How Can I help?

How can I help?

What Can You Do to Help Manage Stormwater?

The City offers a number of programs you can participate in to help improve stormwater in your neighborhood. Learn more below.

Help keep catch basins clear of debris, particularly trash and fallen leaves or grass clippings. Keeping all catch basins clear can help prevent flooding in the roadways.

Upgrade your Paved Planting Strip

In the past, many residents had their planting strips—the area between the road and the sidewalk—paved. Times have changed!  Now residents can have these planting strips restored by removing the pavement and then loamed and seeded. This provides an aesthetic benefit to the resident but also provides a stormwater benefit by reducing impervious area.

You can use your planting strip to include enhanced plantings to make your property look nice and absorb more stormwater at the same time.  See our Guide to the Planting Strip (PDF) for some ideas!

Upgrade Your Driveway

Consider replacing your asphalt driveway with more permeable materials, such as porous pavers. Permeable pavement is a hard surface that can withstand the use by vehicles but has gaps in it to allow water to run through it, filtering out pollutants and reducing runoff to the City's drainage system.  For more information, click here.

Request a Street Tree

Trees reduce and slow stormwater by intercepting precipitation in their leaves and branches. Many cities have set tree canopy goals to restore some of the benefits of trees that were lost when the areas were developed. Homeowners, businesses, and community groups can participate in planting and maintaining trees throughout town.  Use this form to request a new street tree in front of your property.

Buy a Rain Barrel

DPW has partnered with the Great American Rain Barrel Company in Hyde Park, MA to offer rain barrels to residents at a discount to help conserve water and save money.

Each 60-gallon UV protected polyethylene rain barrel is manufactured in the USA from a recycled shipping drum that stands 39” tall by 24” wide and weighs 20 pounds, empty. The barrel comes with overflow fittings, drain plug, screw on cover, and a threaded spigot with two ports to use with either a watering can or a garden hose.

Rain barrels may be purchased at DPW for $65.00 each (cash, check, or money order; no debit cards). An optional diverter to channel water directly into your rain barrel is available for an additional $16.00. Rain barrels may be purchased at DPW (please provide 24 hours’ notice prior to pick-up) or call 800-251-2352 to order directly from the Great American Rain Barrel Company here. Rain Barrel Information (PDF)

Plant a Rain Garden

You can use a part of your front or back yard to create an attractive landscaped area that also treats stormwater.  Known as a rain garden, these are small, bowl-shaped areas that are allowed to fill up with about 6 to 9 inches of stormwater and then slowly release it into the ground.  The rain gardens can be planted with perennial grasses and plants and even shrubs or trees.

Massachusetts Watershed Coalition Rain Garden Guide (PDF)

Rain Garden Training Slides (PDF)

While enjoying our parks do your “Doody” for clean water... Scoop the Poop!

You hate stepping in it. And fish hate swimming in it. Always pick up after your pet to prevent harmful bacteria from ending up in our water.

When it rains, dog poop and other pollutants are carried over our sidewalks, driveways, and roads into the nearest storm drain where they flow - untreated - directly into our nearest water body. Dog waste carries high levels of harmful E. coli bacteria and other pathogens that increase public health risks and can cause infections.

All dog owners must pick up after their dogs and dispose of waste properly at all times (Watertown Animal Control Ordinance 91.17).  No pet waste may be disposed of in storm drains (Watertown Stormwater Ordinance 97.07).

Let’s all do our part to protect our water!

Attend a Stormwater Advisory Committee Meeting

The City’s Stormwater Advisory Committee provides advocacy and support for a variety of stormwater issues. The Committee is involved in a number of outreach activities, including with schools, at Fair on the Square, and neighboring communities. Meetings are held monthly at DPW. For more information click here.

If you’d like to get involved, please follow the link below.

Join the Watertown Stormwater Advisory Committee