The current permitted limit for sewage pollution in the Alewife Brook is 7.29 Million Gallons per year. In 2021, 51 Million Gallons of untreated sewage pollution were dumped in the Alewife Brook. The discharges also exceeded the limit in 2015, 2018 and 2019. The sewage pollution problem has been getting worse, not better.

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

Legislation to Reduce Alewife Sewage Pollution

Exciting news! New state legislation, HD3316, has been filed that would greatly improve water quality in the rivers and streams throughout the Boston area as shown on this map. It would limit the dumping of untreated sewage pollution and potentially leading to the building of new treatment facilities.  This legislation would bring the same level…

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A Brief Annotated Guide

to Tonight’s CSO Powerpoint Presentation Which is Meant to Make You Think that Alewife Brook Sewage Pollution is a Good Thing Annotated Slides by David Stoff Meeting materials can be downloaded from the documents tab here. By “occasionally, excess flow”, they mean 51 Million Gallons of Untreated Sewage Pollution was dumped in the Alewife Brook…

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“Typical Year” CSO Modeling Fails for Alewife Brook

Please join us 6 pm on Thursday night, 12/15/22, at the Alewife Sewage Pollution Planning Meeting #2 by registering here. At this meeting, Cambridge, Somerville, and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority will talk about the new Future “Typical Year” sewage pollution modeling which will be used for new sewer system infrastructure planning and future performance…

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