Why is stormwater management important?
Unlike water that enters your municipal sewage system, stormwater is NOT cleaned and treated at a wastewater plant before it re-enters our streams and waterways. Stormwater runoff from roads and other impervious areas comes into contact with pollutants and allows those pollutants into our waters. It is essential that municipalities put in place a focused Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) to combat polluted stormwater runoff.
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West Goshen’s Responsibility
The stormwater requirements of the federal Clean Water Act and the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) are administered under the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and implemented by DEP through the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) Program. Almost all municipalities in Pennsylvania must have an MS4 permit. West Goshen Township must comply with its MS4 permit through a robust stormwater management program.
Minimum Control Measures and Best Management Practices
In order to improve stream and waterway quality, federal regulations establishes Minimum Control Measures (MCMs) that must be implemented through the MS4 program.
The six regulations are:
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Participation and Involvement
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Runoff Control
- Post-Construction Stormwater Management in New Development and Redevelopment
- Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations and Maintenance
Municipalities meet these MCM requirements through a series of Best Management Practices (BMPs) which are schedules of activities, prohibition of practices, structural controls, design criteria, maintenance procedures, and other management practices that reduce pollution to the waters of the Commonwealth.
MS4 TMDL Plan
The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive in order to meet water quality standards. Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires that states develop impaired waters lists for rivers, lakes, coastal waters, and estuaries that do not meet water quality standards. If a municipality has an MS4 that discharges into an impaired waterbody with a TMDL, it is required to have a TMDL control plan in order to control pollutants and to ensure incremental progress is made. West Goshen, along with many other municipalities in Southeastern PA, is required to have such a plan.
You Can Help!
Municipalities cannot do this alone. Public participation is vital to our clean stream program. Here are some ways that you can make a difference:
- Organize a stream cleanup event
- Form a stormwater pollution watch
- Mark storm drains with warnings about dumping (Call township building to get a marker)
- “Adopt-an-Inlet” if a stormwater inlet exists near or on your property. Ensure that the inlet is clear and unobstructed
- Have a wetland planting event
- Remove impervious surface from your property and replace with green space
- Practice good household habits (pick up pet waste, properly dispose of grass clipping, use commercial carwash, etc.).