Stormwater Management

Andrew DeSantisAssistant DPW Director

Stormwater discharges from the City of Chelsea are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Public Works under Phase II of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System MS4 permit. The current MS4 discharge permit was issued in 2003 and expired in 2008. The 2003 permit remains in effect until the new MS4 discharge permit for the City of Chelsea is authorized. The EPA has drafted the permit and has held a public hearing and solicited comments on the new draft permit. In 2009, the City of Chelsea was issued an Administrative Notice of Non-Compliance by the EPA. The City of Chelsea has completed many of the requirements of this order and is making progress on correcting the violations found.

Assistant Public Works Director Andrew B. DeSantis is the point of contact concerning stormwater permitting.

Additional Links:

The health of a stream depends on the quality of the water that flows through it. To care for the stream, we must also care for all the land that drains to it—its watershed.

Everything in the watershed affects the water in the stream. Hazardous chemicals, automotive products, pesticides, fertilizers, pet wastes, excessive soil erosion and air pollution all contribute to water pollution. These pollutants don't have to be dumped directly into the water to cause a problem. They are washed from streets, lawns, roofs and even out of the air by rainfall—eventually ending up in wetlands, streams and lakes.

The storm drain or gutter in the street outside your home carries water into a network of storm drains that lead directly to the Chelsea and Mystic Rivers. Storm drains are separate from the sewer system-which handles wastewater from your sinks, tubs and toilets-and does not go to a treatment plant but into our streams, rivers and lakes.

Resulting impacts of water pollution can range from the obvious, such as oil floating on the water to losses of wildlife due to habitat destruction that often goes unnoticed.

The following links are to several helpful brochures regarding the growing problem of stormwater runoff:

  • Does Your Construction Site Need a Stormwater Permit? - A Construction Site Operator’s Guide to EPA’s Stormwater Permit Program
  • Chelsea Businesses Can Do Their Part - Six easy ways you can run a stormwater-friendly business
  • Protecting Water Quality From Urban Runoff - "Clean water is everybody's business" 
  • Waterefficient Landscaping - Preventing Pollution & Using Resources Wisely
  • Stormwater Pollution Solutions - Recommended practices for Agriculture, Forestry, Automotive Facilities, Construction, Commercial, and Residential locations
  • "Stormwater and Nonpoint Source Pollution" - is a publication from the Chelsea Department of Public Works and the Mystic River Watershed Association and presents an overview of the problems with runoff and links to more information.
  • "Troubled Waters" - is from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and defines the responsibilities of communities in managing runoff, as well as some of the assistance available to communities for this purpose
  • "Where Does All the Dirty Water Go?" - is a United States Envrionmental Protection Agency brochure that provides hints on how the individual citizen as well as the community can help prevent pollution resulting from runoff.
  • Sanitary Sewer Overflows - Information regarding Sanitary Sewer Overflows