Stormwater Management

Managing Stormwater

In an on-going effort to manage stormwater within Framingham, the City has developed a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) as 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.

Have you ever wondered where all the water goes when it rains or after the snow melts? Some of it seeps into the ground or evaporates, but much of it runs off over the land, down streets and into a storm drainage system. This runoff water is called stormwater.

The Department of Public Works manages the City’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). This system, also known as the drainage system, includes about 65 miles of drainage pipe connecting 8,000 catch basins (also called drains) and 2,000 drainage manholes.

The City is authorized to discharge stormwater through the Phase II National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for small MS4s. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the NPDES Phase II permitting program. In order to comply with the program, the City must follow six Minimum Control Measures, which are implemented through a series of Best Management Practices (BMPs):

  1. Public education & outreach
  2. Public involvement & participation
  3. Illicit discharge detection & elimination
  4. Construction site stormwater runoff control
  5. Post-construction stormwater management
  6. Pollution prevention & good housekeeping 

The 2016 Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit was signed April 4, 2016 and became effective July 1, 2018. Framingham submitted a Notice of Intent (NOI) to EPA and MassDEP in October 2018 outlining the City’s best practices to comply with the terms of the permit.

Framingham submitted their Year 1 Annual Report in September 2019 and the Year 2 Annual Report in September 2020, summarizing completed best practices.  

Central Massachusetts Regional Stormwater Coalition

The City of Framingham is a member of the Central Massachusetts Regional Stormwater Coalition (CMRSWC).

The CMRSWC is a group of communities working together to address municipal stormwater management. As neighbors, we share stormwater systems, surface water resources, and the need to ensure the long-term protection of these resources.

The regional initiative benefits each community by providing a framework and tools for a successful and sustainable stormwater management program.