Stormwater Management

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What is stormwater?

Stormwater is water originating from a rain event or snowmelt. Stormwater runoff occurs when the ground is unable to absorb all of the water. Impervious surfaces (such as buildings, driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, roads, and even compacted gravels and soils) prevent most of the runoff from infiltrating into the ground. As such, the runoff is often directed into physical drainage systems (such as catch basins), and then discharged into local rivers, streams, and other water bodies.

Why does stormwater need management?

As the stormwater runoff flows, it picks up pollutants (such as fertilizer, oils, salt, sediment, and trash), carries them into those drainage systems, and eventually into our local water bodies. These pollutants can cause algae blooms among other aesthetic, health, and environmental issues. Unlike wastewater, stormwater runoff is often untreated or only pretreated before they are discharged into our local water bodies. Therefore, it is very important that we work as a community to keep our stormwater clean.

How does the Town of Shrewsbury manage stormwater runoff?

The Town of Shrewsbury uses a written Stormwater Management Plan (“SWMP”), created with guidance from the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) General Permit for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (“MS4”). From the SWMP, Shrewsbury works to implement best management practices (“BMPs”) for stormwater runoff such as cleaning catch basins, and street sweeping.

On May 2007, Article 21, the Stormwater Management Bylaw, was approved by Town Meeting to set up the authority and enforcement of the prohibition of illicit discharges into our MS4 (discharges that are not entirely comprised of stormwater), and to provide the framework for the utility fee and stormwater management permit.

On July 2018, the MS4-2016 Permit went live and, on October 2018, the Town of Shrewsbury submitted their Notice of Intent for the permit and is waiting for approval by the USEPA.

On February 2019, the Board of Sewer Commissioners adopted the Stormwater Management Rules & Regulations found here. The Rules & Regulations provides the framework for the Stormwater Utility Rates for properties within the Town of Shrewsbury and the Stormwater Management Permit on any activity disturbing equal to or more than 5,000 square feet.

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