Boaters seek answers on build-up along CT River - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM


Boaters seek answers on build-up along CT River

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(Photo provided by Tom Bromley) (Photo provided by Tom Bromley)

Trash, dirt, and debris are becoming a smelly problem for some local boat owners.

One boat owner voiced his concerns to Western Mass News, hoping that something can be done.

You don't have to look too hard to see what was causing so much concern for boat owners at the Springfield Yacht Club.  It's one of several places along the Connecticut River that developed the unsightly build-up.

Among the biggest concerns is the smell, but it's a problem that some boaters said is getting worse.

"What we see here collecting is something that I've never seen before," said Tom Bromley.

Bromley tries to take his sailboat out on the water of the Connecticut River every weekend during the summer months, but this week will be different...

"No. I will not be on the river this weekend," Bromley added.

A build-up of muck, debris, and trash will keep him on dry land - at least for the time being.

Bromley sent pictures to Western Mass News Tuesday night, showing what had collected within a matter of hours.

"This is how it looked around every boat last night," Bromley explained.

Wednesday morning, it looked much the same.

"I've seen similar situations during high water conditions, or after downpours...nothing to this extreme though.  I've never seen this level of solid waste," Bromley said.

Bromley and other boaters use websites like to monitor the water quality.  According to the site, right now, the area just north of the South End Bridge is labeled as clean for boating, but not swimming because bacteria levels may be too high.

"It's a big concern.   You can't get in the water, you don't really wanna touch the water," Bromley added.

Boaters have brought the issue to the Connecticut River Watershed Commission.  They're taking it upon themselves to monitor the levels of trash

However, it's a problem that comes and goes and some boaters said that they're not hesitating to get out on the water.

"It's like a little oasis away from everything," said Don Leblanc.

Leblanc brought his boat to the marina for the first time Wednesday.  He said there have been great strides from decades ago when the area was plagued with pollution.

"I mean, lately we've had some high water and some debris, but generally, it's pretty clean," Leblanc added.

It's not yet clear what's causing the build-up, so for now, Bromley said that he's taking caution.

"Just when you start feeling there's a comeback to the river, and then you see something like this, it's kind of scary," Bromley explained.

That area we described where swimming is not advised is less than a mile upstream from the yacht club.

The Department of Environmental Protection told us that in order to determine what might be causing this build-up, they'd have to examine it themselves.

However, after we reached out, the department said that they will come to inspect the area.

Copyright 2016 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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