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The Massachusetts Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Manual was created and designed for use by municipal officials and residents in Massachusetts to promote understanding and implementation of the many different options for prevention and control of nonpoint source pollution.
To open the Manual, click here
To use the Selector Tool to search for Best Management Practices (BMPs), click here
For Directions on using the manual, click here or scroll down.



For questions or comments, or to obtain a CD-ROM version of the Manual, contact Jane Peirce at:

(508) 767-2792


How to Use this Manual

Use as an interactive document via the Web or CD-ROM

This manual is organized into thirteen chapters. You can open each chapter by clicking on the links provided in the Table of Contents. Within each chapter you will find a brief introduction and discussion of:

1.  A land use activity;
2.  The nonpoint source pollutants associated with this activity; and,
3.  BMPs to reduce NPS pollution from each activity.

  Getting Around
  ? How do I get back to a previously viewed page?

1.  Web Version: Click the back arrow in the upper left-hand corner of your screen.  If the page you are viewing does not have a back arrow, click the box in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.

2.  CD-ROM Version: Click the lower box in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.  If you click the upper box, you will close out of the entire Manual

At the end of each chapter, fact sheets for Best Management Practices (BMPs) are provided. We hope that the fact sheets will provide easy-to-use references for reviewing projects and plans or conducting an assessment of your own activities either at the municipal level or at your home.

To access the Web version of this manual click here

To obtain a CD-ROM version of this Manual, please contact Jane Peirce
(MA-DEP, 319 Program Coordinator) at or (508) 767-2792.
The CD-ROM and Web versions of this manual include all chapters and fact sheets as well as many background documents that serve as reference and resource material. These versions include hot links to other web sites of interest and the BMP Selector Tool described below. Please note that using the Web version of the manual will require downloading fact sheets and reference documents from the internet. Because the CD-ROM version includes these documents, it provides a faster way to use the interactive manual (how much faster depends on the type of internet connection you are using).

In all formats, this manual has several unique features:
  • BMP Selector tool: If you are unsure which activities or BMPs apply to your specific situation, try using the BMP Selector Tool (Web Version). This system will provide a listing of BMPs that should solve your problem as well as the detailed fact sheets that provide more information.
  • Fact sheets: Each chapter introduction includes a brief description of each BMP. Linked to that description is an in-depth fact sheet that will describe the BMP, its proper application, other pertinent facts, and additional resources or references.
  • Links to reference documents: Web and CD versions include hot links to web sites and/or reference documents included on the CD, so that the entire reference is available to you with one click of the mouse.

For a detailed discussion of Massachusetts regulations related to NPS pollution, please read Chapter 2. This Chapter provides all of the information you may need on regulatory authorities and other approaches to control NPS pollution.

Chapter 3 describes in greater detail how this manual is organized and how it can be used as a tool to both (1) select BMPs for NPS pollution control and (2) incorporate these practices into local regulations, programs and everyday municipal activities.

Example NPS Situation and How to Use the Manual:

A conservation commission in a Massachusetts community is approached by a lake association that wants to conduct a winter lake level drawdown to control nuisance aquatic plants. The Commission wants to know if this is an appropriate treatment, what conditions they should impose, and what to expect for long-term impacts. Where do they start?

Step 1:

Open Chapter 7 (Lake & Pond Management) to read about lake issues in Massachusetts.

Step 2:

Follow the Chapter 7 link to the Lake Level Drawdown Fact Sheet and review it.

Step 3:

Both Chapter 7 and the Lake Level Drawdown Fact Sheet provide the link to the Massachusetts GEIR on Eutrophication and Plant Management in Massachusetts. They should review the section on lake drawdown for a detailed and in-depth discussion of technical and regulatory and cost considerations for drawdown.

Step 4:

The Lake Level Drawdown Fact Sheet also provides a link to the DEP Guidance for Aquatic Plant Management in Lakes and Ponds as it Relates to the Wetlands Protection Act.

Step 5:

Incorporate the suggestions from the Fact Sheet, the GEIR, and the DEP Guidance into conditions for approval of the activity.

Step 6:

If more information is required to effectively control the lake drawdown and minimize impacts, contact the agencies listed in Chapter 7 for technical assistance.