Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation from rain and snow melt flow over land and impervious surfaces and does not infiltrate into the ground. Water runoff from streets, lawns, farms, and construction and industrial sites pick up fertilizers, dirt, pesticides, oil, grease and many other pollutants and discharge untreated into our lakes, streams and rivers. This untreated discharge is detrimental to our water quality as it can adversely affect our drinking water supply and environment. Stormwater runoff is our most common cause of water pollution. Because stormwater pollution is caused by so many different activities, traditional regulatory control will only go so far. Many Best Management Practices (BMPs) such as requiring detention/retention/infiltration basins for new construction are already in place to help keep our water clean.
Quakertown Borough regulates storm water management with a program which goes above and beyond typical BMPs by a permit that is obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) through the National Pollution and Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). This is a Federal requirement from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) that is administered by the State. The NPDES Permit has six minimum control measures that are to be regulated and enforced by the Borough. These minimum control measures include:
1. Public Education and Outreach
2. Public Participation and Involvement
3. Illicit Discharge, Detection and Elimination
4. Construction Site Runoff Control
5. Post-Construction Runoff Control
6. Pollution Prevention / Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations
Tips for Residents
An excellent reference for citizens looking to help with improving our water resources quality is “A Homeowners Guide To Stormwater Management" prepared by the Office of Watersheds for the City of Philadelphia.
If you witness an illicit discharge or see runoff from construction sites, you may call the Borough office at 215-536-5001 or the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation Southeast Region Office at 484-250-5900 (24 hours/day).
Tips for Contractors
The following websites have more information on stormwater management:
United States EPA
Stormwater Basic Information
Stormwater Discharge From MS4’s
Stormwater Outreach Materials and Reference Documents
PA DEP Southeast Region Office
Stormwater Management Program
Bucks County Conservation District (BCCD)
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Center for Watershed Protection