Stormwater Management

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.

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.

Nantucket is developing a Stormwater By-Law to promote the removal of pollutants from stormwater, to encourage the recharging of stormwater, to develop methods to maintain functional operation of stormwater, to utilize best management practices, to improve stormwater quality prior to discharging to a water body, and to education property owners.  The Town will also develop Regulations to provide guidance in the implementation of the Stormwater By-Law.

Stormwater Websites

  • Urban Polluted Runoff (Nonpoint Source Pollution): provides technical information on control of urban nonpoint source pollution.
  • Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure: summarizes common green infrastructure approaches and key resources for research, funding and partnerships.
  • Low Impact Development (LID): provides resources on low impact development principles.
  • Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and Stormwater: provides information on waters listed for impairments from stormwater sources and the TMDLs to Stormwater Permits Draft Handbook.
  • NPDES Compliance Monitoring Strategy: outlines inspection and compliance goals for the entire NPDES program, including major and minor NPDES facilities, pretreatment programs, biosolids, CSOs, SSOs, stormwater, and CAFOs. This new strategy, which takes effect in 2009, places increased emphasis on wet weather issues, particularly stormwater sources, and sets ambitious targets for audits and inspections of Phase I and II MS4s, construction sites, and industrial facilities.
  • Greening EPA, Stormwater Management: summarizes strategies to reduce environmental impacts for EPA Headquarter's facilities and operations; and provides in-depth descriptions and examples of low impact development and sustainable stormwater management practices.
  • Think Blue Massachusetts