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.

What is a Storm Drain? 

Runoff from paved or impervious surfaces, such as roads, parking lots, driveways and rooftops, can contribute large amounts of polluted stormwater. To prevent flooding, parking lots and streets are often lined with storm drains to quickly move stormwater off the pavement. Because storm drains have underground pipes that channel the stormwater directly to a nearby water body, whatever flows down a storm drain comes out in the closest wetland, stream, or pond, with no treatment. The sewer system is completely different. The sewer and drain pipes do not connect. The sewage gets treated at the Lowell Treatment Plant.

See the links below for more information about stormwater or email cthompson@ChelmsfordMA.gov.

Stormwater General Information Brochure

Scoop the Poop Informational Flyer

Chelmsford's Compost Bin and Rain Barrel Program

Rain Garden Information

Where Does the Water Go? Link to pdf poster below.

Where does the Water Go

Tips for keeping stormwater clean 1
Tips for keeping stormwater clean 2
Business Flyer
After the Storm
Lawn and Garden Tips to Reduce Stormwater Pollution!

Chelmsford Board of Selectmen Stormwater Slides (January 9, 2017) 

Think Blue Massachusetts –
(Facebook link) https://www.facebook.com/ThinkBlueMassachusetts/ 
(Website)  https://www.thinkbluemassachusetts.org

Rain Gardens, Yard Care and Residential Stormwater Management –

More Stormwater Information

Video (31 sec)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ30rSLqwSE

Video (30 sec)

Video (2 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FysGFDhPys0

Fun Facts:

Chelmsford has 4,500 storm drains, 800 drain manholes, 95 miles of drain pipe, 240 culverts and 650 outfalls