Stormwater Management & Clean Water Resources

    NEW! Please take a moment to give us your stormwater feedback with our Online Survey by clicking on this link:
    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MRKJWJ9  

    West Rockhill Township operates a Municipal Stormwater System (MSS) that is permitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP). This Permit requires that the township:

    • Continue public education and outreach activities
    • Notify and solicit public input and involvement regarding management of the stormwater system
    • Monitor, test and eliminate illicit discharges from outfalls (stormwater exiting  pipes into the waterways) in the system
    • Control construction site stormwater runoff through enforcement of ordinances
    • Ensure that all post-construction stormwater improvements in new or re-developed areas are built as designed and are operated and maintained properly
    • Implement a pollution prevention program for municipal operations
    This webpage is offered to educate residents about stormwater regulationspotential water pollution or flooding as a result of our local activities in the watershed. Nearly all of our Township newsletters have included an article about stormwater in the last five years or more as part of the PA DEP MSS Permit "public education" process. Township and commercial development construction activities are monitored by the Township Engineer. 

    What is Stormwater and Why Is It So Important?
    Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation from rain and snow melt events flow over land and impervious surfaces and does not infiltrate into the ground.  The runoff from streets, lawns, farms and construction and industrial sites picks up fertilizers, dirt, chemicals, pesticides, oil, grease and many other pollutants and discharges it into our steams and rivers. This untreated discharge is detrimental to our water quality as it can adversely affect our drinking water supply and the environment. In West Rockhill Township, polluted stormwater could contaminate the East Branch Perkiomen Creek, The Butter Creek, the Ridge Valley Creek, or the Quakertown Swamp. 
     
    Many Best Management Practices (BMPs), such as detention or infiltration basins, are already in place to help keep our waters clean. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website is a good place to visit for stormwater information and regulations:
    What Does the Township Do to Regulate Stormwater?
    The Township enforces Stormwater Ordinance No. 209. To download a copy, use this link: West Rockhill Township Ordinance 209 Stormwater.

    West Rockhill Township regulates stormwater management through a permit that is obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) (www.depweb.state.pa.us) through the National Pollution and Discharge Elimination System Phase II (NPDES)/Municipals Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). This is a federal requirement from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/munic.cfm?program_id=6) that is administered by the PA DEP.
    The Township also requires a Stormwater Management Plan Review if the stormwater management project is not part of a formal Land Development. 


    How Can Residents Help?

    There are many ways you can help the Township with its stormwater program and participate in activities and  programs that will keep pollutants, chemicals, trash, and other waste products out of our waterways. Please read Solution to Pollution from the EPA.

    Residents can can help by watching  for:

    • Sediment leaving a construction site via stormwater runoff

    • Spills (chemical, gas, oil)

    • Illegal dumping activity into streams or storm sewers (PLEASE CALL 911 FIRST)

    • Dry weather flows from outfall pipes into streams (at least 72 hours after a rain storm)

    Residents may be the first to recognize "illicit" discharges dumping into storm sewers or coming out of from storm sewer outfalls. If you see an "illicit" discharge please report it by calling the township office at 215-257-9063 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays, or email us at: manager@westrockhilltownship.org.  Take photos, if possible.   

    Things You and Your Community Can Do to Protect Water Resources  

    Disconnect your downspout from the the street drain and Plant a Rain Garden.
    Rainwater from your roof is just as damaging to creeks and streams as run off from a parking lot. Let your yard help filter out impurities and infiltrate stormwater back into your aquifer. If you don't have street drains, b
    e certain stormwater coming through your downspouts is directed onto your own property and not into the road, road ditch, or a neighbor's property. Consider disconnecting your downspouts and installing rain barrels instead. They can provide water for your gardens. Or, install a rain garden, as the Township has. Please stop by the township building for ideas or consult the rain garden publications at the bottom of this page and visit the raingarden blog at the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy site: http://perkiomen-rain-gardens.blogspot.com/ . The Bucks County Conservation District supports the construction of rain gardens and put out this Rain Garden pamphlet

    Maintain open, forested floodplains.
    Filling floodplains shortchanges the filtering power of natural areas and increases flooding elsewhere. It is also illegal.

    Plant trees and maintain streamside buffers.
    Streamside trees and native vegetation help filter stormwater run off and help hold steambank soils in place. DEP recently enacted a 75' buffer alongs steams to enhance water quality and reduce stormwater runoff. 
    http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/Pdf/DRNs_20Ways_to_Protect_Streams_2011.pdf

    Maintain a naturally vegetated edge between creeks and pastures or cultivated fields.
    A naturally vegetated stream buffer will filter out excess fertilizers and pesticides from adjacent farm fields.

    Promote clustering where new development is likely.
    Clustered developments require less pavement for roads and sidewalks and and retain more of the overall parcel as open space.

    Reduce your use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides
    Follow directions for weed killers and pesticides very carefully, or consider discontinuing their use. Much of the chemicals and fertilizers you apply in the spring flow directly into the local creeks and seep into ground waters because the grass is not ready to absorb it.  Set your mower height at 3 inches and use a mulching mower to create a healthy, organic lawn. Fertilize only in the fall. Consider grasscycling.

    Never, ever, dump household substances or used oil into a storm drain.
    Bring used oil to certified recyclers. 

    Convert large yards or public spaces from mown grass to meadows.
    The typical suburban lawn is nearly as impervious as a parking lot! Native meadow grasses infiltrate stormwater better and provide critical habitat for grassland birds. Consider converting a portion of your lawn into a meadow with paths through it to observe the wildlife.

    Pick up after your pets and keep livestock out of steams.
    Pet and animal wastes carry many harmful bacteria and possible diseases.  They make creeks less amenable to native critters and require expensive water treatment for human use. Studies by the Center for Watershed Protection have found that a significant portion of fecal coliform bacteria in residential stormwater originates from canine waste.

    Keep paved surfaces to a minimum.
    Reduce impervious surfaces. Patios and parking spaces can be created with attractive pervious materials that allow stormwater infiltration to the soils below.

    Maintain Your Swimming Pool

    Consult our watershed website: www.perkiomenwatershed.org/

    Clean Water and the Business Community

    WRT encourages our business community to practice Best Management Practices:

    Clean Water BMPs Auto Service Businesses

    Clean Water BMPs Restaurants and Food Service Businesses

    Contractors, please be sure you are in compliance with state mandated stormwater regualtions by reading these publications:

    What the Construction Industry Needs to Know About Stormwater  

    The Influence of Construction Activities

    Clean Water Maintain Your BMPs Erosion & Sediment Control.pdf 

    Maintain your Construction Zone BMPS

    Please read and download the educational information provided in the links and also available at the bottom of this page.

    More Ways to Get Involved

    Great Pennsylvania CleanUp
    Each spring, West Rockhill Township participates in the Great PA Clean Up in conjunction with Earth Day with our own community Clean Up Day in mid-April. Teams from around the Township clean up the roadsides with free bags and gloves provided by Penn DOT. The Board of Supervisors also awards a savings bond  to randomly drawn participants.  In recent years, the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy has also offered a stream cleanup along the East Brach Perkiomen Creek on the same day as the Township Clean Up Day. Please check the Announcement section of this website or our bi-annual newsletters for more information on the Township Clean Up Day and how you can create a team. Please visit the website for the Great PA Cleanup for more information: www.GreatPACleanup.org and visit the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy website for steam clean up information and excellent stormwater information: www.perkiomenwatershed.org/
     

    West Rockhill Township Watershed Award

    West Rockhill Township won the 2010 Municipal Award from the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy for our efforts to improve the Perkiomen Watershed through land conservation, our rain garden project, and participation in the Perkiomen Watershed Stream Clean up yearly event. For additional information, please visit the Conservation Committee page to learn about the 1,487 acres of riparian buffer forests, upland woodlands, meadows, farms and active recreation space put into preservation by the Township since 2003.

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