We use science, advocacy, and partnerships to improve the water quality of the Neponset River and its tributaries.

Over 300 years of industrialized activity in the Neponset Watershed has created problems for our water, wildlife, and neighborhoods.

Since 1967, when NepRWA was incorporated, we have focused primarily on cleaning up water pollution.

Thanks to the 1972 Clean Water Act, our waterways fare a little better, and we are happy to report that most areas of the Neponset River now meet fishable/swimmable water quality standards much, if not all of the time.

Click here to view NepRWA Water Quality Reports

To address ongoing and future water quality challenges, we will:

  • Stop water pollution caused by aging sewer infrastructure.
  • Clean up legacy pollutants.
  • Partner with municipalities on programs to reduce stormwater runoff and conserve water.

Learn More About Our Programs

Community Water Monitoring Network (CWMN)

Our volunteer-based CWMN Program provides monthly water quality samples.

Neponset Stormwater Partnership (NSP)

The NSP allows us to help our communities with stormwater cleanup efforts.

X-cel Education Program

Our science staff teaches X-cel members how to collect water samples and data.

Hotspot Program

Our Hotspot Program allows us to solve pollution issues in our local waterways.

Annual EPA Water Quality Report Card

EPA water quality report cards for the Neponset River

Lower Neponset Superfund Designation

Superfund status was designated in March 2022 by the EPA.

Freshwater Fish Advisory

Is the fish that you recently caught safe to eat?

Stormwater Runoff is a Problem

Despite improvements in water quality, pollutants continue to enter our streams and the River, mostly as polluted stormwater runoff.

Polluted runoff damages our aquatic environments and species, limits the diversity of species that can call our Watershed home, and decreases the quality of life for wildlife and humans.

Working in conjunction with our Watershed communities, through programs such as our Community Water Monitoring Network (CWMN) and our Hotspot Program, we aim to decrease pollutants on the landscape and filter polluted runoff before it degrades adjacent waterways.

Learn about Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs).

What is polluted stormwater runoff?

Polluted stormwater runoff occurs when rain falls on hard surfaces and washes contaminants 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

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

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.

How do I know if the water in my town is clean for swimming, boating, or fishing?

For the most up-to-date information on water quality in your town, check with your local board of health or town website.

While NepRWA monitors water quality in local streams and ponds, the collected data primarily captures trends over time rather than daily fluctuations.

NepRWA has worked with many of our Watershed communities to advise on appropriate sites and help secure grant funding for a variety of green infrastructure or nature-based solutions that help to filter and clean waterways.

Often referred to as BMPs, or Best Management Practices, these projects consist of things like rain gardens, bioswales, infiltration basins, and tree box filters. Projects include:

Quincy Grants  |  2019

  • The City of Quincy received a 604b grant from MassDEP and has partnered with NepRWA to carry out the proposed tasks.
  • The project is focused on finding opportunities to install stormwater best management practices (which help to reduce stormwater pollution of the river) on public property.
  • Several opportunities were found and are being designed by an engineer. These designs will be used to install the best management practices through subsequent projects.
  • The designs are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Stoughton  |  Dawe School  |   2019-2021

  • The Town of Stoughton was awarded a 319 grant from MassDEP to install an infiltration basin (a type of best management practice) to receive runoff from Joseph R. Dawe, Jr. Elementary School.
  • This best management practice will help improve the health of Beaver Meadow Brook by receiving and treating stormwater runoff from the school.
  • In addition to the installation, this project will also fund outreach efforts informing the public about stormwater and best management practices, including on-site educational opportunities for the students at the nearby school.

Canton  |  Luce School/Devoll Field  |  2018-2021

  • The Town of Canton was awarded a 319 grant from MassDEP to install a series of rain gardens around the Luce school, and to construct swale and bioretention cell at Devoll Field.
  • The rain gardens were designed to improve water quality in Pequid Brook, and the Devoll field basin collects runoff before it reaches Beaver Meadow Brook.
  • There are plans to incorporate this project into NepRWA’s school program and enable students to tour the rain gardens with the town engineers.
  • $130K for Stormwater Upgrades in Canton

Milton  | 2018-2019

Over the years we have supported Milton’s efforts to improve their stormwater management and protect their water resources.

In 2016, Milton became one of only a handful of towns in Massachusetts to adopt a dedicated enterprise fund for their stormwater program; a trend that is continuing to grow.

Stoughton  |  Gibbons Elementary School Project  |  2017-18

Dedham  | Mother Brook Project  |  2016

Westwood  |  Soak up the Rain Campaign  |  2015

A New Regional Approach to Addressing Stormwater  |  2014

Questions or concerns?

  • For the CMWN, Hotspot Program, or X-cel Programs, please email NepRWA River Restoration Director, Sean McCanty
  • For the NSP Program, please email NepRWA Managing Director for Community Resilience, Kerry Snyder