New PA DEP MS-4 Regulations
This year the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection is implementing new regulations which will make the Borough responsible for sediment, in addition to Nitrogen and Phosphorous monitoring.
Borough residents can make a difference in stormwater quality by limiting fertilizer use, keeping disturbed areas protected from running off of your property and by not letting yard litter and waste (including grass clippings) get to the street, collection system and streams.
Residents are asked to limit use of herbicides and fertilizers, dispose of hazardous materials such as oil, paint, medications, detergents, etc. to hazardous waste drop-offs – never flush or dump. It is also important to maintain your vehicles by checking and repairing oil and antifreeze leaks and washing your vehicles in the yard, instead of the driveway which will filter detergents and prevent stream pollution.
Runoff quality can be increased by installing rain barrels, creating rain gardens, connecting roof drains to stone pits – these are all methods of providing ground water infiltration.
Please refer to the following documents for more details:
- MS4 Outline
- New Britain Borough Outlets & Discharge Points
- Total Maximum Daily Load Report
- Pollution Reduction Plan Report
Stormwater in New Britain
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:
- DEP Brochure: When it rains it drains stormwater
- Stormwater BMPs
- Stormwater outreach materials and reference documents
- EPA’s stormwater phase II fact sheet
- EPA’s nonpoint source toolbox
- PADEP’s Stormwater Management Website
- PADEP Southeast regional website
- Bucks County Conservation District
- MS4 Outreach-Education Presentation