Clean Water, Healthy Communities

We All Are Stewards

Most of us hardly ever consider it, but what we put down the drain ends up in our water system. Insuring the quality of our water supply depends on every resident taking care in the home and on the land that holds our water.

Girl drinking clean water

We all can help keep our water clean everyday in our own homes and yards by taking the right precautions.

This online publication identifies the most common ways that residents can make a difference.

The Source of Our Water

Drinking water supplies come from surface water and groundwater. A watershed is the land area that drains to a surface water supply such as a stream, lake or reservoir. An aquifer area is where water is stored underground and provides water to a private or public well. Watersheds are the natural source of most of the nation's water supply.

Stream that runs from Milne Reservoir to Grupes Reservoir
Stream that runs from Milne Reservoir to Grupes Reservoir

Natural processes and human activities within a watershed or aquifer area can affect the quality of a community's water supply. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it can carry soil particles, oils, road salts, hydrocarbons, bacteria, viruses, fertilizers, pesticides and other potential contaminants that can impact the quality of our public and private drinking water supplies.


Stream that runs from Scotts Reservoir to Browns Reservoir

The First District Water Department serves over 41,000 people in the city of Norwalk as well as smaller areas in the towns of New Canaan, Wilton, and Westport, Connecticut. The principal water supply is preserved in four reservoirs over a 10 square mile watershed along the Silvermine River basin. This watershed extends from the town of Lewisboro, New York, and down through the towns of New Cannan, and Wilton into Norwalk, Connecticut.

The Hydrologic Cycle

Our Water is as Old as Our Ancestors

There is no such thing as “new” water. Basically, the same water that existed in the day of our ancestors exists today. Water is continually recirculated through the hydrologic cycle and is used over and over again through the ages. The only thing that changes is what is added or removed from the water over time. This constant reuse of water makes it vital that water utilities and watershed/aquifer area residents alike, work together to maintain clean, safe drinking water supplies for the future.

The Hydrologic Cycle
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In nature, water endlessly moves from the land and bodies of water to the atmosphere. Then from the atmosphere back to the land. Contaminants which the water contacts in this journey may move with it through the cycle.

Testing Insures Safety

In order to safeguard our public drinking water supplies for the future, water utilities conduct an annual sanitary survey of all properties that are located on public drinking water supply watersheds and are required by law to report their findings to the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Similar standards exist in New York State. Water utilities as well as watershed residents have an important stake in maintaining and protecting our sources of drinking water.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health is responsible for the administration of state and federal drinking water regulations and is dedicated to assuring the quality and adequacy of our State’s public drinking water sources.

CT DPH Water Monitoring Schedules

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