October Hotspot Update

Despite a few new issues in Dedham and Norwood, we're optimistic about the progress we're making with many watershed communities.


Hotspot Update 10/25/2017

The 2017 hotspot season is coming to an end. This season, we discovered some new issues on Mother Brook in Dedham and Germany Brook in Norwood. We also made progress towards fixing some of the hotspots we’ve identified in years past. Most notably Meadow Brook in Norwood, the long reigning most polluted brook in the Neponset watershed, met fishable swimmable E.coli standards for most of the summer this year. Norwood invested millions of dollars upgrading and repairing their sewer system, and we are now seeing the fruits of that investment. Lastly, we are helping to put on a community forum focused the lower Neponset River spotlighting pollution issues that we’ve identified in hopes of drawing attention and community support for fixing those issues.

Mother Brook

The Dedham transfer station is located along the banks of Mother Brook near the Dedham Mall. This summer we discovered an outfall coming out of the transfer station that was discharging what we would describe as dumpster juice (pictured above). The liquid coming out of the outfall was a cloudy grey and had a very potent stench. When we tested the liquid it was off the charts on all of pollution indicators we tested it for. We will be following up with the town soon to discuss possible solutions to this issue.

Germany Brook

The stretch of Germany Brook upstream of Westover Parkway is quite beautiful and healthy. It shows very little human impact and is flanked by mostly intact wetlands full of large healthy elms; a rare sight, as most large elms were wiped out by Dutch elm disease in the 20th century. Unfortunately, downstream of this section, right before it flows into Ellis Pond, we discovered an outfall discharging what appears to be sewage. We have discussed this issue with the Town of Norwood and it is on their to-do list. They have scheduled sewer investigations in that area that should fix the issue in the near future.

Milton Hotspots

There has been turnover at the Milton DPW which has slowed progress in addressing some of the hotspot issues in Milton. However, the new director seems to be settling in and is starting to turn some of his focus towards fixing the issues we pointed out last year. Sewer repairs and video inspections have now been scheduled in most of the hotspot areas, which should get Milton back on track towards fixing the hotspots.

Hyde Park and Mattapan

The lower Neponset River, running through Readville, Hyde Park, and Mattapan, has long been a hotspot of sewage contamination. We have been working with several groups in the area including: the Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation, P.O.H.W.E.R.,  Edgewater Drive Neighborhood Association, among others, to draw attention to this issue.

A neighborhood forum with presentations from Vivien Morris (a local activist and community leader-pictured above. Photo credit: The Bulletin), NepRWA, and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission has been scheduled for November.

Members of the Readville, Hyde Park and Mattapan communities are encouraged to attend to hear about our collective vision for what the river should be, what issues it currently faces, what is being done to address those issues, and how the community can get involved.

Neighborhood Forum

November 30th at 6:30pm

Iora Health Community Room

912 River St. Hyde Park


Please contact us for more details hirsch@neponset.org  (781)-575-0354 ext. 302

Chris Hirsch, Environmental Scientist, October, 2017

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