Green Infrastructure Grants
What is Green Infrastructure?
Green infrastructure is a new approach to managing stormwater. Instead of flowing through downspouts, pipes, and other engineered systems into our catch basins and directly to our outfalls, green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and other natural elements to reduce the amount of stormwater and stormwater pollutants.
Green Infrastructure Planning Grant
The Town of Watertown has been awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to fund various planning activities that support identification and implementation of green infrastructure and other techniques to reduce non-point source pollution and improve water quality in impaired waters.
This project was one of only five in the Commonwealth that were selected in 2015 to conduct watershed pollution assessment and planning work to address water quality impairments in local water bodies. The grants are funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through Section 604b of the federal Clean Water Act.
The term non-point source pollution refers to contaminants that are carried to a waterway as a result of precipitation and stormwater runoff from the land or infiltration into the soil. Common types of non-point source pollution include phosphorus and nitrogen from lawn and garden fertilizers, bacteria from pet waste and waterfowl, oil and grease from parking lots and roadways and sediment from construction activities and soil erosion.
Stormwater from the Town’s drainage system flows directly to the Charles River without treatment and is one of many contributors to pollution in the river.
Green infrastructure is an approach to managing stormwater. Instead of flowing through downspouts, pipes, and other engineered systems directly to water bodies, green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and other natural elements to reduce the amount of stormwater and stormwater pollutants.
Green Infrastructure for a Healthier Charles River
On June 21, 2016, a meeting was held entitled “Green Infrastructure for a Healthier Charles River.” At the meeting, basic issues related to stormwater and ways to reduce impacts were discussed. Green infrastructure, a method that uses natural methods of filtration and infiltration to reduce stormwater flows and pollutant load, was identified as one way the Town could treat stormwater.
As part of the grant and presentation, a number of sites throughout Town were analyzed for the ability to support green infrastructure as a way to control stormwater.
The map and spreadsheet show a number of locations and identify some of the challenges and rewards at each one. They are to be used as planning tools for future projects.
One objective of the grant is to identify two locations for green infrastructure implementation and develop “30%” designs for each. The Stormwater Advisory Committee met on December 15, 2016 to identify two locations. The locations chosen were the Department of Public Works Parking Lot and the Hosmer School. They were selected due to potential stormwater benefits as well as the visibility and educational potential of each space.
At the DPW, we envision a small bioretention basin in front of the building. The basin will collect stormwater from a large portion of the parking lot, which currently goes right into a catch basin.
Similarly, a small bioretention basin is envisioned at the Hosmer School, near the driveway on Hancock Street.
Edenfield Avenue Green Infrastructure Grant
Working with the Charles River Watershed Association, and with partial funding from EPA, the Town is reconstructing Edenfield Avenue using a “green streets” approach