Watertown DPW Receives Grant to Reduce Water Pollution, Improve Quality

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The Town of Watertown has been awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to fund various planning activities that support identification and implementation of green infrastructure and other techniques to reduce non-point source pollution and improve water quality in impaired waters, the Department of Public Works announced.

The term non-point source pollution refers to contaminants that are carried to a waterway as a result of precipitation and stormwater runoff from the land or infiltration into the soil. Common types of non-point source pollution include phosphorus and nitrogen from lawn and garden fertilizers, bacteria from pet waste and waterfowl, oil and grease from parking lots and roadways and sediment from construction activities and soil erosion.

Stormwater from the Town’s drainage system flows directly to the Charles River without treatment and is one of many contributors to pollution in the river. Green infrastructure is an approach to managing stormwater. Instead of flowing through downspouts, pipes, and other engineered systems directly to water bodies, green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and other natural elements to reduce the amount of stormwater and stormwater pollutants.

As part of the project, the Town will provide a series of trainings for residents and Town staff about stormwater pollution and green infrastructure. In addition, the Town will investigate where opportunities to implement green infrastructure exist on Town properties and other projects.

This project is one of only five in the Commonwealth that were selected this year to conduct watershed pollution assessment and planning work to address water quality impairments in local water bodies. The grants are funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through Section 604b of the federal Clean Water Act.

For additional information and updates, please refer to the DPW web-site, at www.watertowndpw.org.

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