The Neponset Stormwater Partnership (NSP) is a regional program managed by NepRWA that assists our Watershed communities with their stormwater cleanup efforts.
Polluted stormwater runoff is the #1 cause of water pollution in the Neponset Watershed. It affects our drinking water resources, swimming, boating, fishing and wildlife, and fish habitats.
NepRWA is committed to reducing stormwater pollution in the Watershed through cooperation and resource-sharing via the Neponset Stormwater Partnership (NSP)
The work of the NSP includes:
- Development and distribution of regional public outreach materials
- Development and delivery of specialized stormwater and water conservation curriculum to fifth grade students
- Development of model stormwater regulations and technical assistance for implementation
- Education about potential stormwater management financing solutions (and supporting the implementation of those solutions)
NSP partners include the towns of Avon, Canton, Dedham, Foxborough, Medfield, Milton, Norwood, Quincy, Randolph, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole, and Westwood, along with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC).
For more information about NSP, please email NepRWA Managing Director for Community Resilience, Kerry Snyder
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)
Cities and towns typically manage stormwater runoff through a storm drainage system, which in its simplest form is a series of pipes under the ground that allows the water to flow off of hard surfaces and into a local waterway.
Local stormwater management is governed by the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, jointly administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). The purpose of the permit is to reduce stormwater pollution.
We work with our towns through the NSP to support their compliance with the permit as effectively and efficiently as possible.
What is polluted stormwater runoff?
When rain falls on hard surfaces it washes a number of pollutants into storm drains including:
- bacteria and parasites from pet waste
- chemicals from fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides
- nutrients (phosphorous and nitrogen) from leaves and grass clippings
- snow/ice melt chemicals and sand
- motor oil, antifreeze, and transmission fluid
- all types of litter
Storm drains are connected via underground pipes to nearby water bodies, and all of the contaminated runoff flows directly into local streams, rivers, ponds, and the ocean, untreated.
Polluted stormwater causes problems for local drinking water sources; recreational activities like swimming, boating, and fishing; fish and aquatic life.
The simplest way to prevent stormwater pollution is to keep your pavement clean and redirect water away from storm drains.
Steps you can take now:
- Build a rain garden to naturally filter polluted runoff before it enters waterways. Click here to learn more about rain gardens.
- Always clean up after your dog. Pet waste contains bacteria that pollute water.
- Avoid using chemicals on your lawn. Only fertilize when necessary after doing a soil test.
- Keep yard waste away from storm drains. Fertilizers, grass clippings, and leaves can wash harmful phosphorous into water.
- Choose permeable materials for walkways, patios, or driveways to let rain soak into the soil.
- Sweep up extra fertilizer, pesticides, or oil spills from sidewalks. Use kitty litter to absorb.
- Adjust sprinklers properly to avoid runoff on driveways or sidewalks.
- Prevent runoff by redirecting downspouts towards lawns, gardens, or wooded areas.
- Install a rain barrel to collect roof water and conserve water. Rainwater is chlorine-free and great for plants.
- When washing cars, do it on the lawn so the water soaks into the grass.
- Regularly maintain your septic system to prevent releasing bacteria, viruses, and chemicals into groundwater and waterways.