While we rarely face water scarcity in Belmont, we are subject to the impacts of extreme weather events, such as Hurricane Sandy. With a 28% increase in precipitation in the last decade, stormwater run-off can cause sewers to overflow and pollute our basements, groundwater, streams and ponds. During extreme weather events, stormwater in the Mystic River can back up causing flooding of basements, roads and schools. Much of Belmont’s sub-soil is hard clay, unable to adequately absorb the water.
What you can do?
- Join or volunteer with the Belmont Stormwater Working Group – a collaborative team of the Belmont Citizens Forum and Sustainable Belmont – investigating areas suitable for ‘green’ rainwater treatments and applying for funding of such projects by contacting: email@example.com.
- Support adding another pump at the Amelia Earhart Dam on the Mystic River to prevent backup during extreme weather events. (See Will Brownsberger’s comments here).
- Divert storm run-off with rain gardens and barrels which allow the soil to recharge water slowly and provide a water supply during dry spells.
- Apply compost to your lawn and garden. This not only enhances the soil and plants, but absorbs 4 times its weight in water, preventing many gallons of water from running off. Compost also reduces watering needs, saving you time and money.
What is Sustainable Belmont doing?
- Sustainable Belmont members helped to research, educate and write the Storm Water Bylaw. The bylaw includes the restriction of businesses and residences from putting storm water into the sewer system.
- Sustainable Belmont members have enabled residents to purchase rain barrels for the past 3 years at a discounted price through the Great American Rain Barrel Company. If you are interested in receiving information on this program in the spring, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Members of Sustainable Belmont support the work of other community organizations, such as: Friends of the Alewife Reservation, the Mystic River Watershed Association, the Belmont Coalition to Preserve the Belmont Uplands, and the Belmont Citizens Forum, among others in addition to participating in the Belmont Stormwater Working Group.