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    City of Newton

    The City of Newton has adopted Stormwater Ordinances in order to properly manage stormwater in a responsible and sustainable manner. The City of Newton implements stormwater fees in order to fund stormwater services. There are stormwater credits available for properties that engage in stormwater best management practices.

    City of Newton Ordinances

    Stormwater Management and Erosion Control

    §29-148 General provisions

    (c) Applicability
    This ordinance shall apply to all land-disturbing activities over the thresholds below, within the jurisdiction of the city. A stormwater management and erosion control permit shall be required prior to undertaking any alteration or land disturbing activity as follows:

    1. Land disturbance
      1. Projects that will or could disturb over 5,000 square feet (SF) of land.
    2.  Minor stormwater management
      (a) Any residential development or redevelopment with four or fewer units, provided the land disturbance is less than 0.5-acre (or 21,780 SF) .
      (b) Any residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, or municipal alteration, development or redevelopment creating 401 to 1,000 SF of new impervious area.
      (c) The construction of any new retaining wall required due to proposed changes in grade, unless already approved by Special Permit (per Chapter 30 Section. 5.4.2).
      (d) Trench excavation requiring dewatering.
    3. Major stormwater management
      (a) Any alteration, disturbance, development, or redevelopment exceeding the thresholds listed in § 29-148(C)(1) and (2) above.

    §29-152 Final report and certificate of compliance
    Upon completion of the work done pursuant to a permit issued for a minor or major stormwater land disturbing activity, the permittee shall request a final inspection and submit the following: (Note: Land disturbance only permits do not require a certificate of compliance)

    1. Certified as-built construction plans from a Massachusetts Registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) and/or Registered Professional Land Surveyor (P.L.S) depicting all final grade changes,
      water, sewer and stormwater utilities and any BMPs installed.
    2. A note on the As-built plan from the Engineer of Record indicating that the stormwater management system(s) have been constructed in accordance with, and meet the requirements of, the Stormwater Management Permit. Any discrepancies between the approved plan and the as-built plan shall be noted.
    3. Proof of recording the Operations and Maintenance Plan at the South Middlesex County Registry of Deeds.

    The city engineer will issue a stormwater management certificate of compliance upon receipt of these items and upon determination that all work of the permit has been satisfactorily completed and is in conformance with this ordinance. The commissioner of inspectional services shall not issue a certificate of occupancy for any property subject to this Section 29 prior to receipt of such certificate of compliance.

    Stormwater Fee Rates

    It’s a big job to maintain all this infrastructure and comply with the MS4 Federal permit requirements. We accomplish this through our stormwater fee program where property owners pay a fee commensurate to their impact on our system. For simplicity, all residential homeowners pay a flat fee of $100 per year; all other property owners pay based on the amount of impervious area on their property. The ordinance that established our current stormwater rates can be found here. Stormwater fees are included on your quarterly water / sewer bill.

    All other properties: $0.0470 per square foot of impervious surface area, except that if the square footage charge multiplied by the total impervious area of the parcel equals a sum less than $150.00, then the annual fee shall be $150.00.

    If you undertake measures to capture, collect and recharge stormwater on your property, you may be eligible for a credit on your stormwater bill. To find out if you qualify, read the guidelines and submit your application.

    Discharge of certain waters or substances forbidden.

    (a) No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged into any public sewer any stormwater, surface water, groundwater, roof runoff, subsurface drainage, uncontaminated cooling water, unpolluted industrial process waters or any other substances, waters or wastes which the commissioner or the M.W.R.A. has identified as likely, either singly or by interaction with other substances, to:

    1. harm either the sewerage system or the water treatment process,
    2. be otherwise incompatible with the treatment process,
    3. cause a violation of the federal or state discharge permits issued to the commission,
    4. adversely affect receiving waters,
    5. endanger life, limb, or public property, or
    6. constitute a nuisance.

    (b) Specifically, 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 sewage works or the receiving waters of the sewage treatment plant.
    3. Any waters or wastes having a pH lower than 5.5 or higher than 9.5, 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: ash, 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.

    (c) Substances or materials with any or all of the following characteristics shall not be discharged into the public sewers without the approval of the commissioner and/or the M.W.R.A.

    1. Any liquid or vapor having a temperature higher than one hundred fifty degrees (150) F (65 C).
    2. Any water or waste containing fats, wax, grease or oils, whether emulsified or not, in excess of one hundred (100) mg/l, or containing substances which may solidify or become viscous at temperatures between thirty-two degrees (32) and one hundred fifty degrees (150) F (0 and 65 C) in excess of one hundred (100) mg/l.
    3. Any garbage that has not been properly shredded as defined in section 29-58.
    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 or similar objectionable or toxic metals, or a toxic pollutant in toxic amounts as defined in standards or guidelines issued pursuant to section 307 (a) of Public Law 92-500 or as established by the commissioner and/or the M.W.R.A.
    6. Any waters or wastes containing phenols, or other taste-producing or odor-producing substances, in such concentrations as to exceed limits which may be established by the commissioner and/or the M.W.R.A. as necessary to meet the requirements of state, federal or other public agencies.
    7. Any radioactive wastes or isotopes of such half-life or concentration as may exceed limits established by the commissioner and/or the M.W.R.A. to comply with applicable state or federal regulations.
    8. Materials which exert or cause:
      1. Unusual concentrations of inert suspended solids (such as, but not limited to, sand, fuller's 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 plant, or as to cause wastes received at the sewage treatment plant to exceed limits established by the M.W.R.A.
      4. Unusual volume of flow or concentration of wastes constituting slugs.
    9. Any waters or wastes containing substances which are not amenable to treatment or reduction by the sewage treatment process employed, or are amenable to treatment only to such degree that the sewage treatment plant effluent cannot meet the requirements of state, federal or other public agencies.
    10. Any waters or wastes which, by interaction with other water or wastes in the public sewers, release obnoxious gases, form suspended solids which interfere with the collection system, or create a condition deleterious to the sewage works.
    11. No municipality shall discharge or cause to be discharged or allow to be discharged into any metropolitan sewer or any sewer tributary thereto any septic tank or cesspool cleanings or any sewage or industrial wastes which originate in any territory outside the limits of the Metropolitan Sewerage District.

    Instructions and Guidelines for Stormwater Fee Abatements

    The City of Newton offers abatements against the stormwater fee for stormwater service customers who undertake specific actions to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff on the public stormwater system, or provide an on-going benefit related to stormwater management. Abatements are evaluated based upon two categories 1) On-site stormwater management systems and 2) Stormwater Quality Treatment. Residential and non-residential properties may apply using the same form.

    If a property owner, school or business wishes to obtain abatement for the storm drain fee, a completed application form with supporting documentation shall be submitted to the Stormwater Program Manager. Please attach to the application any plans, sketches or engineering reports that indicate the location of these structures (e.g., dry wells, leaching galleys, detention basins, etc.) and the area captured by these stormwater controls or best management practices.

    The Stormwater Program Manager will review the application and conduct a site visit, if necessary, to determine the appropriate fee reduction based upon the following schedule.

    Residential Non-Residential
    Roof runoff captured and infiltrated: 25-50% 25-50%
    Driveway/parking lot captured and infiltrated: 15-25% 25-50%
    Stormwater Quality (pre-treatment prior to entering public drainage system): 10-20% 10-20%

    Since house, building, driveway and/or parking lot areas vary greatly with the properties in Newton; a range of percentages is given so that a fair evaluation may be given to all applicants.

    The following are examples of how the above rate structure may be applied:

    • Single-family house with all roof leaders connected underground to a 500-gallon dry well sized to handle 7 inches of rain over a 24-hour period (100-year storm) = 50% deduction.
    • All driveway runoff is collected by a catch basin that conveys water to a second 500-gallon dry well, sized for the 100-year storm = 25% reduced fee.
    • Local gas station installs and maintains a Stormceptor™ such that all stormwater runoff on their property passes through this unit prior to entering the public drain = 20% deduction.

    The total number of deductions given to any property cannot exceed 75% of the stormwater fee for that property.

    It is the responsibility of the property owner to apply for an abatement and to provide the necessary supporting documentation with the application. Abatement applications will only be reviewed if they are filled out completely. The review will be performed within four (4) weeks of receiving the application. Final approval of the abatement, if any, shall be made by the Commissioner of Public Works or his designee.


    Newton Stormwater Fee Credit Application

    City of Newton Stormwater Management Page

    City of Newton Municipal Code

    City of Newton Stormwater Management Program