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Stormwater, or stormwater runoff, is the water that runs into our local storm drains (also known as catch basins) and travels through the Town drainage system into our local rivers, streams, and ponds. Stormwater runoff can pick up pollutants on the street
Milton is fortunate to have streams, brooks and rivers that run through or are near the Town. These waterbodies are not only beautiful to look at, but they play an important role in transporting stormwater runoff (which is essentially rain or snow-melt) to the Neponset River and eventually to the sea via the Boston Harbor Watershed.
Stormwater runoff drains directly into catch basins on your street; unlike wastewater, the runoff is not treated before it empties into a local water body. That's why it's so important that our stormwater runoff remains clean. While the sanitary sewer runs to a treatment plant, the separate storm water sewer runs to Unquity and Pine Tree Brooks and the Neponset River.
Pollution of these waterways has a number of consequences. Bacterial pollution from pet waste and other sources can make waters unsafe for recreation and cause disturbances in aquatic ecosystems. Excess phosphorus or nitrogen can cause harmful algal blooms that threaten the health of aquatic systems, especially for fisheries. That's why the little things everyone can do - such as picking up pet waste, or using less lawn fertilizer - can help us keep waterways clean for everyone who uses them.
The Town uses a written Stormwater Management Plan for operations, and requires stormwater controls in its Stormwater Management bylaw. The Stormwater Management Bylaw was first approved at the Annual Milton Town Meeting in May 2006. To view the Bylaw, see the Stormwater Management Bylaw. In February 2016, Town Meeting approved the creation of a stormwater utility fee and stormwater enterprise fund in order to help the town pay for compliance with EPA and MassDEP stormwater regulations. To see more information about the history of the stormwater utility in Milton, visit the Background Information page.