Introduction:
Stormwater management concerns the control of water (from rain, melting ice or snow) that runs off the surface of the land. The amount and rate of runoff is increased considerably as land is developed; construction of impervious surface (e.g. parking lots) hinders the infiltration of rainfall into the soil. Therefore stormwater management is imperative to offset the possible impacts of development – flooding and erosion problems, concentration of flow on neighboring properties, damages to infrastructure, and non-point source pollution (i.e. pollution that comes from general drainage of the land such as runoff from parking lots and farmland).

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II stormwater program requires that Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) address the six required elements contained in the federal regulations to reduce water pollution:

Construction Site Runoff Control
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Post-construction Stormwater Management in New Development and Redevelopment
Public Edication and Outreach
Public Participation and Involvement

What is Stormwater:
Storm water is water from precipitation that flows across the ground and pavement when it rains or when snow and ice melt. The water seeps into the ground or drains into what we call storm sewers. These are the drains you see at street corners or at low points on the sides of streets. Collectively, the draining water is called storm water runoff. Stormwater becomes a problem when it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants as it flows or when it causes flooding and erosion of streambanks. Stormwater travels through a system of pipes and roadside ditches that make up storm sewer systems. It eventually flows directly to a lake, river, stream, wetland or coastal water. All of the pollutants stormwater carries along the way empty into our waters, too, because stormwater does not get treated.

Water Quality Hotlines:
Residents can help report violations or problems they notice in their neighborhood and local streams before they cause more damage and pollution. Residents sometimes may be the first to recognize “illicit” discharges dumping into storm sewers or coming out of from storm sewer outfalls. You can help by promptly reporting the following events to the authorities listed below.

Here are some of the conditions that you should report and who to contact:

ViolationWho to Contact
Sediment leaving a construction site in stormwaterBucks County Conservation District
Observed pollution event or pollutants in streamPennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Clogged or leaking sewer lines; Broken water mainsBucks County Water and Sewer Authority
SpillsPennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection spills hotline
Illegal dumping activity into water coursesLanghorne Borough; Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Dry weather flows from outfall pipes into streams (72 hours after a rain storm)Langhorne Borough
Fish KillsPennsylvania Fish Commission, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
DEP Water Quality Hotlines484-250-5900
1-800-541-2050 (toll free), Anytime, including evenings and weekends
Off site discharge of sediment, erosion, and other improper controls during constructionBucks County Conservation District
215-345-7577, mail photo and send full address and directions
Clogged or leaking sanitary sewer lines;
sewage smell in creek
Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority
215-343-2538, After hours, call 911
Fish kills, illegal fishingPA Fish Commission: 717-626-0228, Also call DEP Water Quality Hotline
Dry weather outfall flows (discharges to stream from outfall pipes after 72 hours of no rain)Langhorne Borough
215-757-3768, Weekdays during working hours
Broken water mainsBucks County Water and Sewer Authority
215-343-2538, 24 hour

Educational Shows:
The Weather Channel produced “After the Storm” a documentary about the effects of polluted storm water runoff on rivers, lakes and coastal waters. The program will also demonstrate simple things citizens can do to help protect their local watersheds.

Educational Matrials For Homeowners and Residents:
After the Storm
Make Your Home the Solution To Stormwater Polution
Water Efficient Landscaping
What Happens After the Flush
When It Rains It Drains
Where Does All the Dirty Water Go
Stormwater Basic Information

Educational Materials For Business:
Stormwater Basic Information
EPA Stormwater Outreach Materials
When It Rains It Drains
After the Storm

Educational Materials For Builders and Developers:
EPA Stormwater Outreach Materials
When It Rains It Drains
Don’t Let Storwater Run Off With Your Money
Does Your Constructions Site Need A Stormwater Permit?
Stormwater and The Construction Industry

Additional Links:
Environmental Protection Agency
Bucks County Conservation District

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