Improvement of Water Quality

Leverett Pond 1895
This view of Leverett Pond was taken looking from Brookline toward Boston in 1895. (Collection of the Public Library of Brookline, Massachusetts.)

The Muddy River Restoration Project will improve the water quality in the river itself and also improve the quality of stormwater entering the river from local storm drainage systems. Water quality in the Muddy River is impacted by urban stormwater runoff, which carries sand, sediment, and various pollutants from streets and parking areas into the river. The low flow rate during dry weather does not allow for the flushing of the channel, or sufficient dilution of the pollutants discharged from the storm drains. At one location in the Fens, a combined sewer overflow (CSO) remains where a mixture of storm drainage and sewage is occasionally discharged during major storms. 

Under other currently ongoing projects, the Boston Water & Sewer Commission (BWSC) has been mitigating the impacts of the combined sewer overflow (CSO) to the Fens, while the Town of Brookline has eliminated the discharge of combined sewage into drains that flow into the river. Both municipalities have also investigated, discovered and eliminated illegal connections of building sewers to the storm drainpipes that flow to the Muddy River. BWSC will shortly embark on a project to inventory and better maintain its catch basins, which will help to reduce the volume of sediment reaching the Muddy River.

The Muddy River Restoration Project will generate additional water quality improvements, including the removal of sediment in the river and ponds, as well as better maintenance practices involving street sweeping, catch basin cleaning, and other measures to improve the quality of stormwater entering the river.