STORMWATER MANAGEMENT INFORMATION
Welcome to the East Hempfield Township's Stormwater Management Information page. This page is designed to provide Township citizens with quick access to information and resources to preserve and protect clean water in the Township and the Lancaster County regional community. East Hempfield Township is actively involved in a variety of programs and initiatives to meet various Statewide and National goals for clean water. Local residents have a role to play too, which when combined together will have a positive impact on our environment and the water that is so important to us all.
Stormwater originates from rainfall and other precipitation that runs off of surfaces all over the Township - rooftops, streets, construction sites, lawns, fields, etc. Stormwater makes its way either along the surface or soaks into the ground. The surface water flows into swales, storm drains, and other natural water courses. As this water moved toward the streams and rivers, it will pick up loose things on the ground with it. This can include pollutants, sediment, leaves, trash, etc. The Township is actively involved in meeting statutory permitting requirements under state and federal law. The water that soaks into the ground becomes part of the groundwater. For the residents who get their water from wells or from the Hempfield Water Authority, this becomes your drinking water.
The Township is therefore developing a variety of programs and strategies to enhance water quality through plantings, mowing strategies, implementation of stormwater management facilities and other "best management practices" (BMPs).
We hope that you will find this information useful in learning about the requirements as well as tools to use on your own.
Storm Water Management - NPDES and MS4 Programs
The Clean Water Act is the federal legislation that governs stormwater management. Stormwater point discharges to waters of the U.S. (pipes and drain pipes) are regulated using National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.
In 1999, federal regulations extended coverage of the NPDES program to Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4ís) serving populations less than 100,000. IN 2004, East Hempfield Township became an MS4 community and as such is required to comply with the NPDES program. Under the NPDES stormwater program, the Township is required to develop a stormwater management program that provides the details of how the community will comply with the requirements of the permit. Permits are based on a framework of six minimum control measures:
- MCM 1 - Public education and outreach
- MCM 2 - Public participation and involvement
- MCM 3 - Illicit discharge detection and elimination
- MCM 4 - Construction site runoff control
- MCM 5 - Post-construction storm water management in new development and redevelopment
- MCM 6 - Pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations and maintenance
More information on this program is available from the Pennsylvania DEP website (See Links Below).
What Residents Can Do - GET INVOLVED!
The goals of the Township's MS4 program are to reduce the discharge of pollutants into our waterways. The water that runs off your property and from the streets goes either into the ground and becomes groundwater or flows through a series of facilities such as swales and pipes to the waterways. If this water isn't cleaned, all the pollutants the water carries end up in the stream and ultimately into the Chesapeake Bay. You can help to keep our water clean by doing the following:
- Properly dispose of water from your property (rainwater, pool water, sump pumps, etc.)
- Clean up after your pets
- Use fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides correctly
- Properly secure and store materials that could pollute stormwater
In addition, please monitor the stormwater facilities that you see or live near. If you see something that looks wrong or that is causing these facilities to be polluted or blocked, please fill out the ILLICIT DISCHARGE REPORT FORM and sent it to the Township or call the Township office at (717) 898.3100.
Examples of illicit discharges include:
- Sediment leaving a construction site during a storm or being carried out onto the public road
- Spills (Chemical, Gas, Oil)
- Illegal dumping activity into streams or stormwater facilities
- Dry weather flows from outfalls into streams (at least 72 hours after a storm)
The following PDF files from EPA provide helpful information for residents and business owners:
Together we can keep our water clean!
Quick Reference Links on Storm Water Management