Passed in 1972, the Clean Water Act was a response to the nearly unchecked dumping of pollution into our waterways. The Act was expanded in 1987 to require stormwater controls at a local level. Municipalities in Pennsylvania are required to apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit which is administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Details on this program may be found on the PaDEP NPDES website.
The program is a 5-year permit and includes six minimum control measures:
- Public Outreach and Education
- Public Participation and Involvement
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
- Post-Construction Stormwater Management in New Development and Redevelopment
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations and Maintenance
Stormwater is rainfall that runs off of roofs, driveways, lawns, roads, parking lots, sidewalks, farm fields, and other surfaces created or disturbed by manmade activities. Stormwater flows over these surfaces which block natural infiltration. Development greatly increases the runoff volume created during storms which can quickly cause flooding and erosion.
Stormwater runoff enters our creeks, rivers, and oceans through storm sewers with no treatment facility buffering the impact of this water. Whatever the water picks up on its way across the impervious surfaces in the township such as sediment, fertilizers, bacteria, oil and grease, pesticides, trash, etc. goes directly into our local streams, lakes, wetlands and rivers.
- Be Storm Water Smart - An MS4 Educational Brochure (PDF)
- After the Storm - A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding Stormwater (PDF)
- Stormwater Management for Small Projects (PDF)
- Protecting Water Quality from Urban Runoff (PDF)
- Neighborhood Stormwater Facilities (PDF)
Your roof, yard, driveway, and walkway, as well as sidewalks and streets are all connected to Schuylkill Township’s stormwater management system through storm drains, swales, curbing, and drainage ditches. Most people do not understand that storm drains are the entry point into the storm sewer system, and that stormwater runoff leaving these systems does not get collected and treated like sanitary wastewater. Inlets connect to pipes which eventually discharge to swales, ditches and streams and finally to the Schuylkill River. Through storm drain marking, Schuylkill Township hopes to increase our residents’ awareness about the connection between their yards and the storm sewer system. The storm drain marker project is one of many activities aimed at preventing dirt, oil, pesticides, fertilizers, trash, pet waste, and household chemicals from entering into our waterways through the Township’s storm sewer system, such as the Pickering Reservoir, an important local drinking water resource.
What You Can Do
There are steps that everyone can take to reduce the number of pollutants - trash, debris, pet wastes, and chemicals - carried by stormwater. The most basic way to help is to never dump anything you wouldn’t drink or swim in down a storm drain. Other ways to help include picking up pet wastes, properly disposing of household chemicals such as paints and cleaning supplies, sweeping driveways and sidewalks instead of hosing them, and washing cars at car wash facilities or on lawns rather than in driveways, and keeping inlets and swales clear of debris and leaves. For more information, contact the Township offices. And the next time it rains, consider where the stormwater drains!
Email stormwater issues or concerns to the Township office or call 610-933-5843.
- Guidelines for Managing Streams in Your Community
- Homeowners Guide to Stormwater Best Management Protections Maintenance (PDF) - What you need to know to take care of your property
- Be a Clean Water Partner (PDF)
- Eco-Friendly Fertilizer for Free (PDF)
- Hazardous Waste Disposal - Chester County Solid Waste Authority
- Chester Ridley Crum Watersheds Association
- Resources for Students and Educators
- Water - Use It Wisely Kids Pagehttp://wateruseitwisely.com/kids/
- Water Cycle Glossary of Terms