Morehouse Brook drains a small, highly urbanized 262-acre watershed that straddles the town boundary between the City of Winooski and the Town of Colchester. The stream flows generally in an east-west direction to the Winooski River. The lower stream channel below Mallets Bay Avenue has a relatively steep gradient confined within steep valley walls. This section of the stream is characterized by several mass failures of the stream bank contributing to the large amounts of fine sediments in the stream channel near the mouth. The upper stream channel is less steep and is somewhat less affected by erosion. The entire stream and its tributaries are Class B waters designated as cold water fish habitat pursuant to the Vermont Water Quality Standards. The land use breakdown within the Morehouse Brook watershed is 88% developed land, 1% open land and 11% forested areas. Morehouse Brook is designated as impaired on the 2006 Vermont 303(d) List from its mouth at the Winooski River to a point upstream 0.6 miles due to non-support of aquatic life designated uses. Since all tributaries and the upstream main stem drain to the impaired lower portion of the stream, the entire Morehouse Brook watershed is considered to contribute to its impairment. The source of the impairment is multiple impacts associated with excess stormwater runoff.
Currently, the Stream Team is monitoring one site along Morehouse Brook with the help of volunteers. Water samples are being taken twice monthly throughout the summer and are tested for phosphorous, nitrogen, chloride, and turbidity.
|Date||Chloride (mg/L)||Nitrogen, Total – Persulfate (mg/L)||Phosphorus – Total (TP) (µg/L)||Turbidity (NTU)|
The Stream Team have also been monitoring Morehouse Brook during storm events. The following data indicate water quality during two rain storms this past summer.
|Date||Chloride (mg/L)||Nitrogen, Total – Persulfate (mg/L)||Phosphorus – Digested(µg/L)||TSS (mg/L)||Turbidity (NTU)|
The numbers in red indicate that the sample collected exceeds the standards set by the State of Vermont.
All of the data collected by Chittenden County Stream Team volunteers is shared with the State of Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC). The DEC shares all state-wide data with the Environmental Protection Agency.
State-wide Vermont water quality data can be found here: https://anrweb.vermont.gov/dec/dec/VolunteerMonitoriing.aspx
National water quality data can be found here: http://www.epa.gov/storet/