Stormwater Management

What Is Stormwater?

Stormwater is runoff from rainfall events (surface and drainage) and snowmelt that does not soak into the ground and either flows into surface waterways or is channeled into storm sewers.

What Is Stormwater Management?

In December 1999, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) along with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expanded their National Pollution Elimination System (NPDES – Phase II) to include urban areas of populations under 100,00 people.  The purpose of the stormwater management program is to improve water quality in the rivers, lakes, and ponds in the Commonwealth.  Stormwater is the primary source for vernal pools, wetlands, streams, rivers, lakes, aquifers, and reservoirs.  Stormwater also becomes a transportation system for pollutants.

Sources Of Stormwater Pollution Include

  • Streets
  • Driveways, Lawns
  • Parking Lots
  • Construction Sites
  • Agricultural Fields
  • Failing Sewer Systems
  • Leaking Septic Tanks
  • Illicit Discharges

The Effects Of Polluted Stormwater Include

  • Destruction of Fish Habitat
  • Increased Flooding Events
  • Nuisance Algae Growth
  • Contaminated Drinking Water Supplies
  • Closed Beaches
  • Polluted Waterbodies

How Does This Affect Lunenburg?

The Town of Lunenburg is in year four of a five-year program to develop and implement a comprehensive stormwater management plan. In 2003 Lunenburg was required to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) and develop a stormwater management program that included measurable goals and addressed EPA’s six minimum control measures.  These control measures require Lunenburg to Develop and Implement:  1) a public education program, 2) a public outreach and participation program,  3) an illicit discharge detection and elimination program, 4) bylaws to manage stormwater at construction sites, 5) bylaws to address post-construction stormwater management and  6) adopt good housekeeping practices in public works operations.

What Can You Do To Help?

  • Erosion – Monitor erosion on your property.  Bushes and trees help to slow the movement of water off your property.
  • Hazardous Waste – Attend hazardous waste days to dispose of materials and return used motor oil and batteries to their place of purchase.
  • Outside Water Use – Use environmentally friendly products when washing cars, driveways, etc.  All water that leaves your property via your driveway ends up in the street and heads to the street basins.
  • Animal wastes also get carried via rainwater into the groundwater.  Remember to clean up after your dog.
  • Septic Management – Keep your septic system running smoothly by routinely pumping out your system.

For more information regarding stormwater management, how it affects Lunenburg, and what you can do visit: