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Water Quality Project Targets West Brook
Recreation - News Center

October 24, 2007 (rt23 news) - By next summer trout in West Milford’s West Brook will breath a sigh of relief. At least that’s what the Pequannock River Coalition (PRC) is hoping to achieve.

Like any trout, the wild rainbows inhabiting the West Brook are very sensitive to water temperature. Through their monitoring PRC has found that ponds along this brook are a source of high water temperatures. The ponds have spillway dams, the group says, that skim the hottest water off the surface of the pond and pass this hot flow to downstream areas. To counter this, PRC has created a siphon system to lift colder water from the bottom of the West Brook Park pond over the dam, thereby reducing downstream water temperatures.

“This was something of a community project” said Ross Kushner, director of the PRC. “Paul Darmofalski of Riverdale performed the engineering while the CMS Group led by Steve Norman of West Milford handled construction, both at a reduced cost. Permission for implementing the system came from the Township of West Milford and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection funded the work. PRC is providing project coordination, monitoring of the improvements, and volunteer labor. Even the Windbeam Fishing Club of Ringwood participated by offering to pay for future maintenance and repair.”

Currently the system is completed but dormant, since the stream temperatures in autumn are already low. It will come into operation next June and be extensively monitored throughout the summer.

“This is a learning experience for all of us” said Kushner. “We are trying to accomplish something here that can be transferred to other waterways statewide. The West Brook was a perfect test site.”

The Pequannock River Coalition is a watershed association operating in 11 towns across Passaic, Morris and Sussex counties. For more information on the group and their many programs visit their website at, write them at P.O. Box 392, Newfoundland, NJ 07435, call their office at 973-492-3212, or contact them via email at

Posted by: Ross Kushner
Website: Pequannock River Coalition
October 24, 2007

Water Quality Project Targets West Brook

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