Stormwater runoff is one of the largest sources of pollution to our watersheds. As suburban development increases, runoff volumes increase to storm sewers, which run directly to our water bodies. On its way to the sewer, runoff picks up pollutants from roads and other impervious surfaces.
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is part of the federal Clean Water Act, and attempts to help control pollution in stormwater runoff. The NPDES program regulates discharge from municipal separate storm sewer systems. Specifically, NPDES requires municipalities to obtain a permit to discharge polluted water from the storm sewer system to water bodies that reach to the ocean. Several water bodies in Milton are pollutant-impaired, and Milton is obligated to secure and maintain an NPDES permit for the storm sewer system. Our storm sewers flow into local water bodies such as Unquity and Pine Tree Brooks, which eventually flow to the Neponset River and into the Massachusetts Bay.
In order to maintain its permit coverage, the Town must undertake additional responsibilities to control pollution in stormwater. Some of these responsibilities include:
- Increased street sweeping and cleaning of town sewer catch basins
- Detection and removals of illicit discharge of pollutants to the storm sewer system
- Planning, construction, and maintenance of stormwater management structures
- Development of good housekeeping practices and pollution prevention plans for Town properties and infrastructure
- Implementation of stormwater outreach programs to residents, businesses, and developers
- Permit administration and reporting
In February 2016, Town Meeting approved the creation of a stormwater utility fee in order to help the town pay for compliance with EPA and MassDEP clean water regulations. Like water and sewer utility fees, the stormwater fee pays into a separate stormwater enterprise fund. The funding in the stormwater enterprise fund may only be used for stormwater programs and administration. Rather than imposing a universal flat rate stormwater utility, the Board of Selectmen voted to assess stormwater utility fees based on the area of impervious surface on properties. The Stormwater Utility Fee Rates are assessed at $1.88 per 100 square feet of impervious surface on a property. These rates are designed to raise the FY18 enterprise budget amount of $793,836. For more information about NPDES, the Clean Water Act, and how it affects Milton, click here.
The Board of Selectmen, at its November 13, 2017 meeting, voted unanimously to approve the FY18 Stormwater Utility Fee Rates for residential properties as follows. FY17’s Tier 4 was subdivided into tiers 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3. For more information, click here.
Impervious Area (Square feet)
0 – 2,075
2,076 – 2,675
2,676 – 4,225
4,226 – 8,364
8,365 – 15,895