Informational Alert | Coronavirus Updates
NOTICE: DPW offices at 147 Hampshire St. are open to the public, by appointment only, Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Appointments can be made by phone at 617-349-4800 or by email at theworks@cambridgema.gov. Individual staff are also available for appointments outside of these hours as needed; please contact the office with the details of your issue, and we will coordinate with the appropriate staff member. Many DPW services can be provided online, and DPW phones are staffed 24/7 to respond to urgent concerns.

Businesses

Businesses, institutions, churches and hospitals all play a roll in keeping waterways clean. Below are tips to prevent stormwater pollution from parking lots, grounds and operations. 

Snow and Ice Removal

When businesses, churches, and hospitals use road salt and other de-icers, melting snow carries those chemicals into waterways. These chemicals should be used carefully and applied them sparingly. When purchasing, read the labels on de-icing products and choose those that are not toxic to animals and plants. 

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has some guidelines on where and how to store road salt to protect our waterways.

Waste and Material Storage

Rainwater that falls in dumpsters or onto raw materials can wash into storm drains, untreated. Dumpsters should be regularly inspected and any chemicals should be stored with a tight fitting lid. For more tips, please click here

Is your dumpster or compactor creating stormwater pollution? Check out this Dumpster Maintenance Brochure for tips on doing your part to keep waterways clean. 

Parking Lots

Permeable paving can be used for parking lots allowing the rain and melting snow to soak in rather than run off. Parking lots should be designed to drain into catch basins, filter strips, and stormwater ponds rather than directly into the storm sewer system. For more information, please click here. 

Be a Leaf Hero! Keep fallen leaves out of the streets. Do not blow or rake leaves into the street. These leach nutrients into the stormwater runoff, contributing to stormwater pollution. Instead, mulch or bag yard waste collection. 

Sink and Drain Maintenance

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) aren't just bad for your arteries and your waistline; they're bad for sewers! Sewer overflows and backups can cause health hazards, damage business interiors, and threaten the environment. Common causes for sewer backups are pipes blocked by grease that has been poured down drains.

Sewer clogs result in:
  • Sewage backups into homes, streets, and waterways, polluting the environment.
  • Potential contact with disease-causing organisms.
  • Expensive cleanup, repair costs, and inconvenience.
  • Higher operating costs for the Department of Public Works, resulting in increases to sewer bills for customers.
  • Foul and unpleasant odors.
DO'S
DO pour cooled oil or grease into a container; then seal and discard with your regular trash or recycle it.
DO wipe off oil and grease from pots, pans, dishes, and cooking surfaces.
DO put baskets/strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps; then empty contents into the trash or compost.
DO scrape food scraps into the trash or compost.

DON'TS

DON'T pour oil or grease down sink drains or into toilets.
DON'T wash fryers, pots, pans, and plates with water until oil and grease are removed.
DON'T dispose of food scraps down sink drains.



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