STORM WATER MANAGEMENT
MS4 Storm Water Management Program
Phase II NPDES Storm Water Regulations,
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System
Under the 1987 Clean Water Act Amendments, the U.S. EPA developed new storm water regulations to address storm water that might impact water quality. These new regulations are set up in two phases depending upon population, Phase I, which is already instituted, affected Allentown and Philadelphia and now U.S. EPA, through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), is enforcing the Phase II portion of the regulation. There are about 1,000 municipalities in Pennsylvania that fall under the Phase II requirements. Those municipalities that are located within an “urbanized area” as defined by the 1990 Census and the 2000 Census were required to apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to discharge storm water from their municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). Because Royersford Borough lies within the urbanized area of Philadelphia, the Borough is affected.
To meet the new requirements the Borough submitted a permit application to DEP in 2003. The permit period runs for five (5) years. The permit application is basically an action plan for the Borough to institute six requirements called minimum control measures (mcm): 1. Public Education, 2. Public Participation, 3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination, 4. Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control, 5. Post-Construction Storm Water Management in New Development and Redevelopment, and 6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations Maintenance. The Borough will have five years to put these protocols into effect, however certain protocols must be completed earlier than others.
There are a number of MS4 materials that are found on the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection website at www.dep.state.pa.us and on EPA website at http://www.epa.gov to increase your knowledge of storm water issues.
Want to help prevent storm water pollution? Here are a few tips:
- Properly dispose of hazardous substances, never pour them down any part of the storm sewer system.
- Report discharges from storm water outfalls during dry weather; a sign that there could be a problem.
- Look for signs of pollutants leaving construction sites in storm water. Report poorly managed construction sites.
- Store materials that could pollute storm water indoors.
- For outdoor storage, use containers that do not rust.
- Pick up after pets and properly dispose of their waste.
- Install rain barrels or rain gardens to capture storm water.
- Use pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides properly and efficiently to prevent excess runoff.
What Is An Illicit Discharge?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines an illicit discharge as, “any discharge into a storm drain system that is not composed entirely of storm water.” This means that anything other than simply the water that falls from the sky is an illicit discharge. There are many hazardous household products, yard care products, fertilizers, dog waste, car soaps and automotive fluids that turn what should only be storm water into an illicit discharge that pollutes and degrades local water quality.
Clean Storm Water Only
Storm water occurs when precipitation from rain or snow-melt flows over the ground and into the municipal storm sewer system. The flow then enters our local water bodies without being treated.
To help keep our local water bodies clear and clean you can do your part by helping the Royersford Borough identify illicit discharge or pollution entering the storm water system. Some everyday items that that can impact the municipal storm water system include motor vehicle fluids, household hazardous waste, grass clippings and leaf litter, and animal waste.
Please call 610-948-3737 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 610-948-3305 outside of the Borough’s office hours if you feel you have seen an illicit discharge.
Please refer to the links below for additional information.