Stormwater Management

Water with floral growth at the edge

General Information

Stormwater runoff flows down the street and is collected by catch basins which are connected to the drain system that carries the water to a local waterway, such as Rosemary Lake, Charles River, Walker Pond, and other brooks and streams around the community.

Stormwater flow picks up litter, sand, bacteria, oil, and other chemicals as it flows over the land, which then carries pollutants to Needham's streams, ponds and wetlands. Runoff from paved surfaces, such as roads, parking lots and rooftops may contribute pollutants to the stormwater runoff.

View more information about the operations and maintenance of the Storm Drain System.

Protecting Our Water Sources Through Stormwater Management

The Water and Sewer Division undertakes storm drain maintenance which includes compliance with the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. The goals that are set forth in NPDES help to maintain a productive system and improve the quality of water discharged into local river, streams, lakes and ponds.

Our town is working diligently to protect water quality and the environment by separating pollutants out of stormwater. Needham performs many activities that are critical to keeping stormwater clean:

  • Street sweepers pick up winter sand and debris so that these pollutants won't be washed into storm drains.
  • Most catch basins have deep sumps to trap heavy particles that must be cleaned out regularly by our crews to keep the drains clear.
  • We have established an ongoing maintenance program cleaning brooks and culverts throughout the Town as funding permits.

Communities are now required to comply with federal and state stormwater regulations, and we need your help. Simply by putting fewer pollutants on the land, our stormwater will be cleaner as it flows into our lakes and rivers.You will see the "Stormwater Matters" logo as our community and other cities and towns throughout Massachusetts reach out to residents for help in keeping stormwater clean.

Additional Information on NPDES

For more information, visit the Charles River Watershed Association or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) websites.

How You Can Help Keep Stormwater Clean

Twice per year, the Town conducts a Household Hazardous Waste Day. These events are advertised through local newspapers, cable television, and flyers distributed throughout the town. Advertisements for these hazardous waste days include information regarding the harmful effects of improper disposal of these materials. The collection of used motor oil reduces material that may otherwise be disposed of illegally in the municipal storm water system via catch basins or other storm water structures. These efforts will be continued to protect the drainage system from household pollutants.

The town currently has other brochures and flyers regarding stormwater protection.

For additional information, the Charles River Watershed Association provides helpful tips for residents who want to improve household stormwater practices.