Stormwater

Stormwater Management Program

Woburn developed a stormwater management program (SWMP) with the goals of reducing the discharge of pollutants from the MS4 to the maximum extent practicable by developing and implementing best management practices (BMPs) for the following six minimum control measures:

General Stormwater Permit

The Department of Public Works operates the city’s stormwater drainage system under a Phase II General Stormwater Permit issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Permitting program. The city’s permit number is MAR041073. The Phase II NPDES Stormwater Permit is part of a federally mandated program to address water pollution from stormwater under the Clean Water Act.

The phase II stormwater management program page provides more information on this program and the city’s permit.

More Information

For further information or if you have concerns about stormwater quality, contact Jay Duran, Superintendent of Public Works, at 781-897-5980.

What is Stormwater?

Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that doesn’t soak into the ground but runs off into waterways like Horn Pond, the Middlesex Canal, and the Aberjona River, and Shaker Glen Brook. Most of the land and water area of Woburn, combined with the land and water bodies from surrounding towns, make up the Mystic River Watershed

Stormwater flows from rooftops, over paved areas and bare soil, and through sloped lawns while picking up a variety of materials on its way. As it flows, stormwater runoff collects and transports soil, animal waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizers, oil and grease, debris and other potential pollutants. The quality of runoff is affected by a variety of factors and depends on the season, local meteorology, geography and upon activities which lie in the path of the flow.

What’s the Problem?

Stormwater becomes a transportation system for pollutants. Soil that erodes from a construction site, cigarette butts and other litter from parking lots, antifreeze and oil dripped from cars, fertilizers and pesticides from turf management, and sand and salt left from de-icing operations on roadways can be deposited untreated into our waterways. Water can contain and transport sediments, metals (copper, cadmium, chromium, lead, zinc), nutrients (nitrates, phosphates, ammonia), salt, petroleum products and coliform bacteria among other materials.

Nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen can promote the overgrowth of algae, deplete oxygen in the waterway and be harmful to other aquatic life. Toxic chemicals from automobiles, sediment from construction activities and careless application of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers threaten the health of the receiving waterway and can kill fish and other aquatic life.

Bacteria from animal wastes and illicit connections to sewerage systems can make nearby ponds and streams unsafe for wading and swimming. According to an inventory conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), half of the impaired waterways are affected by urban/suburban and construction sources of stormwater runoff.

What’s Being Done?

The City of Woburn implements a variety of Best Management Practices (or BMPs) to help reduce pollutant discharges to the City’s waterways. Many of these BMPs are implemented or coordinated by the Department of Public Works. These include street sweeping, catch basin cleaning, public education and enforcements of stormwater management and erosion control measures that require proper procedures during construction to minimize pollutant runoff. The City has prepared a Stormwater Management Plan to formalize its program to address stormwater concerns in the City.