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West Tisbury Stormwater Infrastructure Planning

SNEP Network member Jamie Houle from the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center is working with the Town of Tisbury, MA to evaluate wastewater infrastructure and develop a construction and maintenance plan for the this community on Martha’s Vineyard. The Storwmater Center is working with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the US EPA to identify specific locations in Tisbury where steep slopes and impervious surface create regular flooding and erosion that causes ongoing maintenance costs during storm events, hazards for residents and environmental degradation.

A primary concern during storm events is the clogging of drainage pipes with sand, which causes flooding to roads and other infrastructure. The team is looking at various innovative methods to reduce the amount of sand that clogs pipes, including an oil and floating debris trap, leaching catch basins versus traditional closed versions, and subsurface gravel filters to more effectively reduce flooding.

The project is aiming to provide innovative technologies for improved stormwater management in Tisbury—meaning less flooding and beach erosion—as a proving ground for other communities on Martha’s Vineyard. Upon completion of a new wastewater interventions aimed at resolving specific stormwater problems in Tisbury, it is more likely other communities can see the installations and recognize the benefits of investing in innovative solutions. These efforts also provide technology transfer opportunity for other communities in the SNEP region facing similar stormwater challenges.