Map of the Watershed

View an enlarged map to discover if you live in the Willimantic River Watershed.

Meet the Willimantic River Watershed

What is a Watershed?

When rain or snow fall on land, the rainwater/snowmelt runs along the surface or is absorbed into the ground. Both the surface water and ground water run downhill and eventually into a river or stream. All of the land that drains into a stream or river is known as its watershed or drainage basin.

Where is the Willimantic River's Watershed?

The Willimantic River's watershed is 225 square miles and lies within all or part of 17 towns in Connecticut and Massachusetts: (in Ct.) Andover, Ashford, Bolton, Columbia, Coventry, Ellington, Hebron, Lebanon, Mansfield, Stafford, Union, Tolland, Vernon, Willington, Windham, and (in Ma.) Monson and Wales. The types of land cover in the watershed can determine the water quality in the river. For example, forested land absorbs and filters groundwater more effectively than developed land.

Where Does the Willimantic River's Water Come From?

The Willimantic River receives runoff from its banks, but much of the watershed's rainwater collects in tributary streams that empty into the river. The river's main tributaries include Middle River and Furnace Brook, which join in Stafford at the head of the Willimantic River. Other major tributaries include Roaring Brook in Stafford and Willington, Bone Mill Brook in Ellington and Tolland, Eagleville Brook in Mansfield, Cedar Swamp Brook in Willington and Mansfield, Mill Brook in Coventry, Skungamaug River in Tolland, Coventry, and Andover, Hop River in Bolton, Andover, Coventry and Columbia, and Ten Mile River in Lebanon and Columbia.

Where Does the Willimantic River's Water Go?

All of the Willimantic River's water eventually flows through the city of Willimantic, then joins the Natchaug River at the head of the Shetucket River. In Norwich the Shetucket River flows into the Thames River, which empties into Long Island Sound between Groton and New London.