Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that doesn't soak into the ground but instead flows over roofs, pavement, compacted soil and slope lawns into storm drains or directly into water bodies. As stormwater flows, it picks up soil, animal waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizers, oil and grease, liter and other potential pollutants.

Underground pipes carry stormwater to the nearest waterway, usually with little or no treatment. In Brookline, stormwater flows directly into one of these waterbodies: 

  • Muddy River
  • Charles River
  • Sawmill Brook
  • Leverett Pond, Willow Pond, Sargent Pond, Hall’s Pond

Rainwater flows from the roof, driveway and street into a drain, picking up pollutants along the way

Stormwater Regulations

The Town of Brookline provides the following information to help eliminate non-stormwater discharges to the town's municipal storm drain system. (The town regulates stormwater discharges under By-Law 8.26.) Non-stormwater discharges are flows to the storm drain that are not comprised entirely of stormwater and are major causes of:

  • Impairment of water quality and flow in lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, wetlands, and groundwater
  • Contamination of drinking water supplies
  • Alteration or destruction of aquatic and wildlife habitat
  • Flooding

Our Storm Drainage System

Brookline’s drainage system consists of 101 miles of drain pipe, 3296 catch basins, 18 stormwater outfalls, one reservoir and numerous ponds and streams. The Department of Public Works manages our drainage system, also known as a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) because we have separate systems to manage the Town’s wastewater and stormwater collection. View our MS4 Drainage System Map.

Stormwater Management Plan

The Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System General Permit issued jointly by the EPA and MassDEP requires cities and towns to prepare a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP). If you have any questions or would like to comment on the SWMP please contact Maria Rose at [email protected].