When precipitation from rain and snowmelt flows over lands and hard surfaces, it gathers any debris, chemical, sediment and other pollutant in its path to a final destination, being a local waterway or groundwater, thus adversely affecting the quality of water we use for drinking, food supply or recreation.
Because stormwater runoff is generated from dispersed land surfaces - pavements, yards, driveways, and roofs - efforts to control stormwater pollution must consider individual, household, and public behaviors and activities that can generate pollution from these surfaces. These common individual behaviors have the potential to generate stormwater pollution:
- disposing of trash and recyclables
- disposing of pet-waste
- applying lawn-chemicals
- washing cars
- changing motor-oil on impervious driveways
- household behaviors like disposing leftover paint and household chemicals
It takes individual behavior change and proper practices to control such pollution. Therefore it is important to make the public sufficiently aware and concerned about the significance of their behavior for storm water pollution, through information and education, that they change improper behaviors.
Phase II MS4s are required to educate their community on the pollution potential of common activities, and increase awareness of the direct links between land activities, rainfall-runoff, storm drains, and their local water resources. Most importantly the requirement is to give the public clear guidance on steps and specific actions that they can take to reduce their stormwater pollution-potential.
If you live near a storm water inlet / catch basin...
- Remember, only water goes into the inlet
- Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways, sidewalks and gutters
- Keep inlets clear of leaves, grass and other debris
- Never dump anything into storm drains or streams
- Pick up after your pet
- Compost your yard waste or take advantage of Township collections
- Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces; consider a rain garden or rain barrel to capture runoff
- Check your car for leaks and recycle your motor oil
- Call the North Londonderry if liquid is flowing in an inlet during dry weather periods
- Report any spills or suspicious dumping to your North Londonderry Township
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4 Program)
The 1972 Federal Clean Water Act was amended in 1987 to require states to start a 2-phase implementation schedule that addresses pollution prevention and water quality measures for storm water management systems. Phase I began in 1992 with large (over 250,000) and medium (100,000-250,000) MS4s, as well as industrial sites being required to obtain permit coverage. Phase II has now been initiated for small (under 100,000) MS4s.
Annual MS4 Report for North Londonderry Township
Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in urbanized areas that discharge storm water into surface waters (including intermittent streams and drainage channels) of Pennsylvania are required to have those discharges authorized by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) storm water permit. Since 2004, North Londonderry Township has had an NPDES permit to discharge storm water.
On May 12, 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. As a result, state governments of the seven Bay jurisdictions - Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia are mandated to reduce pollution loads flowing to the Bay. In Pennsylvania, urbanized area watersheds located in the Susquehanna River Basin are affected by the mandate.
Federal MS4 regulations establish six categories of minimum control measures with specific annual goals and an implementation schedule. The six categories are:
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Participation and Involvement
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Runoff Control
- Post Construction Stormwater Management
- Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operation and Maintenance
For further information on the MS4 Program, please log on to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources stormwater website.