Stormwater Management
Stormwater Management Bylaw & Illicit Discharge Prohibition Bylaw

For application forms and FAQs regarding the Stormwater Management Permit process in Middleton, click here: Stormwater FAQ

Middleton Stormwater Management Plan

Middleton Public Works is currently working to implement a 5-year Stormwater Management Plan known as the "Phase II Storm Water Program" as required by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and US Environmental Protection Agency. Phase II local governments are required to develop and implement a stormwater management program that includes six minimum measures:

1.  Public Education and outreach on stormwater impacts,
2.  Public involvement and participation,
3.  Illicit discharge detection and elimination (IDDE),
4.  Construction site stormwater runoff control,
5.  Post construction stormwater management for new development and   redevelopment, and
6.  Pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations.

Nonpoint Source Pollution & Stormwater Runoff

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is defined as pollution that comes from many diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and man-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even our underground sources of drinking water. If we all do our individual parts in reducing nonpoint source pollution, together we can greatly improve the conditions of our lakes, rivers, and wetlands.

10 Ways to Prevent Nonpoint Source Pollution
1.      Use fertilizers sparingly.
2.      Regularly inspect and pump your septic system.
3.      NEVER dump anything into a storm drain.
4.      Replant disturbed soil as soon as possible.
5.      Regularly maintain your automobile to prevent fluid leaks.
6.      Dispose of hazardous waste properly.
7.      Direct roof drains away from bare surfaces and bare soil.
8.      If you must wash your car at home, wash it on the lawn to encourage infiltration and use low phosphate detergents in small amounts.
9.      Pick up after your pets!
10.     Clean up spills of vehicle fluids and household chemicals promptly and properly.

For more information on pollution prevention, go to EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System(NPDES) website.


Illicit Discharge Detection &Elimination

An illicit discharge is defined as any release into the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) of contaminated water, or any non-stormwater discharge that contributes pollutants to receiving waters.

Examples of illicit discharges are:
1.      Sanitary wastewater from crushed or collapsed pipes or surcharges.
2.      Direct septic connections into the storm drain system.
3.      Overflow from septic tanks, car wash wastewater.
4.      Laundry wastewater.
5.      Improper disposal of automobile and household products.

The following exceptions are not considered illicit discharges:
1.      Water line flushing
2.      Landscape irrigation
3.      Diverted stream flows
4.      Rising or outbreaking groundwater
5.      Uncontaminated pumped groundwater (includes clean sump pump discharges)
6.      Potable water source discharges
7.      Foundation drains
8.      Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges
9.      Stormwater runoff from streets and sidewalks

Middleton Public Works will be conducting inspections of stormwater outfalls throughout town as part of our ongoing compliance to our Phase II Stormwater Management Plan. If pollutants or irregular flows are detected, the system will be traced back to find the source of the illicit discharge. Please note that the recently adopted include an enforcement and fining procedure for illicit discharges found within the Town’s MS4. Any discharge deemed a threat to public safety or public health is automatically in violation of the health code and is thus subject to a removal order and/or fines by the Health Department.

For more information on illicit discharges, view the New England Interstate IDDE Manual:

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Tips

Lawn & Yard Care
- Mulch leaves and grass clippings
- Reduce the size of your lawn by utilizing decorative rock gardens & natural vegetation
- Use organic lawn care products
- Do not overuse fertilizer
- Re-plant bare areas to discourage soil erosion

Car Care & Maintenance
- Recycle motor oil and antifreeze
- Use commercial car washes that recycle wash water
- Use low-phosphate detergents when washing your car at home
- Check for fluid leaks regularly

Related Links:

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) Program - MassDEP link:
EPA: National Menu of Stormwater Best Management Practices:

For more information regarding the Phase II Stormwater Management Program, contact:
Middleton Public Works at 978-777-0407