What is Stormwater?
When it rains or snows, the water soaks into the ground, evaporates back into the atmosphere or runs off over roofs, across lawns and down driveways, sidewalks and roads before entering the stormwater drains. The water entering those drains, also known as stormwater, goes directly to our water supply, along with all the dirt, debris, and chemicals it picked up along the way. In East Rockhill, that water could contaminate Three Mile Run, Lake Nockamixon, and East Branch Perkiomen Creek.
Residents are required to submit a Stormwater Management Plan for installation of impervious cumulative coverage since September 2002 of 1,000 square feet or more.
East Rockhill Township is required to obtain a permit under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) in order to operate the municipal storm sewer system. The permit, called a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, requires the Township to take certain steps to ensure that stormwater in the Township is properly managed and controlled. It also requires that the Township continue public education and outreach activities; notify and solicit public input/involvement regarding management of the system, monitor, test and eliminate illicit discharges from outfalls in the system; control construction site stormwater runoff through enforcement of ordinances; ensure that all post-construction stormwater improvements in new or re-developed areas are built as designed and are operated and maintained properly and implement a pollution prevention program for municipal operations.
Citizens Complaint for Illicit Discharge
Residents may be the first to recognize "illicit" discharges dumping into storm sewers or coming out of storm sewer outfalls. If you see an "illicit" discharge please report that to the Township by completing a “Citizen’s Complaint -Illicit Discharge Reporting Form” and email it to Manager@EastRockhillTownship.org.
What you can do to Help
Only Rain in the Drain – Never dump anything into a storm drain, including oil, paint, soap, debris, and leaves. Storm sewers don't go to the sewer plant but discharge directly into streams. You might be pouring oil into your own drinking water!
Auto Care – Washing your car at home on the driveway or street can send detergents and other contaminants through the storm sewer system. It is best to wash your car at a commercial car wash where the wastewater is treated and recycled. If you do wash your car at home, do so near a grassy area where the water can infiltrate into the ground. And never dump motor oil or antifreeze into the storm drain. Dispose of these at a local service station or approved recycling center.
Plant Native Trees and Shrubs – Erosion of streambanks can be prevented through the use of vegetated strips along the banks. Also known as riparian buffers, these strips of tall grasses, tress and flowers act to stabilize banks, which prevents erosion and additional sediment load in the stream.
Residential Landscaping –
- Downspouts: Direct all downspouts away from previous surfaces and onto lawns. Rain barrels can be used to collect water from downspouts, making it available for watering.
- Lawn Care: Fertilizers and pesticides should be used sparingly. When applied in excess, these chemicals are washed off by rainwater and enter the local storm sewer system. Do not sweep yard waste and leaves into the street. These add extra nutrients to streams.
- Rain Gardens: A specially designed rain garden can be planted with native vegetation that will provide an area for rainwater to collect and soak into the ground. Stormwater from rooftop drains and pavement areas can be directed to these vegetated areas.
Pick Up After Your Dog – Pet waste can be a major source of excess nutrients and bacteria to our streams. Always properly dispose of pet waste.
- East Rockhill Stormwater Ordinance
- Homeowners Guide to Stormwater
- Glossary of Water Cycle Terms
- Bucks County Conservation District
- Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Center for Watershed Protection
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
- EPA Water Homepage
- EPA Stormwater (MS4)
- EPA Polluted Runoff: Nonpoint Source Pollution
More About Stormwater
- A Citizens Guide To Understanding Stormwater
- Native Plants Why They Are Important
- Protecting Water Quality From Urban Runoff
- Rain Drain Brochure
- Rutgers University Dentention Basin Retrofits And Maintenance
- Stormwater And Runoff Primer
- Stormwater And The Construction Industry
- Stormwater Management An Overview For Auto Recyclers
- The Solution To Stormwater Pollution
- Water Conservation Tips
- Water Efficient Landscaping