A New Look at Unquity Brook

Water quality issues have been noted for some time along Unquity Brook; new funding will allow for further investigation.

NepRWA and the Town of Milton have partnered together to secure a $20,000 grant to study the sources of pollution on Unquity Brook.  The grant comes from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management.

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Smelt in Gulliver’s Creek

Unquity Brook flows northeast from Randolph Avenue near Milton Academy towards the Neponset River.  It meets Gulliver’s Creek at Squantum Street and provides important smelt spawning habitat in the spring.

Through the Citizens’ Water Monitoring Network (CWMN), samples are taken at three points along the brook. Over the years it has been noted that these three points show higher than typical levels of pollution, including E. coli bacteria and phosphorus.  The pollution levels are particularly high during wet weather.

The grant funding will allow NepRWA to study the pollution a little closer and hopefully determine the source of contamination in Unquity Brook.  Of particular interest will be determining the source of the E. coli bacteria  – whether it is from dogs, geese, or human sewage.  Additionally, work will be done in collaboration with the Town of Milton to determine locations for stormwater treatment structures that can reduce pollution making its way into the water.

Collecting a water sample.

Our application for this grant was successful partially due to the data we collect on the water quality in Unquity Brook.  Thanks to all of our hard working volunteers with the CWMN program for making this possible, and helping to clean up water pollution!

Sarah Bounty, Environmental Engineer 

January 2016

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