SAVE THE ALEWIFE BROOK

Important Sewage Pollution Planning Meeting
Wednesday June 29th at 6 PM

On Wednesday, June 29th, at 6 PM, Cambridge, Somerville and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority are holding their first virtual public meeting to start planning to reduce sewage pollution in our rivers and streams.

The legal limit for sewage pollution in the Alewife Brook is 7.29 Million Gallons per year. In 2021, 51 Million Gallons of untreated sewage pollution was dumped in the Alewife Brook. The sewage pollution problem has been getting worse, not better.

Actual CSO Discharge volume in the Alewife Brook has been increasing exponentially since 2015 when work on Alewife CSOs ended
(N.B. 2017 & 2020 were drought years).

Say No to Sewage Pollution!


Save the Alewife Brook is a growing grassroots environmental group with supporters in Cambridge, Arlington, Somerville, Belmont, and Medford. We are working to address flooding and water quality problems in the Alewife Brook.

We are especially concerned with the Combined Sewer Outfalls, which discharge sewage water into the Alewife Brook during many storm events. During major flood events, sewage contaminated water from the Alewife Brook flows into the homes, yards, and parks of the area’s most diverse and vulnerable neighborhoods, which are considered Environmental Justice Populations. To make matters worse, the Alewife can reverse direction during some flood events, sending that contaminated floodwater back to North Cambridge and Belmont, towards their most diverse and vulnerable neighborhoods.

A review of FEMA flood maps reveals there are an estimated 1200 East Arlington residents, 3500 Cantabrigians, and 300 Belmont residents living in the Little River – Alewife 100-year flood plain. Climate Change threatens to exacerbate the problem, with wetter rain seasons, more frequent and more severe storms, and sea level rise.

Climate Change makes the sewage discharge problem exponentially worse.

The hope for the communities around the Alewife is improvement of brook water quality and adaptation to the effects of climate change through regional resiliency strategies.

Illustration of Combined Sewer System with Combined Sewer Outfall (CSO) that discharges untreated sewage in the Alewife Brook.



Environmental Health is Community Health

Why is the MWRA hiding sewage pollution?

The Boston Harbor Clean-Up worked wonders in the Boston Harbor and in the Charles River, but Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s claim that they have achieved an 85% reduction of combined sewer overflows to the Alewife Brook is not consistent with their own data about the vast quantities of sewage actually discharged into our little brook…

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Public CSO Meeting Strategy

We need a strong show of support on Wednesday night. The MWRA must make major upgrades to their regional sewer system. Their sewer system reaches capacity during many storm events. This is when sewage pollution is dumped into our rivers and streams. The MWRA will not fix the problem if they think no one cares.…

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Now is Your Time to Make a Difference

Public Meeting on Combined Sewer Overflows Wednesday June 29th at 6 PM We need you now! On Wednesday, June 29th, at 6 PM, Cambridge, Somerville and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) are holding their first public meeting via Zoom to discuss Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). The legal limit for sewage discharge in the Alewife…

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