Did you know that storm drains empty unfiltered water into our local rivers and streams?

During rain storms, the excess flow of water from our streets, roads and sidewalks finds its way into our local waterways. Clear storm drains prevent local flooding, but unfortunately, more than excess water makes its way down the drains.

Debris, trash, pet waste, fertilizer and pesticides are some of the most toxic contaminants that wind up in storm drains. Fertilizers, while they might keep your lawn green, get washed down the street where they enter storm drain channels and enter our local waterways. That fertilizer can cause an algae bloom that can kill off marine plants and animals. Pet waste that gets into drains causes the same problems, closing waterways to swimming and fishing because of the threat of parasites and illness.

What can I do to help keep storm drains clean?

  • Pick up pet waste and put it in a trash can
  • Pick up trash before it washes into storm drains
  • Don’t dump leaves or yard debris into storm drains
  • Stop using chemical pesticides and fertilizers
  • Don’t dump dirty water or oil into storm drains

Help us keep the South Shore’s waters safe and clean for boating, fishing and swimming, as well as for all the wildlife that call our waters home.

WaterSmart is a nonprofit partnership between the NSRWA and 12 towns on the South Shore: Cohasset, Duxbury, Hanover, Hingham, Hull, Kingston, Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke, Rockland, Scituate and Weymouth. Our programs are based on the belief that education is key. Since its creation, WaterSmart has educated thousands of local school-age children, adults, and businesses on water conservation, stormwater pollution, where their water comes from, and how to care for it.

For more information, contact WaterSmart Program Manager Lori Wolfe, at or (781) 659-8168.