Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)


Community Planning and Area Development

First Advisor

John J. Kupa


Water quality protection and preservation pave, within the last decade, become imperative functions of local, state and federal governments. This focus has brought to light, newly revealed forms of water pollution. Nonpoint source pollution has become one of the major sources of pollutants. Nonpoint source pollution is a generic term for pollutants that come from individual stormwater sewage runoff, disposal systems, erosion road deicing practices and sediment, fertilizer and pesticide use, to name a few.

The study area of this report consists of the portion of the south branch of the Pawtuxet River from South Main Street to Laurel Avenue and the surrounding sub-drainage basins. This is the section of the south branch if the River where the water quality classification changes from Class B to Class C.

A great number of reports have been written about water quality throughout the state, nonpoint source pollution and the Pawtuxet River, but none them focus on this section of the river.

This study focuses on a specific portion of the river where a worsening water quality problem exists. The report discusses facts and reasons for the water quality problem as it relates to the types nonpoint source pollution and offers solutions and recommendations for possibly alleviating the problem. The recommendations call for the development of best management practices or BMP’s to alleviate the nonpoint source pollution problem. Some of these BMP’s include:

  • Establishing wastewater management districts throughout the Town of Coventry.
  • Establishing vegetative buffer strips along the banks of the River.
  • Creating retention, detention or infiltration basins to filters pollutants from storm runoff.
  • Establishing sewer lines throughout the eastern portion of the Town of alleviate the environmental strain caused by ISDS failure.
  • Establishing programs that inform and educate the public about the River and its problems.

If implemented, these strategies would effectively reduce the amount of nonpoint source pollutants that enter the River, thereby improving its water quality. The process of achieving improved water quality on the Pawtuxet River involves not only the efforts of federal, state and local agencies but also the cooperation of private interest groups and the general public.



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