Sabin Point Park Water Quality Improvements

As many are aware, the Upper Narragansett Bay is becoming cleaner with all the improvements made to the area treatment plants. The water has become clean enough where Sabin Point Park could become a swimmable beach with some additional water quality treatment from the park itself. Currently drainage pipes within the park do not drain properly and the water becomes stagnant and full of bacteria. Significant rain events discharge the stagnant water into the bay, in the area of the existing beach, leading to elevated bacteria levels.

In the Fall of 2014, the City received a $47,200 Bay and Watershed Restoration Fund Grant (BWRF) from RIDEM. The purpose of this grant was to hire an engineering consulting firm (ESS Group) to prepare a comprehensive stormwater management plan and construct one of the water quality features within the comprehensive plan. The plan is mostly complete and we are now preparing to construct the water quality feature in the park. It will be located adjacent to the parking area on the south side of the driveway as you enter the park. The water quality feature is a large sand filter and as per the grant agreement, will be constructed by City labor, equipment and some material.

The City has also received a $100,000 New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPPCC, Federal Grant) to perform some water quality monitoring and funds to construct an additional water quality feature within the watershed. The next feature will probably be along Locust and Willow consisting of perforated pipes to reduce the flow of stormwater to the Park. The initial BWRF grant was used as a match for the NEIWPCC grant and the City will also use existing labor and equipment to construct the water quality feature.

The City is currently applying for another BWRF grant using the NEIWPPCC grant as leverage toward matching dollars. This grant application is due on Friday July 28, 2017. These grant dollars will be used to design, permit and produce construction documents for the remaining four (4) water quality features described within the watershed plan. The ultimate plan is to remove the existing discharge pipes entirely and remove them from the beach.