Due to requirements in the Federal Clean Water Act and the Act 167 Stormwater Management Program, owners of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) need to develop a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program. Part of this is to educate the borough residents as to what stormwater pollution is, and what we can do to prevent it.
A stormsewer system collects and carries rain and snow water off of impermeable surfaces, such as roads and parking lots. In some cases, the system can even carry spring water. The stormsewer system is composed of catch basins, pipes, swales, and assorted types of inlets and outlets. This water ends up in our streams, rivers and lakes, which are all part of our drinking water supply.
Some pollutants commonly found in stormsewers are:
- Trash or litter
- Leaked automotive fluids (oils, antifreeze, etc.)
- Leaves and other yard waste
- Animal waste
- Pesticides and other chemicals from lawns and farms
Trash, leaves, and sediments clog up stormsewer pipes ultimately causing floods in areas, and eventually litter our waterways. Automotive fluids, animal waste, and chemicals pollute water which can cause damage or death to watershed animals and plants.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
- Do not throw trash, grass clippings, leaves or other debris in the catch basins
- Maintain your vehicles to prevent fluid leaks
- Follow instructions on pesticide and chemical use, and think of where it may end up once you use it
- Contact the Borough when you see clogged stormsewers, or flow in dry conditions.
As a part of the Federal requirements, Borough employees will do yearly inspections of the stormwater outfalls throughout the Borough. You may see these workers taking notes at catch basins, in drainage easements, and along streams near your home.
You can do your part by trying to keep drainage easements and outfall areas from having obstructions and by contacting the Borough if you see polluted flow in the storm systems.
STORMWATER INLET MARKING
As you may notice around the Borough, we have marked stormsewer catch basins with paint or stickers stating “No dumping, drains to creek”. This is part of an EPA mandate to help protect our waterways and to educate residents of the importance of our stormwater systems. Please leave the markings as they are and remember the importance of keeping our waterways clean!
Please visit the following links for more information on stormwater:
- “When It Rains It Drains”
- Educational Video from DEP on Stormwater
- Home Owners Guide to Stormwater BMP Maintenance
- Berks County MS4 Cooperative Education Program
- Berks County Planning Commission Stormwater Website
- Berks County Conservation District MS4 Website
- Department of Environmental Protection Stormwater Management
- Environmental Protection Agency Nonpoint Source Program Page
- Environmental Protection Agency NPDES Stormwater Program
- Berks County MS4 Steering Committee YouTube Page
- Water Cycle Glossary of Terms