What is Stormwater and why does it matter?
Stormwater is the runoff water after it rains or snows. Stormwater Pollution is the #1 source of water pollution in the USA. Stormwater picks up litter, sand, bacteria and chemicals (like fertilizers) from lawns and oil and gas from cars as it flows over the land and into storm drains, and it carries these pollutants to our streams, ponds and wetlands.
Clean water is necessary for drinking, swimming, fishing, boating, and for protecting wildlife. It is far less costly to prevent pollution to waterways than it is to clean them up after the fact. Keeping stormwater clean not only benefits our neighborhood and community, it benefits the entire network of water bodies and land that make up our watershed.
When pollutants enter water bodies, they contaminate drinking water supplies, hinder recreation activities, and harm aquatic and other wildlife habitats. Not only do pollutants get washed into the surface waters, but improperly managed stormwater runoff can result in soil erosion and flooding.
Chelmsford Stormwater Management Plan
The Town of Chelmsford Department of Public Works manages the Stormwater Management Program and is continuously working on fulfilling the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) MS4 Stormwater Permit Regulations. The EPA’s NPDES Stormwater Permit Regulations are federally mandated for all municipalities to eliminate all pollutants to the waters within their jurisdictions.
These Federal regulations require Chelmsford to have a plan that includes the following items:
- Public education and outreach
- Public involvement and participation
- Illicit discharge detection and elimination
- Construction site stormwater runoff control
- Post construction stormwater runoff control
- Good housekeeping in municipal operations
The 2016 Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit –
The new stormwater permit becomes effective July 1, 2017. The final permit reflects modifications to the draft permit in 2014 and replaces the 2003 permit for the MS4 communities in Massachusetts. To meet these new requirements, the Town will require additional staff and resources. Failure to meet these requirements will result in fines for non-compliance. While these are federally mandated regulations from the EPA, individual municipalities are left to fund the permit on their own. Chelmsford is seeking to create a Stormwater Division under the Department of Public Works which will be funded by a stormwater utility fee. It is important that the fee be both fair and equitable.
Chelmsford Board of Selectmen Stormwater Slides (January 9, 2017)
Watch the Town Managers Roundtable Discussion on Stormwater:
For any questions or comments about the Town of Chelmsford’s Stormwater Management Program, please contact the Town Engineer, Christina Papadopoulos, P.E. at the DPW -Engineering Division at 978-856-6701 or email email@example.com
Video (30 sec) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkXWJ3bHUt0&feature=youtu.be
Video (2 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FysGFDhPys0