarded for the portion of Trout Brook in Cape Elizabeth.

In South Portland the money will provide for installation of a filtration system, designed to reroute stormwater and remove pollutants before it is funnelled back into the brook.

The system uses an open-bottomed concrete box with a filter and a small- to medium-sized tree to remove the pollutants through “biological and chemical processes,” Stormwater Program Coordinator Fred Dillon said in a Nov. 30 press release. 

The city matched the DEP’s contribution with about $7,600 in labor, equipment and material for the project, which was completed in mid-November.

Trout Brook has been classified as an urban impaired stream by the DEP since 2004. South Portland has been collaborating with Cape Elizabeth on improving the water quality and aquatic habitat at Trout Brook since 2012, when the Trout Brook Watershed Management Plan was implemented. The two municipalities share the watershed.

The plan to remediate the 2.35-mile impaired urban watershed, which is near the intersection of Parrott and Sawyer streets, “recommends using treatment systems to remove pollutants associated with stormwater runoff from densely developed residential neighborhoods,” according to a Nov. 30 press release. 

This fall, the city sent out a request for proposals for the system. The ideal spot to install the treatment system was determined to be a half acre of paved area on Boothby Avenue. The system is designed to “remove a significant amount of pollutants from the stormwater runoff before it is discharged into the brook,” according to Dillon.

The DEP conducted a survey of the watershed in 2005 and determined that yard waste, stream bank erosion and lack of adequate shoreline buffers contributed to the collective impairment of the stream. 

Yard waste and other pollutants harmful to aquatic life and found in Trout Brook typically include pesticides, fertilizers and petroleum products.

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or aacquisto@theforecaster.net. Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

South Portland Stormwater Program Coordinator Fred Dillon at the Trout Brook Watershed Preserve last spring. The city received a $10,000 grant from the Department of Environmental Protection to fund a stormwater treatment system at the brook, which is classified as an impaired stream. 

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South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.