What is StormWater Management?
Stormwater is rainwater and melted snow that runs off streets, lawns, farms, and construction and industrial sites. Under natural conditions, stormwater is absorbed into the ground, where it is filtered and ultimately replenishes aquifers or slowly flows through forests and meadows into streams and rivers.
In developed areas, however, impervious surfaces such as pavement and building roofs prevent precipitation from naturally soaking into the ground. Instead, the water runs rapidly into storm drains, sewer systems, and drainage ditches. The resulting rush of stormwater discharge can cause infrastructure damage, downstream flooding, and stream bank erosion. In addition, the bacteria and other pollutants not filtered from stormwater can contaminate streams, rivers, and coastal waters.
Stormwater management addresses these concerns through a variety of techniques, including strategic site design, measures to control the sources of runoff, and thoughtful landscape planning.
Ordinance No. 2013-03
The MS4 Program
The following are the various mandated requirements of the MS4:
1. Public Education and Outreach
Distributing educational materials and performing outreach to inform citizens about the impacts polluted storm water runoff discharges can have on water quality.
2. Public Participation/Involvement
Providing opportunities for citizens to participate in program development and implementation, including effectively publicizing public hearings and/or encouraging citizen representatives on a storm water management panel.
3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Developing and implementing a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the storm sewer system (includes developing a system map and informing the community about hazards associated with illegal discharges and improper disposal of waste).
4. Construction Site Runoff Control
Developing, implementing, and enforcing an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities that disturb 1 or more acres of land (controls could include silt fences and temporary storm water detention ponds).
5. Post-Construction Runoff Control
Developing, implementing, and enforcing a program to address discharges of post-construction storm water runoff from new development and redevelopment areas. Applicable controls could include preventative actions such as protecting sensitive areas (e.g., wetlands) or the use of structural BMPs such as grassed swales or porous pavement.
6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
Developing and implementing a program with the goal of preventing or reducing pollutant runoff from municipal operations. The program must include municipal staff training on pollution prevention measures and techniques (e.g., regular street sweeping, reduction in the use of pesticides or street salt, or frequent catch-basin cleaning). or its chosen BMPs and measurable goals for each minimum control measure. To help permittees identify the most appropriate BMPs for their programs, EPA will issue a“menu,” of BMPs to serve as guidelines.. NPDES permitting authorities can modify the EPA menu or develop their own list.
Ten Things You Can Do to Prevent Stormwater Runoff Pollution
- Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways, sidewalks, and gutters
- Never dump anything down storm drains or in streams
- Vegetate bare spots in your yard
- Compost your yard waste
- Use least toxic pesticides, follow labels, and learn how to prevent pest problems
- Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces; consider a rain garden to capture runoff
- Take your car to the car wash instead of washing it in the driveway
- Check your car for leaks and recycle your motor oil
- Pick up after your pet
- Have your septic tank pumped and system inspected regularly
Update from Chester County Water Resources Authority
New CCWRA Online Water Maps Now Available
CCWRA has three new online map products now available to assist residents, municipalities, businesses, organizations and visitors to learn about water resources in Chester County. The following products are available at http://www.chesco.org/water/onlinemaps
1) Tabbed Viewer interactive map,
2) Single Frame Viewer interactive map, and
3) PDF map series of the 2014 PADEP Integrated List that presents impaired waters by cause.
The interactive maps:
• Use a web browser, with no special software or plugins required.
• You can search by address.
• When you select a stream, floodplain or soil unit a popup box will display key information about that feature.
• Some layers are set to only display when you are zoomed in close to an area.
1) Water Resources of Chester County – Tabbed Viewer
This Tabbed Viewer presents water resources information for Chester County through synchronized tabs that display one element at a time.
The Tabbed Viewer includes:
• 2014 PADEP impaired waters,
• Designated stream uses,
• FEMA floodplains, and
• USDA soil units.
2) Water Resources of Chester County – Single Frame Viewer
This Single Frame Viewer presents the same water resources information as the Tabbed Viewer, however you can select which features are displayed together on one map view.
The Single Frame Viewer starts with the Impaired Waters layer turned on. You can add additional layers by selecting the middle icon, Show Contents of Map, in the left panel.
3) PDF Map Series
This updated series of 13 downloadable maps presents the 2014 PADEP impaired waters by “cause”.
Questions or technical issues?
Please contact Craig Thomas at 610-344-5400 or via email.
For more information on Chester County’s water resources, please contact us at
Information and How YOU Can Help
Volunteer Initiatives/Student Community Service Hour Opportunities
1. Participate in a stream or creek cleanup with in the Township.
2. Plant trees along a stream or creek.
3. Stencil storm drains with warnings about dumping.
4. Organize a neighborhood pollution watch
5. Join our township stream watch program. .
* If you are interested in any of these initiatives please contact Karen Busby by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources for Volunteer Projects
More clean water resources
Water Quality Hotlines for Citizens
Citizens can help report violations or problems they notice in their local streams before they cause more damage and pollution. Residents sometimes may be the first to recognize “illicit” discharges dumping into storm sewers or coming out of from storm sewer outfalls.
New stormwater regulations from Pennsylvania’s DEP require that your municipality investigate more thoroughly potential illicit discharges (pollutants) into our streams. You can help by promptly reporting the following events to the authorities listed in the hotline box below. The township’s web site also contains a form for reporting these conditions (put link here). Here are some of the conditions that you should report:
- Sediment leaving a construction site in stormwater (your county conservation district)
- Observed pollution event or pollutants in stream (DEP)
- Clogged or leaking sewer lines (your sewer authority)
- Failing or overflowing sewer effluent from treatment plant (your sewer plant and DEP)
- Spills (DEP spills hotline)
- Illegal dumping activity into water courses (your municipality, DEP)
- Dry weather flows from outfall pipes into streams (72 hours after a rain storm)( your municipality)
- Fish Kills (Fish Commission, DEP)
- Water main breaks (Aqua PA or Chester Water Authority).
- Photos and exact locations are very helpful!
|Helpful Phone Numbers|
|DEP Water Quality Hotline||484-250-5900|
|DEP 24 Hour Water Quality Hotline||484-250-5900||Anytime, including evenings and weekends|
|DEP Spills and other Emergencies Hotline||1-800-541-2050||24 hour|
|Off site discharge of sediment , erosion, & other improper controls during construction||County Conservation Districts
|Email photo and send full address and directions|
|Clogged or leaking sanitary sewers lines; sewage smell in creek||877-987-2782 AQUA||After hours, call 911|
|Fish Kills, Illegal Fishing PA Fish Commission||717-626-0228||Also call DEP Water Quality|
|Dry weather outfall flows (discharges to stream from outfall pipes after 72 hours of no rain)||877-987-2782 AQUA||Weekdays during working hours|
|Broken water mains – Chester Water Authority||610-876-8181||24 hour|
|Broken water mains – Aqua Pennsylvania||610-525-1402||24 hour|
Interested in learning more about our Penn Township environment? Try this:
MY ENVIRONMENT — an EPA Resource for Penn Township residents