Tree Filter Boxes in Milton

image: tree filter box

Stormwater pollution is not just a problem in Milton. Nationwide, the Environmental Protection Agency has identified runoff pollution as the fastest growing source of water pollution in the country and the largest remaining threat to the health of our waters. Milton DPW is addressing the issue with projects that prevent stormwater pollution in targeted areas. Through these projects, we hope to put all water bodies in Milton on a path to achievement of Massachusetts water quality standards. 

If you've ever driven down Lincoln Street or Brook Road, you may have seen tree filter boxes like this one. These are not just regular street trees. They actually help filter pollutants out of stormwater. When stormwater washes into the tree filter boxes, the soil filters sediment, bacteria, and phosphorus that would otherwise travel to our streams and brooks.

 tree filter box diagram

In summer 2018, six tree filter boxes were installed along Wendell Park to help filter pollutants before they reach Pine Tree Brook.

How do tree filter boxes work? 

The "box" is a concrete box installed in the sidewalk or edge of the street. From the street, runoff enters the tree filter box, where it filters through soil. The tree may use the water or it may evaporate. When larger storms occur, excess water flows through the soil into a perforated pipe beneath the soil. That water is discharged to nearby water bodies, such as Pine Tree Brook.