Natick is working to ready our infrastructure for the changing climate.
Most rain and snow melt runs off over the ground, down streets and into a storm drainage system. Anything that flows down a storm drain comes out in a nearby waterway, including pollutants like litter, yard waste, fertilizer, car oil, road salt, and pet waste. Unlike sewage, this stormwater does not go to a treatment facility, but rather flows into Dug Pond, Lake Cochituate, the Charles River, and other public waterways. Click here to see which water body stormwater from your property drains into.
While the town has many ways to manage stormwater, which you can review here, the Stormwater Bylaw is the policy that Town Meeting members can approve in order to more closely regulate land development in order to keep stormwater runoff, and our waterways, clean. You can read the bylaw on page 11 of the Fifth Session of the 2023 Spring Annual Town Meeting minutes.
Charles River Dam Removal
The earthen dam and concrete spillway is rated in “poor condition” by the MA Office of Dam Safety. In 2021, the Town of Natick started the Charles River Dam Advisory Committee to decide whether to repair or remove the dam. Repair would require the loss of 60 mature trees on the earthen dam, while removal would preserve the vital mature trees, which improve air and water quality, reduce heat island impacts, and mitigate flooding. In November 2022, after years of thoughtful deliberation and study from the Charles River Dam Advisory Committee, the Natick Select Board voted 4-1 in favor of dam removal and restoration of a free-flowing Charles River for future generations.