Your student recently learned how climate change affects weather patterns, causing higher temperatures, heavy rain, flooding, and water pollution in your community.

They learned how your city or town’s storm drains work, how paved areas contribute to water pollution and flooding, and ways to keep your water clean.

Where Does All That Rain Go?
Ask Your Expert!

Ask your student how storm drains work. They learned how to slow water down to reduce flooding with simple actions around your home and in your community.

Talk about the steps your family already takes to protect your water and new ideas you might try.

It’s hard work to prevent water pollution and flooding. Your city or town works with the nonprofit Neponset River Watershed Association to protect your water and make your community more resilient to extreme weather.

Get Active with your City or Town

Your city or town’s decisions are critical for keeping your water clean and your neighborhoods safe as our climate continues to change.

Get involved in your community by attending town meetings, volunteering on a municipal committee, joining a community organization, or even running for office.

You can make your community stronger and more resilient for years to come.

Protect Yourself from Heavy Rain

Changing weather patterns are causing more floods in unexpected places as storm drains fill up, sewers back up, and groundwater levels rise.

  • Check the Neponset Regional Flood Model at to see if the risk of flooding is increasing in your neighborhoods.
  • Discharge your sump pump to the grass. Never discharge to a sink. Its illegal and causes sewage to back up into your neighbors’ basements.
  • Consider flood insurance even when not required. Up to 80% of eastern MA homes damaged by floods in a 2010 storm were not required to have flood insurance

Tips to Reduce Pollution and Flooding

Storm drains lead to streams. Never dump anything into them, and keep them clear of debris to prevent flooding.

ALWAYS pick up your dog’s waste and throw it in the trash. It’s full of harmful bacteria.
Direct downspouts, driveway, and street runoff into the grass where it can soak back into the ground naturally.
Choose pervious pavers or
gravel for patios, walkways,
and driveways to slow water flow.
Sweep up grass clippings, leaves, fertilizer, litter, and dirt from pavement. Everything left on pavement gets washed into your stream.

Click here for more information on stormwater.