Stormwater is the water that runs off the land surface when it rains or when snow melts. It enters the Town's storm drain system and is conveyed directly to local lakes, streams, and wetlands. Stormwater runoff from natural (vegetated) land is typically low since most rain or snow melt infiltrates into the ground or is lost to evaporation. Impervious surfaces like streets, parking lots, and rooftops prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground and create extra runoff.
Why Stormwater Matters
Stormwater typically contains a number of pollutants, such as oil and grease from roadways and parking lots, pesticides and fertilizers from lawns, sediment from construction sites, sand and dirt from roadway maintenance practices, and carelessly discarded trash such as cigarette butts, wrappers, and plastic bottles. When these pollutants enter water bodies, they can contaminate drinking water supplies, hinder recreation activities, and harm aquatic and other wildlife habitats. In addition to washing pollutants into our surface waters, improperly managed storm water runoff can result in soil erosion and flooding.
EPA's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit
The 2016 Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit was signed April 4, 2016 and became effective July 1, 2017. The final permit reflects modifications to the 2014 draft small MS4 general permit released for comment on September 30, 2014 and replaces the 2003 small MS4 general permit for MS4 operators within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Westford submitted their Notice of Intent (NOI) to EPA and MassDEP on October 1, 2018 outlining the BMPs that the Town planned to include in their stormwater management program in order to comply with the terms of the General Permit. View the Westford-Notice-of-Intent---2018 (PDF).
Westford submitted their initial Notice of Intent (NOI) back in 2003. View the Town of Westford's NOI (PDF).
Westford's Compliance Plan
In an on-going effort to minimize stormwater impacts within Westford, the Town has developed this NPDES Stormwater Program Compliance Plan. This Plan documents the stormwater management program and is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permits for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in Massachusetts (“Small MS4 General Permit”). This Plan describes and details the activities and measures that will be implemented by Westford to meet the terms and conditions of the permit. View the Compliance Plan (PDF).
Clean Water Begins With You
The Town of Westford completed a Stormwater Management Master Plan to proactively manage the runoff from rain storms and snow melt (known as "stormwater"). Much of this runoff is carried by drain pipes, which were designed to quickly move the water off the land surface to nearby streams, ponds and wetlands with little or no treatment. On its way over the land, this runoff picks up pollution such as oil, fertilizers, pesticides, salt and pet wastes. This stormwater pollution also gets absorbed into the ground where it travels to the wells that supply our drinking water. We treasure living, working and playing in the scenic landscape of Westford. Together we can protect the quality of our lakes and ponds and maintain clean drinking water. Click here to learn about the water cycle glossary of words!