In October 2017, the Eastern Connecticut Conservation District and the Town of East Lyme will install 20 storm water tree wells in a 55-acre area in Niantic. This project, which is funded by the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) through a Clean Water Act Section 319 NPS program grant, is being conducted in conjunction with a municipal paving project in the Hope Street/Grand Street/Smith Avenue neighborhood. Presently, the storm drain system in this area discharges stormwater directly to the Niantic River without any type of pollution treatment. The tree wells, which are similar to the tree filters installed along Pennsylvania Avenue and Colony Road in East Lyme and on Mago Point in Waterford, will filter stormwater through a porous soil mix that removes up to 90% of common pollutants like bacteria, fertilizers and pesticides, sediment, and gasoline and oil. Once installed, the tree wells will filter approximately 1.7 million gallons of stormwater runoff each year, making the Niantic River cleaner and safer for swimming, boating and shellfishing.