City of Newton


The City of Newton has adopted Stormwater Ordinances in order to properly manage stormwater in a responsible and sustainable manner. The City of Newton implements stormwater fees in order to fund stormwater services. There are stormwater credits available for properties that engage in stormwater best management practices.

Stormwater Fee Rates

Residential = $ 6.25 per quarter

Non-Residential = $ 37.50 per quarter

Much like the existing sewer and water utilities, a new program is underway to address the City’s STORMWATER needs and reduce the level of pollution in the City. This Stormwater utility enables the City to manage and upgrade stormwater infrastructure; street catch basins, drain pipes, and brook channels; and protect the City’s natural water bodies (e.g., Charles River and Crystal Lake) from potentially harmful elements in stormwater discharges. Other benefits include technical assistance with stormwater management questions, and educational programs for residents and schools.

Discharge of certain waters or substances forbidden.

(a) No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged into any public sewer any stormwater, surface water, groundwater, roof runoff, subsurface drainage, uncontaminated cooling water, unpolluted industrial process waters or any other substances, waters or wastes which the commissioner or the M.W.R.A. has identified as likely, either singly or by interaction with other substances, to:

  1. harm either the sewerage system or the water treatment process,
  2. be otherwise incompatible with the treatment process,
  3. cause a violation of the federal or state discharge permits issued to the commission,
  4. adversely affect receiving waters,
  5. endanger life, limb, or public property, or
  6. constitute a nuisance.

(b) Specifically, no person shall discharge or cause to be discharged any of the following described waters or wastes to any public sewers:

  1. Any gasoline, benzene, naphtha, fuel oil or other flammable or explosive liquid, solid, or gas.
  2. Any waters or wastes containing toxic or poisonous solids, liquids or gases in sufficient quantity, either singly or by interaction with other wastes, to injure or interfere with any sewage treatment process, constitute a hazard to humans or animals, create a public nuisance or create any hazard in the sewage works or the receiving waters of the sewage treatment plant.
  3. Any waters or wastes having a pH lower than 5.5 or higher than 9.5, or having any other corrosive property capable of causing damage or hazard to structures, equipment and personnel of the sewage works.
  4. Solid or viscous substances in quantities or of such size capable of causing obstruction to the flow in sewers, or other interference with the proper operation of the sewage works such as, but not limited to: ash, ashes, cinders, sand, mud, straw, shavings, metal, glass, rags, feathers, tar, plastics, wood, unground garbage, whole blood, paunch, manure, hair and fleshings, entrails, and paper dishes, cups, milk containers, etc.

(c) Substances or materials with any or all of the following characteristics shall not be discharged into the public sewers without the approval of the commissioner and/or the M.W.R.A.

  1. Any liquid or vapor having a temperature higher than one hundred fifty degrees (150) F (65 C).
  2. Any water or waste containing fats, wax, grease or oils, whether emulsified or not, in excess of one hundred (100) mg/l, or containing substances which may solidify or become viscous at temperatures between thirty-two degrees (32) and one hundred fifty degrees (150) F (0 and 65 C) in excess of one hundred (100) mg/l.
  3. Any garbage that has not been properly shredded as defined in section 29-58.
  4. Any waters or wastes containing strong acid iron-pickling wastes, or concentrated plating solutions, whether neutralized or not.
  5. Any waters or wastes containing iron, chromium, copper, zinc or similar objectionable or toxic metals, or a toxic pollutant in toxic amounts as defined in standards or guidelines issued pursuant to section 307 (a) of Public Law 92-500 or as established by the commissioner and/or the M.W.R.A.
  6. Any waters or wastes containing phenols, or other taste-producing or odor-producing substances, in such concentrations as to exceed limits which may be established by the commissioner and/or the M.W.R.A. as necessary to meet the requirements of state, federal or other public agencies.
  7. Any radioactive wastes or isotopes of such half-life or concentration as may exceed limits established by the commissioner and/or the M.W.R.A. to comply with applicable state or federal regulations.
  8. Materials which exert or cause:
    1. Unusual concentrations of inert suspended solids (such as, but not limited to, sand, fuller's earth, lime slurries and lime residues) or of dissolved solids (such as, but not limited to, sodium chloride and sodium sulfate).
    2. Excessive discoloration (such as, but not limited to, dye wastes and vegetable tanning solutions).
    3. Unusual BOD, chemical oxygen demand, or chlorine requirements in such quantities as to constitute a significant load on the sewage treatment plant, or as to cause wastes received at the sewage treatment plant to exceed limits established by the M.W.R.A.
    4. Unusual volume of flow or concentration of wastes constituting slugs.
  9. Any waters or wastes containing substances which are not amenable to treatment or reduction by the sewage treatment process employed, or are amenable to treatment only to such degree that the sewage treatment plant effluent cannot meet the requirements of state, federal or other public agencies.
  10. Any waters or wastes which, by interaction with other water or wastes in the public sewers, release obnoxious gases, form suspended solids which interfere with the collection system, or create a condition deleterious to the sewage works.
  11. No municipality shall discharge or cause to be discharged or allow to be discharged into any metropolitan sewer or any sewer tributary thereto any septic tank or cesspool cleanings or any sewage or industrial wastes which originate in any territory outside the limits of the Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Sewer /Stormwater use charge.

(a) Every estate whose building sewers discharge directly or indirectly into public sewers of the city, shall pay a charge for the use of main drains, stormwater facilities and sewage works.

(b) Sewer/Stormwater rates

  1. Such sewer/stormwater use bills shall be issued on a quarterly basis. Each sewer/stormwater use bill shall consist of two components as follows:
    1. A charge for use of main drains and stormwater facilities:
      1. for properties the principal use of which is residential: $6.25 per quarter
      2. for all other properties: $37.50 per quarter
    2. a charge for use of sewer, which charge shall be made in proportion to water consumption, based on the water meter reading, or estimate water meter reading, for the same property, for the prior quarterly billing period at the following schedule of rates or prices (effective July 1, 2013):
      1. Eight dollars and ninety-four cents ($8.94) per hundred cubic feet for consumption from 0 to 20 hundred cubic feet;
      2. Ten dollars and seventy-three cents ($10.73) per hundred cubic feet for consumption from 21 to 70 hundred cubic feet;
      3. Twelve dollars and eighty-eight cents ($12.88) per hundred cubic feet for consumption above 70 hundred cubic feet.
  2. Multi-dwelling properties
    1. For purposes of this subsection, the term Single Meter/Multi-Residence shall have the following meaning: A building, buildings, or part of a building which i) is used for residential use only, ii) contains more than one dwelling unit, and iii) receives water delivered through a single service pipe and meter. The term dwelling unit shall have the meaning set out in the definition that appears in section 30-1.
    2. For a Single Meter/Multi-Residence property, the applicable price or rate for use of sewer shall be determined by dividing the consumption by the number of dwelling units within such property.
  3. Where water is supplied by the city through a meter that is not in good working order, the commissioner shall use any reasonable, fair, and appropriate method to determine the quantity of water consumed and shall issue the sewer use bill on that basis.

(c) Such charges shall be reduced by a discount of thirty percent (30%) for those dwellings which are owned and inhabited by any person who is certified as eligible for the water discount program described in section 29-36(b).

Whenever the board of assessors determines that a person is eligible for such water discount program, such board shall also determine said person to be eligible for a discount from the sewer/stormwater use charges pursuant to this section, which certification shall continue for the same term as such person’s certification for the water discount program; and said board shall forthwith so notify the Water and Sewer Division. Upon receipt of such notice, the Water and Sewer Division shall take the steps necessary to so reduce the bills issued for the use of sewer/stormwater use.

(d) All bills issued under this section, properly numbered for identification, shall be made out in the office of the commissioner. Such bills, together with a warrant for their collection, shall be delivered to the comptroller of accounts for forwarding to the city collector-treasurer as soon as made out, and the city collector-treasurer shall thereupon assume responsibility for such collection. Bills shall be due and payable thirty (30) days from their issuance.

(e) All charges shall constitute a lien upon the land connected with the public sewer from the time of assessment and shall continue for the same period and under the same conditions as a lien established under General Laws, Chapter 80.

(f) If a bill for sewer use becomes a lien, it shall bear interest at the rate provided by law from thirty (30) days after the date of billing until it is committed as part of a tax.

(g) The occupant of any building shall be liable for the payment of the sewer use charge for such building, and the owner shall also be liable.

(h) Except where the properties served are owned, occupied and operated by one owner and not sublet to various tenants, the rates for each meter shall be figured independently of all other meters. In multiple tenant properties served by one meter, the rates shall be based upon water usage recorded from said meter billed to the owner accordingly.

(i) The commissioner is authorized to make abatements and rebates of charges when disproportionate to the service rendered. The commissioner shall certify to the comptroller of accounts the amounts of abatements and rebates for forwarding to the city collector-treasurer.

PENALTIES

Violators to be served with notice.

Any person found to be violating any provision of this chapter except Article IV: Drains shall be served by the city with written notice stating the nature of the violation and providing a reasonable time limit for the satisfactory correction thereof. The offender shall, within the period of time stated in such notice, permanently cease all violations.

Fine for continued violation.

Any person who shall continue any violation beyond the time limit provided for in a notice, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200.00). Each day in which any such violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.

Liability of violators.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall become liable to the city for any expense, loss or damage occasioned the city by reason of such violation.

[Full Newton Water, Sewers, & Drains Ordinance Can Be Found Here]

Instructions and Guidelines for Stormwater Fee Abatements

The City of Newton offers abatements against the stormwater fee for stormwater service customers who undertake specific actions to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff on the public stormwater system, or provide an on-going benefit related to stormwater management. Abatements are evaluated based upon two categories 1) On-site stormwater management systems and 2) Stormwater Quality Treatment. Residential and non-residential properties may apply using the same form.

If a property owner, school or business wishes to obtain abatement for the storm drain fee, a completed application form with supporting documentation shall be submitted to the Stormwater Program Manager. Please attach to the application any plans, sketches or engineering reports that indicate the location of these structures (e.g., dry wells, leaching galleys, detention basins, etc.) and the area captured by these stormwater controls or best management practices.

The Stormwater Program Manager will review the application and conduct a site visit, if necessary, to determine the appropriate fee reduction based upon the following schedule.

Residential Non-Residential
Roof runoff captured and infiltrated: 25-50% 25-50%
Driveway/parking lot captured and infiltrated: 15-25% 25-50%
Stormwater Quality (pre-treatment prior to entering public drainage system): 10-20% 10-20%

Since house, building, driveway and/or parking lot areas vary greatly with the properties in Newton; a range of percentages is given so that a fair evaluation may be given to all applicants.

The following are examples of how the above rate structure may be applied:

  • Single-family house with all roof leaders connected underground to a 500-gallon dry well sized to handle 7 inches of rain over a 24-hour period (100-year storm) = 50% deduction.
  • All driveway runoff is collected by a catch basin that conveys water to a second 500-gallon dry well, sized for the 100-year storm = 25% reduced fee.
  • Local gas station installs and maintains a Stormceptor™ such that all stormwater runoff on their property passes through this unit prior to entering the public drain = 20% deduction.

The total number of deductions given to any property cannot exceed 75% of the stormwater fee for that property.

It is the responsibility of the property owner to apply for an abatement and to provide the necessary supporting documentation with the application. Abatement applications will only be reviewed if they are filled out completely. The review will be performed within four (4) weeks of receiving the application. Final approval of the abatement, if any, shall be made by the Commissioner of Public Works or his designee.

Links:

Newton Stormwater Fee Credit Application