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Stormwater Management

What is stormwater?

Stormwater is the water that runs off the land surface when it rains or when snow melts.  Depending on the area, the stormwater may flow into the municipal stormdrain system where it is treated and infiltrate into the ground or discharge via an outfall to a nearby stream, river, pond or wetland.  Without a municipal stormwater system the runoff flows directly into local streams, rivers, ponds and wetlands without prior treatment.  Stormwater can also damage property by eroding land and causing flooding.
Impervious surfaces such as roadways, parking lots, driveways and rooftops prevent stormwater from naturally infiltrating into the ground and thereby cause stormwater runoff.  

Why does stormwater matter?

Stormwater may contain a number of pollutants such as:

  • Oil & Grease from roadways and parking areas
  • Pesticides and Fertilizers from lawns
  • Detergents from residential car washing
  • Sediment from roadway maintence and/or construction sites which may contain phosphorus and bacteria
  • Bacteria from pet waste
What does EPA and MA DEP require municipalities to do about stormwater?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program.  Under the Clean Water Act the purpose is to reduce pollutants in US water bodies from stormwater systems.  The Town of Plymouth stormwater drainage system operates as a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) under this permit program.  

Under the Phase II Stormwater Program, the Town of Plymouth was required to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) in 2003 to discuss its Stormwater Management Program and Best Management Practices.  The NOI serves as the Town's Stormwater Permit. Annual reports have been submitted to date and can be downloaded below.

Town of Plymouth NPDES MS4 Annual Reports

        May 2004 Annual Report
        May 2005 Annual Report
        May 2006 Annual Report
        May 2007 Annual Report
        May 2008 Annual Report
        May 2009 Annual Report
        May 2010 Annual Report
        May 2012 Annual Report

Municpal Stormwater System

DPW constructs and maintains the Town's stormwater system.  The stormwater system helps direct water off the roadways during a storm.  When constructing stormwater systems the Town reviews which type of BMP (Best Management Practice) will work best for drainage on the roadway and for water quality.

The Town has received a substantial amount of grant funding for the implementation of BMPs to improve water quality in ponds, rivers and Plymouth Harbor.  

What does a rain garden look like?
Head to the waterfront and check out the rain garden on the harborside across from Issac's.  

What does a catch basin look like?


Be a hero892012_34144_0.png Help improve water quality - try one of these!

Plant a small rain garden to infiltrate rain water before it enters into a storm drain

Collect rainwater from rooftops to use on the lawn or garden.  This helps reduce stormwater runoff as well as reduce your water bill!

When pet waste is left on streets, lawns, parks or beaches it can wash to a waterbody.  It may containaminate the water for swimming and also be a cause of algae blooms.  

Town of Plymouth, Massachusetts  11 Lincoln St., Plymouth, MA 02360  PH: 508-747-1620  FAX: 508-830-4062  E-Mail   Website Disclaimer