Storm Water Management

The City of Medford has a stormwater management plan and much of the routine work of DPW contributes to keeping our rivers clean, as well as keeping our streets clean for residents. More information about the City’s role in storm water management can be found on the City’s official website. 

Every time you turn on the faucet, you have a local waterway to thank for the clean water that comes flowing out. And every time your kids or pets play in a river or lake, they’re enjoying rainwater that landed on a home, business, street, or sidewalk somewhere upstream from your location.
When our ancestors first built their mills in this area, those waterways were surrounded by vast forests and the waterways were sparkling clean. But today, our waterways are surrounded by buildings, roads, parking lots, and farm fields. And our waterways just aren’t as clean as they could be. But if everybody does their part and takes some simple steps to make a difference, our rivers could be clean and sparkling again!

What is the city of Medford doing to reduce stormwater pollution?

One of the most effective ways to reduce storm water runoff. Street sweeping removes the majority of pollutants, such as litter, animal waste and debris. For the 2017 street sweeping schedule click here.

Medford has developed snow ordinances to ensure that snow is removed safely and in an environmentally friendly way!

Good materials to use include:

Ice melter with calcium chloride (CaCl2) is better for the environment and only a small amount is required to melt ice. 

Potassium Chloride (KCl) is OK, but it can damage concrete.

Biodegradable cat litter is another good option that has a small environmental impact.

Materials to avoid include:

Avoid rock salt! (NaCl or sodium chloride) which kills plants and trees as well as aquatic plants and animals!

Avoid sand! It doesn’t help pedestrians and washes into storm drains and into our waterways! It is very expensive to clean the storm drains in the spring!

Starting August 2014, Medford began a city wide project to label all of the storm drains with medallions that say “No Dumping, Drains to River.” Storm drain labeling has been found to be on the most effective ways to increase awareness about storm water runoff. Here is an article about storm drain labeling in Medford.

DAS storm drain marker labeling group

For more information on the Storm Drain Labeling program visit us here. If your community group is interested in taking part in the labeling project contact Medford’s Director of Energy & Environment Alicia Hunt at (781)393-2137 or

What is going on with all the construction?

Were you annoyed by the construction at Winthrop Circle? Are you stuck in traffic because of the rebuilding of the Craddock bridge in Medford Square?

These projects are actually helping you!

On Winthrop Street, the city installed new bigger storm water pipes that will be able to manage an increase in storm water flow. The pipes reduce the amount of flooding in the city because more water can flow into the pipes. Here’s an article with more details about the Winthrop Street construction.

The Craddock Bridge project is being done by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). The new bridge will increase the water flow through the Mystic River which will help reduce flooding in Medford and surrounding area. 

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