Sawmill Brook Watershed Projects

Sawmill Brook Culvert Tide Gate Removal and Stream Restoration Feasibility Study now complete!

Funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust

The Sawmill Brook Feasibility studies funded by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust have been finalized. The purpose of these studies was to determine whether the tide gate at Central Street could be safely removed without negative impacts to upstream properties. The study contains detailed surveys and calculations required to make this determination. In addition, it includes sediment quantification and characterization to inform the restoration effort for the lower reaches of the stream between Central Street and Norwood Avenue.

The resulting studies (completed at the end of June 2018) will allow the Town to begin the next steps to create designs for Central Pond in conjunction with the bridge (culvert) project on Central Street. This will move the Town closer to its goal of remediating future flooding in the lower reaches of Sawmill Brook and restore this area for Rainbow smelt spawning habitat and to benefit other wildlife species.

Read the documents here:

The funding that MET provides through their grant program is generated entirely through the sales of the state’s three environmental license plates. These are the only specialty plates that exclusively fund environmental initiatives.

The Town of Manchester is grateful to MET for supporting this project. Please consider purchasing one of their environment plates to support these grants which will provide $506,344 worth of funding this year to 15 communities, state-wide.  Click here for more information.

Learn More About MET

MET Environmental Plates

Culvert Analysis, Green Infrastructure Study and Impacts of Climate Change


Funded by a grant from Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management


Manchester experiences frequent flooding and water quality impairment in the Sawmill Brook Watershed (PDF). Both issues are exacerbated due to a combination of hydraulic restrictions from culverts and the Center Street tidal dam, stormwater runoff from developed areas, a highly channelized stream system and poor infiltration conditions. Flooding and water quality problems will be magnified in coming years due to climate changes and expansion of impervious areas from future development.
Rainbow Smelt
This project will evaluate the required capacity of existing culverts and
bridges under different climate change and land use scenarios including implementing
”green” stormwater improvements and alternative flood storage solutions at key locations
in the watershed. Once complete, this project will support science-based informed decision
making relative to future infrastructure investments.

This project compliments the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Plan Enhancement Project (funded
by FEMA and administered by MEMA). The project will incorporate potential impacts of climate
change on critical sectors in town into the hazard mitigation plan.
Learn more at: FEMA Hazard Mitigation Plan Enhancement.

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