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Volunteers for Raingarden Planting in Westport this Saturday?


As part of the Westport Middle School Stormwater Project, Norfolk, along with the Westport River Watershed Alliance will be working with volunteers to plant some of the raingardens that were installed over the summer.

The Stormwater Project is being funded through a S. 319 Non-point source pollution grant from the MA DEP and EPA Region 1.  If there are any volunteers who would like to help out this Saturday from 10-12, please contact Roberta Carvahlo at the Westport River Watershed Alliance.

Download Norfolk Ram's free Raingarden Brochure.

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Norfolk's Raingarden Designs featured in Local Newspaper Story


Norfolk's engineers have been working with officials with the Town of Westport and the Westport River Watershed Association to design and implement a series of stormwater management BMPs, including raingardens to treat runoff from the impervious areas at the Westport Middle School. Construction on some of the BMPs began in August, with the Westport Highway Department installing the BMPs. Recently the Westport Shorelines newspaper came out and did a cover story on the project and its benefits to the Head of the Westport river. You can read the Shorelines article here.

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The project is being funded through the EPA and MA DEP through a section 319 Non-point source Pollution Grant, which Norfolk helped the Town of Westport successfully apply for.  You can read more about Norfolk's role in the project from our Project Summary on our Municipal Services Page .

If you have questions about stormwater management, low impact development, or even about grant funding for stormwater projects, please contact John B. McAllister P.E. at (508) 747-7900 extenions 117 or

Section 319 Non-point Source Pollution Grants to be released


Norfolk engineers met last week with representatives from MA DEP and the US EPA regarding the annual 319 Nonpoint source pollution grant program. Norfolk has worked on several successful grant projects in the past for Towns like Cohasset and Yarmouth, and is currently working on projects in Cohasset, Hull, Sherborn, and Westport.

The grant program aims to address non point source pollutants affecting Massachusett's bodies of water.   One of the ways Norfolk has been able to help its clients win the grants and implement them is through engineering design incorporating low impact development. Raingarden, Bioretention cell We have helped design and implement bioretention cells, also known as raingardens, grassed swales, sediments forebays, constructed wetlands, and subsurface recharge systems, all known as stormwater Best Management Practices.

 To find out more about the grant opportunities available either through the 319 program or other state and federal grants, please contact John McAllister at (508) 747-7900 extension 117.

Download our Free Grant Application Success Roadmap. 

Stormwater Project in Hull recieves praise in local newspaper


Norfolk has been working with the Town of Hull, particularly through its Department of Public Works and Conservation Commission to design and implement stormwater management improvements to improve runoff heading into Straits Pond.  Norfolk handled all of the design and permitting for the project, which is currently under construction. The project was recently written up in the Hull Times, January 26, 2012 edition.  You can read the entire article clicking following the link below:

Hull Times Article on Straits Pond

Richard@Pond Looking South resized 600For more information on Stormwater management or grant opportunities, please contact John McAllister at (508) 747-7900 extension 117.

Download our FREE Raingarden informational brochure here.

EPA’s new strategy to encourage cities to use green infrastructure


The EPA wants cities and towns to address a new strategy to improve water quality in the US by reducing stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff pollutes the nation’s lakes, rivers, streams, creeks and coastal waters, degrades the aquatic habitats and causes downstream flooding. This new strategy aims at promoting use of green infrastructure for environmental and economic benefits: green infrastructure is a cost-effective, sustainable and environmentally-friendly approach to wet weather management. Using green infrastructure can be useful to mitigate overflows from combined and separate sewers, and to reduce stormwater pollution by encouraging implementation in cities and municipal programs.

How does green infrastructure work?

  • It treats rain when it falls, captures and filters pollutants by passing stormwater through soils and retaining it on site.
  • Stormwater is reused to maintain or restore natural hydrologies.
  • It keeps polluting stormwater from entering sewer systems: by increasing the amount of pervious ground cover, green infrastructure techniques increase stormwater infiltration rates, thereby reducing the volume of runoff entering our combined or separate sewer systems, and ultimately the lakes, rivers, and streams.

Some tools used are green roofs, permeable materials, subsurface infiltration, raingardens and  rain harvesting systems for non-potable uses such as toilet flushing and landscape irrigation, porous pavement, infiltration planters, trees and tree boxes.

How does green infrastructure benefit the environment?

Green infrastructure can produce environmental, economic, and human health benefits. The benefits of green infrastructure are particularly accentuated in urban and suburban areas where green space is limited and environmental damage is more extensive. Green infrastructure benefits include:

  • A decrease in water pollution by a decrease in stormwater runoff volumes
  • It improves Human Health : an increasing number of studies suggest that vegetation and green space (two key components of green infrastructure) can have a positive impact on human health.
  • It increases economic activity by creating jobs, and neighborhood revitalization
  • It induces energy savings with reductions in heating and cooling costs. For example, green roofs reduce a building’s energy costs by 10 to 15%.
  • It preserves and restores natural landscape features (forests, wetlands)
  • It enhances groundwater recharge - The natural infiltration capabilities of green infrastructure technologies can improve the rate at which groundwater aquifers are 'recharged' or replenished. This is significant because groundwater provides about 40% of the water needed to maintain normal base flow rates in our rivers and streams. Enhanced groundwater recharge can also boost the supply of drinking water for private and public uses.
  • It reduces sewer overflow events 
  • It improves air quality - Green infrastructure facilitates the incorporation of trees and vegetation in urban landscapes, which can contribute to improved air quality
  • It creates additional wildlife habitat and recreational space - Greenways, parks, urban forests, wetlands, and vegetated swales are all forms of green infrastructure that provide increased access to recreational space and wildlife habitat.
  • It increases land value - A number of case studies suggest that green infrastructure can increase surrounding property values

EPA will develop the use of green infrastructure in ten cities in the US by collaborating actively with local governments, groups, watershed, tribes. These cities are going to be highlighted as models for other cities. Boston is one of those cities. The goal of EPA is to spread the use of green infrastructure across the US to control stormwater.

Learn about Norfolk Ram's stormwater management services here.

If you have any questions about green infrastructure, please contact John McAllister at or at (508) 747 - 7900 x 117.

Download our FREE Raingarden information.

Information in this article is taken from EPA new release April, 29 2011, by Enesta Jones and Richard Yost.

For more information about this strategy, you can also download the Strategic Agenda to protect waters and build more livable communities through green infrastructure, that EPA released in 2009 about this subject, here :


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