How does your town keep local waters healthy?

Most likely, the answer is complex.  Varied town boards carefully review proposed land uses and road improvement projects.  Often there are separate reviews by different boards to consider local zoning, state wetland regulations, federal stormwater permits and other criteria.

heron[1]Clean water is important to everyone, yet all is not well.  As we build on the land, the source of water that feeds brooks and ponds shifts more and more to polluted storm water.

Municipal officials are diligent in helping their communities to prevent and fix dirty runoff. Stormwater control is spread across multiple departments, boards, and officials – all need to know stormwater basics, the job to be done, and their part in it.

Most towns have a Master Plan to guide land use decisions.  But very few towns have data and maps that show stormwater sources and the amount of pollutants released to local waters.  This detailed  information can enable town boards to know the best places to capture pollutants and the most cost effective solutions.

Another complication is changeover in local boards.  New board members may not be familiar with local, state and federal regulations for stormwater management.  In response, MWC prepared a guide for new board members.  This free “Stormwater for Towns” guide can be downloaded at http://www.commonwaters.org/images/stories/pdfs/sw_fortowns.pdf

Ongoing community development offers constant opportunities to prevent or fix pollution problems.  MWC can assist by applying a simple technique to identify and quantify sources of polluted runoff.  Additionally, MWC has compiled costs to compare stormwater solutions.  Combining these tools can help communities realize more pollutant removal for less cost.  For more information, please email: runoffremedies@gmail.com.

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