One of the main culprits of water pollution in the watershed is stormwater runoff.
When rain falls on hard surfaces, it washes pollutants such as bacteria and parasites from pet waste, and chemicals from fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, ice melt, motor oil, antifreeze, and windshield washer fluid directly into catch basins or storm drains.
Storm drains are connected via underground pipes to nearby water bodies, and all of the contaminated stormwater runoff flows directly into local streams, rivers, ponds, and the ocean, untreated. Anything that gets dumped, thrown or washed into a storm drain eventually gets discharged to a river, stream, pond, or wetland.
Polluted stormwater causes problems for local drinking water sources; recreational activities like swimming, boating and fishing; and aquatic life.
The simplest way to prevent stormwater pollution is to keep our pavement clean and redirect water away from storm drains. Click here to learn how to prevent polluted stormwater runoff on your property.
On July 1, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized a tough new stormwater permit for local municipalities.
We plan to help our communities with their stormwater cleanup efforts through regional cooperation and resource sharing, under the umbrella of the Neponset Stormwater Partnership (NSP).
The partnership communities are cooperating on creating key permit documents, printing regional public outreach materials, creating model stormwater bylaws, and figuring out the best way to pay for it all. The goal is more effective cleanup at a lower cost, through economies of scale.
Partners include the towns of Canton, Dedham, Foxborough, Medfield, Milton, Norwood, Quincy, Sharon, Stoughton, and Westwood, along with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), and the Neponset River Watershed Association.
Learn more about the Neponset Stormwater Partnership:
- Visit www.yourcleanwater.org
- Contact Executive Director, Ian Cooke, firstname.lastname@example.org (781) 575-0354 x305
Protecting receiving waters
Before the landscape was developed, far more rainwater would seep into the ground and be filtered by soil, plant roots and microorganisms, before joining the groundwater or seeping from the soil into a waterway.
Today, realizing just how much of the ground has been covered in impervious material, communities are incorporating stormwater-cleaning structures, called BMPs (Best Management Practices) into the built landscape. Examples of BMPs include bioretention cells, rain gardens and tree-filter-boxes.