Trashy Conditions Can Lead to Flooding Problems

 A Dumpster on the grounds of the Apartments at Remington Pond in West Warwick, R.I., is close to the water and carelessly filled. (Courtesy photos)

A Dumpster on the grounds of the Apartments at Remington Pond in West Warwick, R.I., is close to the water and carelessly filled. (Courtesy photos)

By FRANK CARINI/ecoRI News staff

WEST WARWICK, R.I. — Years ago Cedar Brook, before it runs beneath Cowesett Avenue, was impounded to create what is now commonly called “Remington Pond.”

Among the reasons for the pond’s creation was to help alleviate flooding in a neighborhood that was once wetlands and farmland but now is concrete and pavement. It helps, but only when the pond and canal that runs to Cowesett Avenue aren’t cluttered with debris. They typically are.

ecoRI News recently took a tour of the neighborhood with a concerned resident of the Apartments at Remington Pond. Marilyn (she asked not to us her last name) blames the proximity of a Dumpster to both the canal and pond, carelessness on behalf of some of the apartment complex’s residents, and apathetic business owners. She's been documenting the problem with photographs.

 Wind-blown debris clogs culverts and waterways, helping to exacerbate flooding problems.

Wind-blown debris clogs culverts and waterways, helping to exacerbate flooding problems.

When the pond is low, tires, bicycles, and an assortment of debris are visible, she said. A large table sits close to where the pond empties into the canal. The vegetation along Cowesett Avenue is overgrown and filled with plastic water bottles, bags and cups, Styrofoam, and an assortment of wrappers.

Flooding in the area remains a problem, as debris blocks the flow of water during heavy rains. The pond’s riparian buffer is a paved parking lot.

The pond catches wetlands water from a Crompton subdivision via a brook. Water is channeled from the pond to the Pawtuxet River. Debris clogs the flow, backing up water that has flooded Apartments at Remington Pond units.

All of this wind-blown debris also clogs the culvert under Cowesett Avenue, at times flooding parking lots, businesses, and dwellings.

Marilyn, a four-year resident of the apartment complex, is having a difficult time getting anyone — her apartment complex, local businesses, the town, or state — to adequately address the neighborhood’s trash/flooding issue. She said the Dumpster is too close to the water and isn’t properly enclosed. She said debris in the pond needs to be removed, the canal cleared, and the neighborhood cleaned up.