Since June monitoring has indicated elevated nitrate and phosphorus in the upper river which continued through August and September due to low dilution river flows and Brockton Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) discharge; elevated levels in the Town River were also measured due to low river flows and Bridgewater WWTP discharge. Sporadic bacteria water quality criteria violations possibly due to warm weather, low river flows and wildlife (e.g., geese) were measured in several locations. The Brockton, Bridgewater and Taunton WWTPs are under enforceable permit schedules for upgrades to remove nitrogen and phosphorus which should improve water quality and reduce algae blooms once complete. In other parts of New England such as the coastal bays in Connecticut where these types of upgrades have been completed both water quality and aquatic habitat have shown significant improvement.
TRWA is hoping to convince EPA Region 1 in Boston to reissue the overdue permits for Somerset and Fall River approaching 14 and 17 years overdue respectively to put these WWTPs on an enforceable upgrade schedule. These are the last two plants in the Taunton River watershed requiring upgrades.