Stormwater pollution is the #1 water quality problem of the Farmington River watershed. Sign the River Smart pledge and take your part in reducing polluted runoff!

The main objective of River Smart is to increase awareness and effect behavior change that can positively reduce the levels of polluted runoff into our streams, rivers, and ultimately Long Island Sound.

Take the River Smart Pledge to help with this initiative by learning what you can do to positively affect the health of the watershed by reducing polluted runoff. For example, plant natural buffers, use fewer chemicals on lawns, compost and recycle more, install rain barrels, etc. You can check out the River Smart pledge at

Funding for FRWA’s River Smart outreach program is provided in part from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund, administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.



When you wash your car on a paved surface, stormwater carries oil, grease, and soap towards storm drains, which flow directly into streams and rivers, and can eventually end up in Long Island Sound! Hmmm… those oysters seem a bit soapy.

What can you do to stop this?

Wash your car on the lawn, and use biodegradable soap. The ground helps naturally filter out pollutants. Alternatively, use a car wash where the water is recycled and treated.


Fertilizers are easily transported from lawn to storm drain, and once in the water cause algae blooms, which take up the oxygen needed for aquatic life. Hmmm… I thought something smelled fishy.

What can you do?

Use fertilizers sparingly or not at all, and stick to organic, slow release fertilizers. When mowing the lawn, mow high and leave clippings. They will naturally fertilize your lawn, leading to better results for your home and the watershed! Check out our Pesticide-Free Lawn Care page for more information.


Pet waste is a source of bacteria, and if left out it can be carried by stormwater into the water we fish in, swim in, and drink from. Hmmm… what is that funky smell when I go canoeing? Oh no, it’s E.Coli!

What can you do?                

Flush the waste (where it will be treated in a sewage treatment plant or septic system) or throw it in the garbage.


What can you do to prevent hazardous waste from entering our streams, rivers, and Long Island Sound?

Check and fix any oil leaks from your car, lawn mowers, and other equipment. Clean up spills immediately – collect in plastic jugs and use kitty litter to soak up any residue.

Properly dispose of unused medications – take them to the police department’s drug drop box, town collection events for hazardous waste, or check with your local pharmacy.