Dalton Stormwater Commission
The Stormwater Management Commission meets monthly on the second Thursday of the month at 4pm in the Dalton Town Hall (Callahan Room)
For more information about the Stormwater Management Commission, contact the Highway Department at 413-684-6115.
What is Stormwater?
When rain falls or snow and ice melt, the water that runs off of hard surfaces, such as roofs, streets, paved parking lots and driveways is called stormwater runoff. Along the way, the stormwater runoff picks up pollutants, such as motor oil, road salt, sediment, pet waste, fertilizer, pesticides and trash. Now polluted, the stormwater runoff is carried right to the nearest river, lake or stream by the town’s storm drain system. While designed to keep our roads safe from flooding, the storm drain system directs all of the polluted stormwater to the nearest water body impairing the water quality of our rivers, lakes and streams. Stormwater runoff is a major water quality issue for all of our nation’s rivers, lakes and streams. Visit the Commission’s pages for more information on how to reduce your impact. We encourage you to also visit Think Blue Massachusetts to learn more about polluted stormwater run-off and what communities are doing.
Why a Stormwater Management Commission?
In an effort to reduce the amount of polluted runoff entering our rivers and lakes, communities’, such as Dalton, are mandated under the Clean Water Act through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) to better manage their stormwater. The Town of Dalton established a Stormwater Management Commission to oversee the following required six action items outlined in Dalton’s Stormwater Management Plan as part of Dalton’s NPDES permit. The Commission welcomes citizen input and participation in the implementation process.
- Public Education and Outreach Distribute educational materials and perform outreach to inform citizens about polluted stormwater runoff and its impact on water quality.
- Public Participation Provide opportunities for citizens to participate in program development and implementation.
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Develop and implement a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the storm drain system.
- Construction Site Runoff Control Develop, implement, and enforce an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities that disturb one or more acres of land.
- Post-Construction Runoff Control Develop, implement, and enforce a program to address discharges of post-construction stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment areas.
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping Develop and implement a program with the goal of preventing or reducing pollutant runoff from municipal operations.
Stormwater pollution is the leading cause of water quality problems in the United States. Stormwater can carry debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and drinking. Polluted stormwater can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.
New federal regulations require the Town of Dalton to control stormwater discharges. The Town is working to reach out to the public and provide education and opportunities for public involvement. The Town is alerting citizens of the impacts that polluted stormwater can have on water quality. The Town is also working to detect and eliminate illicit discharges into the storm drain system. Illicit discharges can include dumping into a catch basin, wastewater directly connected to the storm drain system, or a damaged sanitary sewer line leaking fluid into a cracked storm drain line. The Town has set up a stormwater reporting hotline to provide citizens with an opportunity to help the Town eliminate polluted stormwater discharges.
Detecting and Reporting Polluted Discharges
Evidence of polluted stormwater discharges is typically detected at storm drain outfall locations or at manholes.
Flow during dry weather – which could mean that wastewater is directly connected to the storm drain system, or an old and damaged sanitary sewer line that is leaking fluids into a cracked storm drain line.
Staining of the pavement or soil near a catch basin or discharge pipe – which could mean that materials have been dumped into a catch basin.
Pungent odors coming from the storm drain system or odors, oily substances, or suds in the water – which could mean that materials have been dumped into a catch basin, wastewater is directly connected to the storm drain system, or an old and damaged sanitary sewer line that is leaking fluids into a cracked storm drain line.
Excessive sediment deposits by catch basins or near discharge pipes – which could mean that erosion and sediment controls are absent or failing in an activity taking place uphill of the catch basin or outfall.
Broken concrete or other disturbances to the catch basins or discharge pipes – which could mean that heavy debris has made its way to the storm drain system through dumping or by absent/failing erosion and sediment control measures.
Other Stormwater Resources
This section contains a multitude of resources for both homeowners and local government officials.
Do’s and Don’ts Around the Home
Turn your home into a stormwater pollution solution!
EPA homeowner’s guide to healthy habits for clean water provides tips for better vehicle and garage care, lawn and garden techniques, home improvement, pet care, and more.
National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Urban Areas
This guidance is useful to local, state, and tribal managers in implementing management programs for polluted runoff. Contains information on various means of reducing surface water and groundwater pollution.
Low Impact Development Center
Information on protecting the environment and water resources through site design techniques.
Stormwater Manager’s Resource Center (SMRC)
This resources center, by the Center for Watershed Protection, is designed specifically for stormwater practitioners, local government officials, and others that need technical assistance on stormwater management.
Strategies: Community Responses to Runoff Pollution
This interactive web document, by the Natural Resources Defense Councel, explores some of the most effective strategies that communities are using around the nation to control urban runoff pollution. It is also available in print form and as an interactive CD-ROM.
For More Information:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Nonpoint Source Control Branch (4503T)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460