Stormwater management is controlling the surface runoff generated by precipitation through design and installation of a stormwater management facility such as storm sewer pipes and drains, infiltration systems, drainage swales, rain gardens and rain barrels to capture stormwater runoff and minimize the impacts to surrounding properties and streams. Stormwater management compensates for possible impacts from additional impervious surfaces that may result in flooding, erosion and sedimentation problems and damage to structures, roads, bridges and other infrastructure within the community. An impervious surface is a surface that prevents the infiltration of rainfall into the ground.
Stormwater management may be required if a property owner is widening a driveway or installing a new swimming pool, shed, patio or building addition. Each of these improvements may result in additional impervious surfaces which increases the amount of stormwater runoff from a property. If a property owner is unsure whether stormwater management will be required for their improvements, please contact the Township Engineer for more information.
The Clean Water Act is the federal legislation that governs stormwater management. Stormwater point discharges to waters of the U.S. are regulated using National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. The Township is required to comply with the NPDES program . Under the NPDES stormwater program, Whitpain Township must develop a stormwater management plan that provides the details of how it will comply with the requirements of the permit. Permits are based on a framework of six minimum control measures:
Whitpain Township has been marking all of the storm drains in the Township with “No Dumping – Drains to Creek” stencils. Whitpain Township with the assistance of many volunteers has marked most of the storm drains in the Township. These storm drain stencils educate the public by informing them that everything that is dumped into a storm drain will eventually end up in a creek or stream. If you would like to volunteer and help with storm drain stenciling, please contact the Township Engineer’s office.
Only Rain Goes In The Drain – Never dump anything into a storm drain, including oil, paint, soap, debris, grass clippings and leaves. Storm sewers don’t go to the sewer treatment plant but discharge directly into our creeks and streams.
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 all of the water is treated and recycled. Of you do wash your car at home, do so near a grassy area where the water can infiltrate into the ground. Never dump motor oil or antifreeze into the storm drain. Dispose of these auto fluids at a local service station or approved recycling center.
Plant Native Trees and Shrubs – The planting of native trees and shrubs are better suited for the climate and soil conditions of the area and are more resistant to insect and disease attacks. In addition, for residents with properties along stream banks, erosion can be prevented through planting vegetated strips along the stream banks. Also known as riparian buffers, these strips of tall grasses, trees and flowers act to stabilize banks, which prevents erosion along streams.
Roof Stormwater Discharges – Direct all downspouts away from pervious surfaces and on to grass or mulch areas. Rain barrels may be used to collect rainfall from the downspouts and this water may be used for irrigation.
Lawn Care – Fertilizers and pesticides should be used sparingly. When applied in excess, these chemicals are washed off by stormwater runoff and may enter the local storm sewer system. Do not sweep yard waste and leaves into the street or storm drains.
Pet Care – Pet waste can be a major source of excess nutrients and bacteria in our streams. Pet waste should not be dumped in storm drains. Always properly dispose of pet waste.
Want to learn more? Below we have more detailed stormwater management information for homeowners, business owners and contractors.
We need the public's help to keep our storm sewer system and watersheds clear of pollution. Please keep an eye out for the following:
What You Can Help Watch For
We need the public's help to keep our storm sewer system and watersheds clear of pollution.
Please keep an eye out for the following:
If you witness any of these events, please contact the Township Engineer’s office immediately at (610) 277-2400.