As awareness increases around the delicate nature of our environment, it becomes increasingly important for every person to do their part to contribute to the health of our ecosystem. An important environmental component is stormwater management. Next to Alaska, Pennsylvania has the most miles of streams and rivers in the country. Effective stormwater management provides environmental, social, and economic benefits to local communities. When stormwater management is done well, streams, rivers, and lakes are cleaner; flood risks are reduced; costs due to flood damage decrease; and community quality of life increases.
Things you can do
- Disconnect roof drains to allow overland flow across the yard.
- Install a rain barrel on roof drains to collect and reuse water for plants and recreation.
- Wash your car on the lawn rather than the driveway. Use environmentally friendly soap.
- Reduce amount of fertilizer or pesticide applied to the lawn.
- Sweep or blow fertilizers and grass clippings off paved surfaces.
- Properly dispose of pet waste.
- Ensure the septic system is maintained and function properly.
- Never dump anything into a storm drain or street gutter.
Additional information regarding our all elements of our environment can be found at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection website.
- Construction Site Runoff Facts (PDF)
Polluted urban runoff can be a major source of water quality problems in receiving waters. Road deicing activities, automobiles, atmospheric deposition, chemicals used in homes and offices, erosion from construction sites, discharges from industrial plants, wastes from pets, wastes from processing and salvage facilities, and chemical spills can all contaminate storm water runoff.
- Coverings (PDF)
Covering is the partial or total enclosure of raw materials, byproducts, finished products, containers, equipment, process operations, and material storage areas that, when exposed to rain and/or runoff, could contaminate storm water.
- Does Your Site Need a Permit? (PDF)
A Construction Site Operator’s Guide to EPA’s Storm water Permit Program
- Dust Control (PDF)
Dust controls reduce the surface and air transport of dust, thereby preventing pollutants from infiltrating into storm water.
- Employee Training (PDF)
In-house employee training programs are established to teach employees about storm water management, potential sources of contaminants, and Best Management Practices (BMPs).
- Handling and Disposal of Residuals (PDF)
- Preventative Maintenance (PDF)
Preventive maintenance involves the regular inspection, testing, and replacement or repair of equipment and operational systems. As a storm water best management practice (BMP), preventive maintenance should be used to monitor systems built to control storm water.
- Sample Construction Stormwater Plan (PDF)
- Spill Prevention Planning (PDF)
Spill prevention is prudent both economically and environmentally, because spills increase operating costs and lower productivity. An important tool in preventing spills is a Spill Prevention Plan.
- After the Storm: A Guide for Citizens (PDF)
- Creek Friendly Yard Care (PDF)
During winter, there are still some things that can be done to your yard which will help reduce the need for pesticides next growing season.
- Don’t Top Off at the Pump! (PDF)
Did you know that “topping off” gas tank after the nozzle clicks can cost money and cause pollution to our streams?
- Fertilizer and You (PDF)
You fertilize the lawn. Then it rains. The rain washes the fertilizer along the curb, into the storm drain, and into the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers. This causes algae to grow, which uses up oxygen that fish need to survive. So if you fertilize, please follow directions and use sparingly.
- How Does Your Garden Grow? (PDF)
Gardens can make a big difference. Here is a reference guide for rain gardens.
- How Much Water Can a Tree Retain? (PDF)
One mature tree reduces Storm Water runoff by over 1,000 gallons per year.
- How You Wash Your Car Matters (PDF)
When you wash your car, all the soap, scum and oily grit runs along the curb and into storm drains and the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers. This causes pollution which is unhealthy for people and fish.
- Leaking Oil Hurts Too (PDF)
Leaking oil goes from your car onto the street. Rain washes oil into storm drains and into the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers. Now, imagine the number of cars in our region and you can imagine the amount of oil that finds its way into our local waterways.
- Pet Waste (PDF)
When your pets leave those little surprises, rain washes all that pet waste and bacteria into our storm drains. This pollutes our waterways.
- Principals and Suggestions (PDF)
Rainfall happens and with it the inevitable runoff and resulting impacts. What we as a society do to address the influences we have on our environment will have far reaching implications on the health, safety and welfare of future generations as well as on us here and now.
- Septic Systems Tips (PDF)
One source of bacterial pollution to our local creeks appears to be pollutants leaking from septic fields.
- Take the Stormwater Runoff Challenge! (PDF)
- Urban Facts (PDF)
The most recent National Water Quality Inventory reports that runoff from urbanized areas is the leading source of water quality impairments to surveyed estuaries and the third-largest source of impairments to surveyed lakes.
- We All Live Downstream (PDF)
In natural areas, storm water is not a problem. Nature has managed storm water through the Hydrologic Cycle. Storm water has been recycled since the dawn of time. In developed areas, both urbanization and agriculture have altered the Hydrologic Cycle and the natural management of storm water People have tried to control storm water runoff, but in many cases have created greater problems, increasing flooding, erosion and pollution.