The Ten Mile River is 22 miles long and drains 54 square mile area in southeastern Massachusetts and northeastern Rhode Island. The headwaters of the Ten Mile are located at Savage Pond in Plainville Ma. From there the river flows south through North Attleboro, Attleboro, and Seekonk before entering Rhode Island. The Ten Mile meanders through Pawtucket and East Providence where it flows over Omega Dam into the Seekonk River, which empties into the Providence River and Narragansett Bay. The major tributaries of the Ten Mile are the Bungay and Seven Mile Rivers as well as the smaller Thacher, Wilde, and Coles Brooks. There are 45 lakes and ponds in the watershed and 15 dams on the main stem of the Ten Mile.
Like most of the other rivers in the area, the Ten Mile suffered greatly during the industrial revolution. By the early 1900s, the Ten Mile was heavily polluted and left for dead. But thanks to the Clean Water Act of 1972 and environmental groups past and present, the Ten Mile is returning to life. The river today is cleaner than it has been in decades, is now fishable, and portions north of Attleboro are now swimmable. Furthermore, wildlife, including Otters, and the Great Blue Herron have returned and are thriving.
However, the effects of industrialization are still visible in many parts of the watershed. In 2010, a toxic algal bloom was identified on the Turner Reservoir, which caused a ban on recreational activities for portions of August and September. But, if we all pitch in to help, this urban watershed can be fully restored to life. If you are interested in helping to preserve and protect this natural resource, please become a member today.