Tools to Keep Water Healthy

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announces the launch of a new Massachusetts Clean Water Tool Kit website, which serves as the state’s primary public education resource related to nonpoint source pollution.


The Toolkit, developed for MassDEP by Geosyntec Consultants, includes sections focused on the major categories of nonpoint source pollution, 127 fact sheets on best management practices to reduce pollution, and a collection of “Interactive Scenarios” based on Massachusetts landscapes.

The Interactive Scenarios allow users to explore ways to reduce pollution and improve water quality in a variety of highly detailed landscapes that are typical in Massachusetts, including residential, agricultural, urban, roads, construction, and shoreline restoration.

To view the Clean Water Toolkit, go to


11/19 Stormwater Workshop

PNG flyer from PDF clip to MSW

Join us on November 19 from 7 – 9 p.m. and learn about stormwater that harms streams, lakes and ponds. Polluted runoff from streets and other hard surfaces is the foremost water quality concern in Massachusetts.

Fortunately, there are effective and inexpensive ways to remedy stormwater problems. The workshop will present guidance to help spot and evaluate sources of polluted runoff.  The slideshow will also explain how to identify the best places to capture and cleanse runoff.  Workshop materials will include information about practices that can achieve more pollutant reduction for less cost.

This free workshop at the Lunenburg Public Library will provide guidance materials and refreshments. Pre-registration is requested – email or phone (978) 534-0379. (For more details, left click the flyer image above.)

Community Stormwater Solutions in Action Lessons from Monoosnoc Brook

Oct 17 CSSIA workshop

Stormwater is a leading cause of damage to streams, lakes, and water supplies. Fortunately,there are effective ways to prevent and fix polluted runoff. Leominster took a community approach to stormwater problems to remove 500 tons of debris and sediment from Monoosnoc Brook.

Municipal boards, builders, engineers, and watershed and lake associations will gain practical information to make positive impacts in their own communities at a free workshop on October 17, 2014 at Leominster Library. Expert speakers will present guidance in selecting practices to achieve more pollutant reduction for less cost. The free 2-hour workshop will be followed by an optional tour of nearby bio-swales, tree box filters, porous walkways and other BMP’s.

Pre-registration is requested – email , or telephone 978-534-0379.

The Monoosnoc Brook project has been partly supported with Federal funds from the Environmental Protection Agency to the MA Department of Environmental Protection under an s.319 competitive grant.

“Stormwater Solutions in Action” is available

Over the past year, the MA Watershed Coalition compiled information on stormwater reduction throughout the state. The initial inventory of Stormwater Solutions in Action is posted on MWC’s website – please use the following link to view or download this report and map

Stormwater Solutions in Action (SSIA) lists stormwater practices used by cities and towns across Massachusetts.  MWC encourages everyone – homeowners, businesses, community groups, schools and municipalities – to consider similar runoff remedies.

This report identifies over 200 projects that cleanse nearly 900 million gallons of polluted runoff each year. The projects listed are a small fraction of what is being done state-wide, with many towns not yet represented.   MWC will update the inventory later this year with more examples of local stormwater solutions. We ask readers to help share and expand the inventory report.

The SSIA inventory includes a project table that is organized alphabetically by major watershed and the towns within them.  Most of Massachusetts’ major watersheds are represented – some watersheds have many projects listed and some have just a few.  This project table is followed by a section with brief remarks about Best Management Practices (BMPs), as well as links to stormwater guides, a list of watershed organizations and more.

street runoff to CBAbout Stormwater: Stormwater runoff from roads, parking lots, homes and businesses is the biggest threat to clean water. One acre of paving generates a million gallons of runoff per year that washes dirt, fertilizers, oil, bacteria and other contaminants into street drains that dump into brooks and ponds.

There are many BMPs for polluted runoff that help improve hydrologic conditions by recharging groundwater and by reducing frequent flooding that  damages local streams and lakes. Depending on a project’s size, several BMPs may be used in forming a “treatment train” to maximize effectiveness.

For more information about stormwater problems and solutions, please visit the MWC website

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens reduce pollution caused by stormwater. Planted with shrubs and perennials, upkeep is simple and inexpensive. By creating a rain garden you put stormwater into the ground and keep dirty runoff from harming streams, ponds and water supplies.

Picture from EPA Green Infrastructure Website

Rain Garden picture from EPA Green Infrastructure Website

Read more to learn how to plan and build a rain garden for your yard.

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1/25/14 Lake and Pond Workshop

The 27th Winter Workshop of the MA Congress of Lakes & Ponds Associations will be at Worcester State University.  This January 25 event is a great place to learn about lake & pond management, as well as discuss challenges with other lake & pond advocates.

The 8:30 a.m. plenary session will focus on stormwater policies and legislation affecting Massachusetts lakes and ponds.  Plenary speakers are State Senator Stephen Brewer (invited); State Rep. Anne Gobi; and Richard Sullivan, Secretary of the MA Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFollowing the plenary, the COLAP meeting features five concurrent sessions on lake management techniques and a lunch break with exhibits and networking.  After lunch, participants can choose from five afternoon workshops on varied topics including Great Pond Law, aquatic plants, lake ecosystems, and state grants for dam repair or removal.

The afternoon sessions will also include a slideshow about how to keep lakes and ponds healthy.  This presentation by MWC’s Ed Himlan will share low-cost remedies that can prevent and fix polluted runoff.

For more details, see the 2014 Winter Workshop flyer that is available at

Runoff Remedies Introduction

Stormwater runoff from homes, businesses, parking lots and streets is the main cause of water pollution in urban and suburban places.

This Runoff-Remedies blog offers guidance to solve problems that harm stream life, damage property  and spoil the uses of local waters.Most communities are unaware that streets dump dirty, oily runoff directly into  waterways. These pollutants accumulate and cause the steady decline of streams, lakes and water supplies.

RunoffRemedies intro blog 120413

rain garden cleanses parking runoff

Runoff-Remedies will explain “how-to” restore healthy waters.   Readers can gain practical advice about Best Management Practices and other ways to prevent and fix polluted runoff.