|The Shepaug River|
This site is dedicated to the history, appreciation and preservation of the Shepaug River. Located in Litchfield County, Connecticut, the River's headwaters are dammed, forming the Cairns and Shepaug Reservoirs in Warren. These reservoirs are used by the city of Waterbury for water. The river flows south and is joined by the Bantam River in Washington. It continues its southerly flow into Roxbury, finally joining Lake Lillinonah, a dammed portion of the Housatonic River, in Southbury. (See map.)
The Native American name Shepaug means "rocky waters," and indeed its bed is filled with boulders and its banks are lined with ledge and rocky outcroppings. This scenic waterway offers tranquil respite, natural recreation and striking evidence of nature's beauty. To all who live near it or visit it, it is a dear natural resource. But its waters do not flow in sufficient abundance to support healthy aquatic life or consistent flow. For years, concerned citizens have lobbied the city of Waterbury to increase its release of water into the river from the dam in Woodville. This site will give voice to that interest.
- Shepaug Dam (operated by the City of Waterbury) currently releases less than 4 cubic feet per second (or 2.5 million gallons per day) into the Shepaug River. The USGS has a stream flow gauge just below the dam and posts the cubic feet per second released, as well as the gage height in feet.
Shepaug River Gradient
View Large Image (GIF format)
or Adobe Acrobat File (PDF format)
- Gradient = 20 to 30 foot drop per mile
(steepest in Connecticut)
- Total Shepaug Watershed Area = 150+ square miles
- 11 Towns in Shepaug Watershed:
Cornwall, Goshen, Torrington, Warren, Litchfield, Washington, Morris, New Milford, Roxbury, Bridgewater, Southbury
- Watershed above Shepaug Dam = 28 square miles (East Branch of Shepaug and Marshepaug Rivers)
Watershed of Cairns Reservoir = 10.2 square miles (West Branch Shepaug River)
Total watershed of both reservoirs = 38.2 square miles = 24,448 acres
- Average Precipitation = 44-52 inches per year (with 50% run-off to rivers)
- Shepaug Reservoir = 96 acres = 96,100,000 cubic ft water storage = 0.7 billion gallons
- Cairns Reservoir = 337 acres = 360,000,000 cubic ft storage = 2.7 billion gallons
- Storage capacity of both Reservoirs = 3.4 billion gallons
- United States Geological Survey Basin # 6700
- 1 cubic foot of water = 7.48 gallons
Copyright © 1998 The Shepaug River Association. All rights reserved.
Please see Acknowledgments.
Comments, opinions and contributions are welcome -- please e-mail us.
Site last updated 06 May 2002