Please submit your name and email to access this content

    City of Lawrence

    The City of Lawrence has enacted ordinances in order to protect the wetlands, water resources, and adjoining land areas in the City of Lawrence. The City of Lawrence is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The City of Lawrence will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of Lawrence, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The City of Lawrence has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.



    Surface water, groundwater, etc.

    A. No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged any stormwater, surface water, groundwater, roof runoff, subsurface drainage, uncontaminated cooling water or unpolluted industrial process waters to any sanitary sewer without approval of the city engineer.

    B. Stormwater and all other unpolluted drainage shall be discharged to such sewers as are specifically designated as combined sewers or storm sewers or to a natural outlet approved by the city engineer. Industrial cooling water or unpolluted process waters may be discharged, on approval of the city engineer, to a storm sewer, combined sewer or natural outlet.

    Water, wastes, etc., which appear harmful or constitute a nuisance.

    A. No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged the following described substances, materials, waters or wastes if it appears likely in the opinion of the city engineer that such wastes can harm either the sewers, sewage treatment process or equipment, have an adverse effect on the receiving stream or can otherwise endanger life, limb, public property, or constitute a nuisance. In forming his or her opinion as to the acceptability of these wastes, the city engineer will give consideration to such factors as the quantities of subject wastes in relation to flows and velocities in the sewers, materials of construction of the sewers, nature of the sewage treatment process, capacity of the sewage treatment plant, degree of treatability of wastes in the sewage treatment plant and other pertinent factors. The substances prohibited are:

    1. Any liquid or vapor having a temperature higher than 150 degrees Fahrenheit, 65 degrees Celsius;
    2. Any water or waste containing fats, wax, grease or oils, whether emulsified or not, in excess of 100 milligrams per liter or containing substances which may solidify or become viscous at temperatures between 32 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit and zero and 65 degrees Celsius;
    3. Any garbage that has not been properly shredded. The installation and operation of any garbage grinder equipped with a motor of three-fourths horsepower, 0.76 hp metric, or greater shall be subject to the review and approval of the plumbing inspector;
    4. Any waters or wastes containing strong acid iron pickling wastes or concentrated plating solutions whether neutralized or not;
    5. Any waters or wastes containing iron, chromium, copper, zinc and similar objectionable or toxic substances; or wastes exerting an excessive chlorine requirement, to such degree that any such material received in the composite sewage at the sewage treatment works exceeds the limits established by the G.L.S.D. for such materials;
    6. Any waters or wastes containing phenols or other taste or odor producing substances, in such concentrations exceeding limits which may be established by the G.L.S.D. as necessary, after treatment of the composite sewage to meet the requirements of the state, federal or other public agencies or jurisdiction for such discharge to the receiving waters;
    7. Any radioactive wastes or isotopes of such half-life or concentration as may exceed limits established by the G.L.S.D. in compliance with applicable state or federal regulations;
    8. Any waters or wastes having a pH in excess of 9.5 or lower than a pH of 5.5;
    9. Materials which exert or cause:
      1. Unusual concentrations of inert suspended solids such as, but not limited to, Fullers earth, lime slurries, and lime residues or of dissolved solids such as, but not limited to, sodium chloride and sodium sulfate;
      2. Excessive discoloration such as, but not limited to, dye wastes and vegetable tanning solutions;
      3. Unusual BOD, chemical oxygen demand or chlorine requirements in such quantities as to constitute a significant load on the sewage treatment works;
      4. Unusual volume of flow or concentration of wastes constituting "slugs" as defined herein;
    10. Waters or wastes containing substances which are not amenable to treatment or reduction by the sewage treatment processes employed or are amenable to treatment only to such degree that the sewage treatment plant effluent cannot meet the requirements of other agencies having jurisdiction over discharge to the receiving waters.

    B. If any waters or wastes are discharged or are proposed to be discharged to the public sewers, which waters contain the substances or possess the characteristics enumerated in subsection A. of this section, and which in the judgment of the city engineer may have a deleterious effect upon the sewage works, processes, equipment or receiving waters or which otherwise create a hazard to life or constitute a public nuisance, the city engineer may:

    1. Reject the wastes;
    2. Require pretreatment to an acceptable condition for discharge to the public sewers;
    3. Require control over the quantities and rates of discharge; or
    4. Require payment to cover the added cost of handling and treating the wastes not covered by existing taxes or sewer charges under the provisions of section 13.08.310.

    C. If the city engineer permits the pretreatment of equalization of waste flows, the design and installation of the plants and equipment shall be subject to the review and approval of the G.L.S.D. and subject to the requirements of all applicable codes, ordinances and laws.

    Prohibited discharges generally.

    A. No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged any of the following described waters or wastes to any public sewers:

    1. Any gasoline, benzene, naphtha, fuel oil or other flammable or explosive liquid, solid or gas;
    2. Any waters or wastes containing toxic or poisonous solids, liquids or gases in sufficient quantity, either singly or by interaction with other wastes, to injure or interfere with any sewage treatment process, constitute a hazard to humans or animals, create a public nuisance or create any hazard in the receiving waters of the sewage treatment plant;
    3. Any waters or wastes having a pH lower than 5.5, or having any other corrosive property capable of causing damage or hazard to structures, equipment and personnel of the sewage works;
    4. Solid or viscous substances in quantities or of such size capable of causing obstruction to the flow in sewers, or other interference with the proper operation of the sewage works such as, but not limited to, ashes, cinders, sand, mud, straw, shavings, metal, glass, rags, feathers, tar, plastics, wood, unground garbage, whole blood, paunch manure, hair and fleshings, entrails and paper dishes, cups, milk containers, etc., either whole or ground by garbage grinders.

    B. This section also applies during the construction or repair period.

    C. Any person who violates this section may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.00. Violation of this section may be enforced in the manner provided by Massachusetts General Laws chapter 40, section 21D. All inspectional personnel, including inspectors, commissioner, assistant commissioner, and enforcement prosecutor, the city engineer, the director of the department of public works, fire or police personnel shall be deemed to be enforcing persons for the purpose of this section. In enforcing this section pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 40, section 21D, the penalty for each violation of this section shall be:

    First offense .....$ 50.00

    Second and subsequent offense .....100.00

    Grease, oil and sand interceptors.

    Grease, oil, and sand interceptors shall be provided when, in the opinion of the city engineer, they are necessary for the proper handling of liquid wastes containing grease in excessive amounts or any flammable wastes, sand or other harmful ingredients; except, that such interceptors shall not be required for private living quarters or dwelling units. All interceptors shall be of a type and capacity approved by the city engineer and shall be located as to be readily and easily accessible for cleaning and inspection.

    Preliminary treatment or flow-equalizing facilities.

    Where preliminary treatment or flow-equalizing facilities are provided for any waters or wastes, they shall be maintained continuously in satisfactory and effective operation by the owner at his or her expense.

    Measurements, tests and analyses.

    All measurements, tests and analyses of the characteristics of waters to which reference is made in this chapter shall be determined in accordance with the latest edition of "Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater," published by the American Public Health Association, and shall be determined at the control manhole provided or upon suitable samples taken at such control manhole. In the event that no special manhole has been required, the control manhole shall be considered to be the nearest downstream manhole in the public sewer to the point at which the building sewer is connected. Sampling shall be carried out by customarily accepted methods to reflect the effect of constituents upon the sewage works and to determine the existence of hazards to life, limb and property. The particular analyses involved will determine whether a 24-hour composite of all outfalls of a premises is appropriate or whether a grab sample or samples should be taken. Normally, but not always, BOD and suspended solids analyses are obtained from 24-hour composites of all outfalls whereas pH is determined from periodic grab samples.


    A. Sewer pipes and appurtenances shall be constructed in conformity with the requirements of the director of engineering and the city engineer.

    1. The developer, at his or her own expense, shall install capped sewer lines approved by the city engineer in areas that are expected to be served by the city sewer system in the foreseeable future.
    2. In areas deemed by the board of health to be unsuitable for septic tanks, connections to the city sewer system as approved by the city engineer are required.

    B. Stormwater drainage facilities shall be constructed in conformity with the requirements of the director of engineering and the city engineer.

    C. Water pipes and appurtenances shall be constructed in conformity with the requirements of the water commissioner and the director of engineering.


    City of Lawrence Stormwater Management Webpage

    City of Lawrence Stormwater Management Program

    City of Lawrence Water & Sewer Public Notices Page

    City of Lawrence Stormwater Ordinance