Neponset River Report Card: 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a water quality report card for the Neponset River and the bacteria “grades” can be seen in the map below.

The report card shows the result of water samples taken from various locations across the 120-square mile Neponset River Watershed and is made possible through NepRWA’s Community Water Monitoring Network (CWMN).

The majority of water bodies in the Watershed get a bacteria grade from A+ to B-.

What’s in a Grade?

There are multiple factors that affect water quality and the bacteria “grade” of the Neponset River:

  • Stormwater runoff, which occurs during rain events and washes contaminants such as dog waste into streams and ponds via storm drain systems.
  • Leaking sewer pipes or sanitary sewer overflows, which allow raw sewage to flow into streams and ponds.
  • Poorly maintained septic systems, which allow bacteria and chemicals to flow from groundwater into streams and ponds.

View the EPA Neponset River Watershed Water Quality Grades & Compliance Rates

Partnerships Make a Difference

NepRWA relies on volunteers and municipal partnerships to help fulfill our mission to clean up and protect the Neponset River, its tributaries, and surrounding watershed lands.

Our CWMN program involves the help of dozens of dedicated volunteers, who take water samples from May through October from 41 sites across the Neponset River Watershed.

The water quality data gathered from the volunteer’s samples provides valuable insight into the health of the River and helps to identify where we need to focus remediation efforts.

Our Neponset Stormwater Partnership (NSP) is a regional program that aims to reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness of municipal stormwater management programs through regional cooperation and resource sharing. Partners include the towns of Canton, Dedham, Foxborough, Medfield, Milton, Norwood, Quincy, Randolph, Sharon, Stoughton, and Westwood, along with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC).

A Success Story

Oftentimes, success is about being in the right place at the right time. During a 2018 CWMN water quality sampling session in Dedham, volunteers discovered a highly polluted liquid that was discharging from a drainpipe into Mother Brook, just below the Dedham transfer station. NepRWA contacted the Town of Dedham, who investigated and ultimately shut down the transfer station citing “serious structural and environmental safety issues”. Read more about the story here.

If you spot pollution in a waterway or see any dumping, please let us know! Email or give us a call at 781-575-0354 x 300



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