STORMWATER IN NEW BRITAIN BOROUGH:
New Britain Borough began the effort in 2002 and adopted a comprehensive stormwater management plan in 2005 as the Neshaminy Creek Act 167 Stormwater Management Ordinance in order to protect water features and streams both within the Borough and downstream tributaries from excessive runoff and flooding. This requirement also provides increased water quality via promoting infiltration / recharge systems for stormwater runoff such that stream base flood elevations are increased and peak flood elevations are decreased.
The second portion of this project (phase II) incorporates the following minimum control measures (MCM’s):
- Public education and outreach.
- Construction site runoff and control
- Post construction stormwater management
- Pollution prevention / good housekeeping for municipal operations.
Water quality reduction makes surface waters unsafe for drinking, fishing, swimming and other activities. As part of the MS-4 (municipal storm systems) as authorized by the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating “point sources” that release pollutants into waters of the United States.
Point sources can be pipes or man-made ditches that carry stormwater from the street level to the nearest stream.
The program not only controls the quantity of stormwater runoff but also restricts and controls pollutants which may get to a water course / body. Pollutants are measured, via TMDL’s (total maximum daily load) and BOD levels (biochemical oxygen demand – a measurement that addresses sediment, pathogens, oils and grease). A large percentage of pollutants such as nitrates and phosphorous are contributed to the water bodies via lawn fertilization. The program is required by PADEP and in order to effectively police and protect the water courses it is necessary for public involvement.
It is the responsibility of the Borough to ensure that any water pollution entering the system is minimized to the fullest extent possible. The Borough currently screens all of the stormwater discharge points and stormwater facilities annually for potential failure and / or evidence of pollution and takes corrective action in the event a pollutant source is found.
Concentrated development increases impervious surfaces, such as streets, driveways and parking lots. These surfaces are the primary collector of pollutants until a rain washes them into nearby storm drains. Permits are required for most any construction activities that may increase site runoff or pollutant contaminants. Common pollutants include pesticides, fertilizers, oils, salt, litter, and sediment. Storm drains do not run to treatment plants. They empty directly into waterways. When left uncontrolled, these discharges can result in fish kills, destruction of wildlife habitats, and contamination of drinking water and recreational waterways. Sediment from yard debris and construction sites can cause stream bank erosion, vegetation destruction, and flooding. It is therefore extremely important for any residence, businesses, etc. to recognize water quality issues and to notify the municipality in any case of abnormal stream flow or contamination is noticed at 215-348-4586.
Please browse the following for more information on the stormwater program and things you can do to help minimize the pollution that enters our watershed:
PADEP stormwater posters: