The stormwater impaired portion of the Indian Brook watershed is located in Chittenden County in the Town of Essex and in the Village of Essex Junction. The headwaters in Essex originate in the undeveloped vicinity of the Indian Brook Reservoir from which the stream flows southward beneath the major roads of Rts. 289 and 15 as it enters the more developed areas of Essex Junction and then ultimately flows to Lake Champlain via the large wetland complex associated with Mallets Creek and Mallets Bay.

The entire stream portion and its tributaries within the impaired reach are Class B waters designated as cold water fish habitat pursuant to the Vermont Water Quality Standards. The total watershed area of the impaired section is approximately 4,580 acres. The land use breakdown of the watershed draining to the impaired reach is 39% developed lands, 18% agricultural or open lands and 43% forested or wetlands.

Indian Brook is designated as impaired on the 2006 Vermont 303(d) List 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 Indian Brook watershed upstream from river mile 5.8 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 Indian 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.

Chloride (mg/L)

Phosphorus – Total (TP) (µg/L)

Turbidity (NTU)


NaCL (mg/L)Phosphorus Total (TP) (µg/L)Turbidity (NTU)

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 on the Agency of Natural Resources website.

National water quality data can be found here: