What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is water from precipitation events and snow/ice melt.
Where does Stormwater go?
After falling or melting, stormwater either soaks into the soil (infiltrate), is held on the surface and evaporates, or becomes runoff carried into nearby streams, rivers, or other bodies of water (surface water). In natural landscapes such as forests, the soil absorbs much of the stormwater and plants help hold stormwater close to where it falls. In developed areas like Myerstown Borough, impervious surfaces such as pavement and roofs prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground. Instead, water runs
What is Stormwater Runoff?
Stormwater runoff is all stormwater that flows over the ground surface. It is created when stormwater falls or melts on roads, driveways, parking lots, rooftops, and other impervious surfaces that do not allow water to naturally soak into the ground.
What problems are caused by Stormwater Runoff?
Where stormwater falls or melts on impervious surfaces, large volumes of water run rapidly into storm drains, sewer systems, and drainage ditches, which swiftly carry that water to our local streams, lakes, wetlands and rivers. This creates several environmental problems:
- Downstream flooding
- Stream bank erosion
- Increased turbidity (muddiness created by stirred up sediment) from erosion
- Habitat destruction
- Combined storm and sanitary sewer system overflows
- Infrastructure damage
- Contaminated streams, rivers and coastal water
How does Stormwater Runoff contribute to water pollution?
Stormwater runoff picks up and carries with it many different pollutants that are found on paved surfaces such as sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, bacteria, oil and grease, trash, pesticides and metals. These pollutants come from a variety of sources, including pet waste, lawn fertilization, cars, construction sites, illegal dumping and spills, and pesticide application. Researchers have found that as the amount of paved surfaces (a.k.a. impervious cover) in the watershed increases, stream health declines accordingly.
What does Myerstown Borough do to help manage Stormwater?
Myerstown Borough has a system of conveyances (i.e., ditches, curbs, catch basins, underground pipes, etc.) designed and used for collecting and conveying stormwater to local surface waters.
What is a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)?
Municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) are publicly-owned stormwater conveyance systems operated by municipalities, counties, community development districts, universities, military bases, or federal correctional facilities.
Who regulates MS4s?
MS4s are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, specifically their Stormwater Program. The NPDES permit program was created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act (CWA) to address water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States. The Phase I MS4 regulation was put in place in 1990 to require medium and large cities or certain counties with populations of 100,000 or more to obtain NPDES permit coverage for their stormwater discharges. The Phase II MS4 regulation was put in place in 1999 to require small MS4s in developed areas to obtain NPDES permit coverage for their stormwater discharges. The NPDES Stormwater Program in Pennsylvania is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Myerstown Borough works with the EPA and DEP to reduce runoff and improve water quality by implementing stormwater management throughout the borough and at its facilties.
Does Myerstown Borough's MS4 require a NPDES permit?
Yes. Most recently, Myerstown Borough applied for coverage under the "2018 NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small MS4s (PAG-13)", which is currently in effect through 2023. Permit coverage is generally for a 5-year term. The previous permit was issued in 2013. DEP's regional offices inspect MS4s to determine whether the MS4 is meeting its permit obligations.
Myerstown Borough NPDES Permit - Stormwater Discharge 2013-2018
How can residents and property owners help manage Stormwater Runoff?
There are many ways residents and property owners of Myerstown Borough can help manage stormwater runoff, including, but not limited to the following:
- Properly dispose of hazardous substances such as used oil, cleaning supplies and paint. Never pour such materials down any part of the stormwater system.
- Use pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides properly and efficiently to prevent excess runoff.
- Report pollutants such as debris and chemicals that you see in stormwater runoff or tracked into roads.
- Install innovative stormwater practices on your property such as rain barrels or rain gardens.
- Report any discharges from stormwater outfalls during dry weather--this is a sign that there could be a problem with the stormwater system.
- Pick up after pets and dispose of their waste properly, even on your own property.
- Store materials that could pollute stormwater indoors and use containers that do not rust or leak for outdoor storage.
How can I learn more about Stormwater Runoff, MS4s, and Pollutant Reduction Plans?
Visit any of the following websites:
General Information about Stormwater Regulations in our Community
What is MS4 and Frequently Asked Questions
EPA Website – Stormwater Discharges from MS4s
NPDES – Stormwater Discharges from Municipal Sources
EPA Water Homepage
EPA Stormwater Outreach Materials & Reference Documents
Chesapeake Bay Program
Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load
EPA - Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
DEP - Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Lebanon County Stormwater Information
Erosion and Sedimentation Control
Lebanon County Clean Water Alliance
Resources for Homeowners
Homeowner Guide to Make Your Property Bay Friendly
Polluted Runoff Information
Lebanon County Conservation District
Lebanon County Clean Water Alliance
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Chesapeake Stormwater Network
What You Can Do
Car Washing and Stormwater Pollution Prevention
Leaking Oil from Cars to Street
Lawn and Garden – Reducing Runoff Tips
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