How Sound Is Our Sound?

Remember the days of persistent algal blooms in Long Island Sound? When hypodermic needles washed up on shore? When only truly brave souls went in for a swim — and then headed straight for the shower?

Those days are thankfully gone. It’s taken a concerted effort — by government and private agencies, working together and on their own — to clean up the Sound.

But how healthy is it today?

Save the Sound knows. The New Haven-based organization’s new online tool provides 10 years of water quality data, easily understandable by the public.

Compo Beach beckons on a hot day. But is the water as healthy as it looks?

Compo Beach beckons on a hot day. But is the water as healthy as it looks?

One section focuses on the health of coastal beaches, including bacterial pollution that leads to beach closures and water quality degradation.

Rainfall data shows which locations suffer from bacterial contamination as a result of wet weather overflows and runoff, and which suffer in dry weather too.

The Findings & Solutions section offers strategies for reducing water pollution.

Every beach in Connecticut and New York is rated, from A to F. SPOILER ALERT: Compo gets a B-.

It’s not the sexiest site on the interwebs.

Nor is this one of the most irresistible stories I’ve ever posted on “06880.”

But if you care at all about Long Island Sound — and who in Westport doesn’t? — then clicking this link might be the most important things you do all day.

(Hat tip: Wally Meyer)

7 responses to “How Sound Is Our Sound?

  1. There is plenty we can do to reduce nutrient loading and associated runoff on the property that we collectively own. Exhibit A would have to be Winslow. During a rain event such as yesterday’s, the soil formally located in that run-down and poorly maintained park turns nearby Deadmans Brook brown. Instantly. Deadmans Brook goes right into the Saugatuck. And you know what happens after that.There are low cost, sensible solutions. Just need leadership.

  2. Great to see our friends at Save the Sound getting this data out there for a broader audience! It is important for Westport residents to have access to water quality data so that they can make informed choices. By working together we can improve the health of our waterways.

  3. Ernie Lorimer

    Sad to see over the last five years Compo has moved from A- down to B-

  4. Doug Conner

    I noticed that about 90% of Compo Beach attendees actually don’t go in the water.

  5. Michael Calise

    redirecting the sewer discharge to upland location(s) to percolate through the soil would be an important improvement to our sewer system which currently discharges directly into the river. An excellent first step would be to distribute the discharge as used to The Longshore Golf Course for watering. It would save a lot of money on water expense and have the same effect. It is my understanding that the sewer treatment plant currently discharges a million gallons of water a day into Long Island Sound instead of putting it back into our aquifers which are slowly being depleted.

  6. Bruce Erickson

    I remember the days when I was a boy when my friends and I went to Compo Beach for the day. You could wade out waist deep and actually see your feet. We would go snorkling out along the jetty by the cannons and the water was crystal clear. You could also buy a hot dog at the food concession for 15 cents!

  7. Helen Ranholm

    What about Burial Hill Beach. I have seen it in such terrible condition until this year. Do they even come in to clean the shore or empty the garbage? I feel sorry for the lifeguard, they must consider working there being sent there because they are being punished…….. This beach is a disgrace, especially after all the shouting about what they want to do to Compo. Why not spend a bit of money on Burial Hill and keep it tidy…………..