WINCHESTER - According to Town Engineer Beth Rudolph, the town will complete its requirements for year 2 of its MS4 permit by the end of June and will ask Town Meeting next month for money for year 3. It’s a five-year permit.
MS4 deals with stormwater runoff and all communities in Massachusetts must abide by the five-year permit, which runs out in 2023. This is actually the second permit issued by the state (the first ran from 2003-2008). Rudolph said to expect a third one at some point.
To discuss what the town has done over the past year and what’s coming up, Rudolph introduced Jaurice Schwartz from Weston & Sampson. Part of the permit entails developing a written stormwater management plan that outlines permit requirements, planned compliance and initiatives and progress to date. Schwartz called it a “living document” that needs to be updated.
The permit also contains six Minimum Control Measures: public education and outreach, public participation and involvement, Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination, construction site runoff control, post-construction stormwater management, and pollution prevention.
Public education and outreach consists of mailings, press releases and use of the website to inform residents of the stormwater plan.
Public participation and involvement includes events like the Hazardous Waste Collection Day, Aberjona River Clean-Up, participation in Mystic River Watershed Association, and public review.
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination includes MS4 mapping, written IDDE plan, catchment delineation/ranking, dry weather outfall screening, catchment investigations, and IDDE training.
Construction site runoff control involves updating the town’s bylaws/rules and regulations and developed written procedures.
Post-construction stormwater management includes updating rules and regulations for compliance and ensuring minimum retention.
Pollution prevention/good housekeeping involves written operation and management procedures for municipal facilities, catch basin cleaning (so the basin is less than 50 percent full), street and lot sweeping twice a year, inspection/maintenance of Best Management Practices, and stormwater pollution prevention plans (DPW, Transfer Station).
Schwartz said the permit calls for updating the plan annually and posting it to the town’s website by June 1 for public comment. The year 2 annual report is due by Sept. 30 to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Select Board member Susan Verdicchio asked about contaminants in stormwater such as phosphorus and how that happens. Schwartz said it occurs from fertilizers and yard waste. Rudolph added the Aberjona River has been listed as impaired for phosphorus.
About sweeping, DPW Director Jay Gill said the town has been sweeping streets and lots twice a year for the past two years.
Select Board Chair Michael Bettencourt inquired about the West Side Field drainage project and Rudolph said it’s not fully operational yet. The project will help control flooding in the area of Wildwood Street, New Meadows Road and Thornton Road.
Even though the system may not be running just yet, Gill said there hasn’t been any flooding, even during the rainy spring season. West Side Field itself should be ready to go in a few weeks, by late June, according to Rudolph.