living in North
Kingstown depends entirely on groundwater
for drinking water. About 94% of the Town’s residents
are supplied drinking water by the North Kingstown Water
Department, which owns and operates 10 public wells. The
remaining residents rely on private
The Glen Demonstration Site
Kingstown lies over some of the most plentiful
resources in the state. Known as sand and gravel aquifers
or stratified drift aquifers, they consist of relatively
deep, well-sorted layers of sand and gravel deposited by
glacial meltwaters during the end of the last ice age over
10,000 years ago. The Town’s public wells pump groundwater
from the Hunt-Annaquatucket-Pettaquamscutt aquifers.
In 1988, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated
these aquifers part of a Sole Source Aquifer area, which
means it provides 50% or more of the drinking water and there
is no other feasible source of drinking water.
definition, an aquifer is a water-bearing soil and rock
the earth’s surface that is capable
of supplying water for human consumption. Throughout Rhode
Island, public and most private wells pump groundwater from
sand and gravel aquifers or bedrock aquifers (cracks and
veins in the bedrock that are filled with water). Learn more
Kingstown’s future and way of life depend upon
groundwater protection. Many of the same properties that
make these sand and gravel aquifers so productive also make
them the most susceptible to pollution from land use activities.
Pollutants that are generated at the land surface can mix
with rain and snowmelt and soak down into the groundwater
Pollutants that are generated beneath the land surface,
such as leachate from septic
systems, cesspools and leaking
underground fuel tanks pose an even higher threat to groundwater.
Pollutants can also travel over the land surface as runoff
where they can be deposited to surface waters and Narragansett
Bay. These are all types of non-point
source pollution, or
pollution that is generated over a widespread, diffuse area
of the landscape.
and surface water are connected. Most of the
large surface water bodies in North Kingstown receive a slow,
steady supply of groundwater. This groundwater discharge
provides a certain level of base flow, which is why large
streams and surface waters do not go completely dry when
there is a lack of precipitation for an extended period.
Belleville Pond, Secret Lake, Carr Pond, and the Hunt and
Pottowamut Rivers are just a few examples of large surface
water bodies that are connected to the groundwater resources
that North Kingstown depends upon. Pollution of one water
resource can result in the pollution of other connected water
recharge. Groundwater is recharged from the
overlying land surfaces that are permeable. Rainwater and
snowmelt cannot soak into paved areas, instead, much of the
water from parking lots, roads, rooftops, and other paved
areas travels as runoff where it ends up directly in surface
water bodies. Maintaining groundwater supplies depends on
having permeable, unpaved surfaces. Learn more about reducing
runoff and increasing groundwater recharge.
What is the Town doing to protect our drinking water resources?
Town of North Kingstown Demonstration Rain Garden
Kingstown currently has high quality drinking water. The
Town’s public water supply meets all federal
and state standards and the annual consumer confidence
report provides a summary of water quality information.
The Town also has programs in place to protect its valuable
drinking water resources:
Management District Ordinance -- requires that property
owners maintain their septic systems or cesspools.
Protection Plan – has designated Groundwater
Protection Zones and an active Groundwater Committee.
Ordinance – regulates sprinkler irrigation on lawns
more information contact the North
Kingstown Department of Water Supply at (401) 294-3331.
can help your community continue to thrive by protecting
your drinking water resources! In addition to the
Town-sponsored programs, you can protect surrounding water
following the healthy
A Few Words About Residential Water Use
Home lawn and garden watering can account for a 40% - 50%
increase in residential water use during the summer
months. Summer is most often the time when we receive the
least amount of rainfall and groundwater recharge. Yet
withdrawals are at their highest, especially in a coastal
North Kingstown that attracts many seasonal visitors. During
times of drought, water supply can become a critical issue.
of this! Lawns need about one inch of water each week to
remain actively growing in the summer. One inch of water
over a 10,000 sq. ft. lawn (100' by 100') is equal to over
6,000 gallons. For this same amount of water, you could: Supply
nearly 100,000 eight-ounce glasses of water; or
do about 125 loads of laundry; or
take up to 250 showers
Davisville Demonstration Site
critical drought periods, consider the benefits of
allowing lawns to go naturally dormant, or planting grasses
and plants that are native and/or drought
more about healthy lawn care.
water through the use of rain
barrels, cisterns or
other water collection and recycling techniques.
- Water wisely:
do not apply more water than the plants can use at any
Measure weekly rainfall and irrigate only the amount
needed to make up
the difference. One long, slow watering event each week is best. Water
in the early morning hours when evaporation due to
wind and sun are lowest. Wet leaves
at night can increase risk of disease.
watering beds and vegetable gardens with low pressure,
low volume options such as soaker hose
irrigation. This places the water closer
root zone and reduces risk
of evaporation losses.