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.

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

Thank You for Considering Climate Change

by Kristin Anderson & David White There’s quite a lot for Save the Alewife Brook to be thankful for on these last days of November in 2022. We are especially thankful that the public’s voice is being heard and that Climate Change projections will be included in the new plan to end untreated sewage pollution…

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Letter to MassDEP

On November 21, 2022, Save the Alewife Brook sent a letter to Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.  This letter is in response to the 36-month extension that MWRA, Cambridge, and Somerville have requested for completing the planning of the new Alewife Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) plan. In our 11/21/2022 letter to MassDEP, we wrote: “We…

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Join us for our Community Meeting

Please join us on Sunday, December 4th at 7 pm to discuss the new Alewife Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Plan. The second public CSO planning meeting will be December 15th and we are very excited to strategize about it with you! What would you like to see in the new Alewife sewage pollution control…

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