Stormwater Management

Rake your leaves and grass clippings away from the road, sidewalk, driveway and wetlands to reduce water pollution. Fallen leaves are loaded with natural fertilizer, which can cause water pollution that harms people and animals. Learn more at the Neponset Stormwater Partnership's website.

Take a tour of the new stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) installed at the Milton Police Station.
 video thumbnail of Milton Police Station rain garden
During construction, the Department of Public Works discovered stormwater flow running into these BMPs from the hospital uphill. This video was created to show the functioning of the BMPs in wet weather and document the post-construction adjustments that are needed to accommodate the additional flow of stormwater. This is why in some sections of the video, there is visible accumulation of sediment.

Learn more about the stormwater improvements the DPW recently installed on Wendell Park. Six new tree filter boxes will help treat stormwater before it enters Pine Tree Brook. 

What is stormwater? 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.

Why does stormwater need "management"? 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.

How does Milton manage stormwater? 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, click here.