P.O. Box 117
W. Suffield, CT. 06093
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Home of Citizens Restoring Congamond
West Suffield, CT.
Southwick, MA.

Old Town Beach Project

Old Town Beach, Southwick, MA (Congamond Lakes) Stormwater Project

The Old Town Beach project consists of a 42" diameter culvert under the road to drain storm-water from a field (which once was a wetland) and from all of the residences, driveways and yards on both sides of the road . Piped into the culvert are 10 storm drains north of the site (approx. 2,000 linear feet of paved surface) plus one storm drain immediately to the south. During heavy weather events, the swale becomes a raging torrent carrying road litter, sediment and vegetative matter virtually unobstructed along a 400’ path downhill directly into the lake.

Old Town Beach Culvert

Citizens Restoring Congamond, Inc, (CRC), the town of Southwick and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) jointly applied for and received a federal grant under the provisions of Section 319 of the Clean Water Act in March, 2003. These grants are for remedial actions to mitigate the effects of non-point source (NPS) pollution (stormwater runoff).

Old Town Beach Project

The project consisted of constructing a Gabion Weir and a vegetated swale down between the culvert outfall and the lake shore. Gabion Weirs are wire framed detention and settling ponds filled with trap rock to reduce the water velocity, allow particulates to settle and filter other pollutants.

Gabion Weir

In addition, PVPC has worked with the town to form bylaws for the town’s Non-Point Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the storm drain system and has conducted three local workshops on managing runoff and up to nine site visits on a first come, first served basis. Rain barrels will be offered on a cost-share basis.


The total project budget is $155,435, of which 40% must be provided by the grantees. The town of Southwick has committed to replacing the upstream storm drains with deep sump models during the sewer installation and removing up to 450 cubic yards of deposited sediment from the outfall into the lake. When the beach was in operation, a yearly sediment removal was performed by the town. Since its abandonment in favor of the new town beach, the sediment has deposited to such an extent that 50 feet from shore it is only calf deep.


The town’s labor and expenses offset $47,000 of the required match. CRC prepared a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) and performed water quality monitoring to offset $15,500 of the required match. Federal funds of $92,935 administered by the state of Massachusetts make up the balance.


Baystate Environmental of West Springfield was been chosen for project design. Harry Jones and Jennifer Mackey are the investigators/designers.

Engineering Plan

From PVPC, Anne Capra is the Project Manager and Matt DelMonte is QA manager. From CRC, Tom Burke is Monitoring Program Manager, Jeff Duquette is Field Sampler and Jerry Patria is Data Manager.

Old Town Beach Project