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    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

    Stormwater Management and Erosion Control


    A. Stormwater authority. The board of health is the stormwater authority under this chapter. The board of health or its employees or authorized agents shall administer, implement, and enforce this chapter. The board of health may appoint an agent to issue permits and sign plans provided for in this chapter. The board of health may appoint another city department, commission, or board to act as its authorized agent for site inspections and enforcement of stormwater and erosion control plans during and after construction.

    B. Stormwater management regulations. The board of health may adopt, and periodically amend, rules and regulations relating to the terms, conditions, definitions, enforcement, fees (including application, clerical, inspection, and/or consultant fees, procedures and administration of this chapter. Such regulations shall include, without limitation:

    1. A requirement that stormwater management permits be issued within 60 days of the date of filing a complete application, unless an extension of time has been granted.
    2. Procedures for distribution to and review of permit applications and site plans by the city engineer, conservation commission or its agent, building commissioner, and director of public works.
    3. A requirement for applicants to submit a stormwater operation and maintenance plan for the stormwater management system and to maintain and report on the performance of that system over time.
    4. Performance standards that require projects to meet the stormwater management standards of the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Handbook. The board of health shall use the policy, criteria and information, including specifications and standards, of the latest edition of the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Handbook to implement the provisions of this chapter.
    5. Provisions for fees in lieu of stormwater management when it is impractical to construct, maintain, or operate a stormwater management facility on site, in accordance with section 23.03.100.

    C. Actions by the board of health. The board may take any of the following actions on an application for a stormwater management permit: approve, disapprove, or approve with conditions. A permit may be disapproved if the board of health determines that the requirements of this chapter or the stormwater regulations are not met.

    D. Stormwater Management Handbook. The board of health shall utilize the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Policy and Handbooks, as amended from time to time, for criteria and information including specifications and standards for the execution of the provisions of this chapter. These include a list of acceptable stormwater treatment practices, with specific design criteria for each. Unless specifically altered in this chapter, stormwater management practices that are designed, constructed, and maintained in accordance with the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Handbooks' design and sizing criteria shall be presumed by the board of health to be protective of Massachusetts water quality standards.

    E. Appeals of action by the board of health. A decision of the board of health shall be final. Further relief of a decision by the board of health made under this chapter shall be reviewable in the Superior Court in an action filed within 60 days thereof, in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 249, section 4.


    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 Stormwater Ordinance