We all see the water flowing into our storm drains during a storm or snow melt. What most residents don’t realize, is that the water flowing into our Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4’s) is arriving dirtier and in greater quantities than ever before.
The problem occurs when precipitation lands on an impervious surface such as a paved street, rooftop, or driveway. Instead of the water slowly soaking into the soil and becoming purified, the water flows over these impervious surfaces and picks up pollutants. Oil and grease from roadways, pesticides from lawns, sediment from construction sites, and litter are all picked up by the water and conveyed directly to a storm drain with the impurities in tow.
- High volumes of water undercut streambeds and cause erosion, leading to an overall downfall in the health of a stream.
- Increased volumes of polluted water reaching our storm sewers impair the waterways, thereby discouraging use of the resource.
- Pollutants contaminate drinking water supplies, and interfere with the habitat for fish, aquatic organisms, and wildlife.
East Caln Township is part of a statewide campaign to combat storm sewer pollution. The Pennsylvania Department for Environmental Protection has developed the following six guidelines (Minimum Control Measures) for program development in order to help communities like East Caln Township maintain a complete storm water program.