Clean Water Project Installed Near Cooper Brook in Hardwick

HARDWICK – A drainage channel adjacent to Route 14 south of Hardwick village has just received an upgrade to improve water quality to Cooper Brook, a tributary of the Lamoille River in Hardwick. In the Stormwater Master Plan for the Town of Hardwick, the drainage channel was flagged as eroding and discharging large amounts of sediment to Cooper Brook.

The channel receives drainage from 73 acres of developed lands in Hardwick, including road ditches and stormwater systems, as well as being classified as a natural stream channel. The channel required regular maintenance and was determined to be a high priority and an opportunity to help reduce pollutants entering Lamoille River and Lake Champlain.

The Caledonia County Conservation District received a grant from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Clean Water Initiative’s Partnership Block Grant, managed by the State Natural Resources Conservation Council, to install the improvements. The project required a number of permits as it was located on private land, in a VTrans right of way, near wetlands, within a river corridor, and involved in-stream work.

Even with these logistical challenges, project partners were determined to forge ahead to achieve the benefits expected with improvements, which included reducing total suspended solids by 47,130 pounds per year and reducing phosphorus loads by 47.1 lbs./yr. to Cooper Brook.

The project design was developed by Stone Environmental Inc. and included a hybrid of a natural channel design with a sediment forebay to limit maintenance. The project reshaped and stabilized the drainage channel and included plantings of native vegetation along the channel bench and slopes. The result is anticipated to lower channel velocities, reduce sediment from entering the stream, and increase the channel’s resiliency during storm events.

For more information on this or other projects in the Town of Hardwick’s Stormwater Master Plan, please contact Kerry O’Brien at the Caledonia County Conservation District at (802) 424-3149. Construction support for this project was provided by Gravel Construction Inc. and Kathryn’s Gardens.