What is stormwater?
Stormwater is the precipitation that falls on roofs, lawns and paved areas and is carried away by a system of stormwater pipes, culverts and ditches. Collectively, the draining water is called storm water runoff. Storm water becomes a problem when it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, pet waste, and other pollutants as it flows untreated into the water bodies we use for swimming, fishing, and drinking. Excessive debris can clog inlets, causing flooding and erosion of stream banks. Property owners, including homeowners, business owners, and farmers can help reduce stormwater pollution. For additional information, click here.
Stormwater Management is addressed in the Subdivision And Land Development Ordinance (SALDO) #109-2004, as amended (through Ordinance #190-2017, passed on 9/13/2017). It is known as Chapter 22 in the Township Code of Ordinances. To see the full version of the SALDO, click here. (Note: the Township’s Ordinances are only codified through #190-2017.)
The Stormwater Management Section (now known as Chapter 20) was created in 2006, when the Township Ordinances were codified (Ordinance #122-2006), and was amended with Ordinance #149-2010 and Ordinance #157-2011 (Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination, or IDDE).
Ordinances not yet codified into Chapter 22 include:
A companion Ordinance to Chapter 22 is the Floodplain Management Ordinance:
Ordinance 190-2017, passed on September 13, 2017.
Adds Chapter 8, Floodplain Management, to the Township Code of Ordinances.
Stormwater Management Plans
Stormwater management plans are classified as Exempt, Small Project, Agricultural Project, or those requiring a full stormwater plan primarily based upon the proposed use and increase in impervious cover. It is strongly recommended that you contact the Township Engineer at Technicon Enterprises, 610-286-1622, to discuss and to determine what type application is necessary to ensure you are submitting the proper information. The Township Engineer makes the final determination as to the type of stormwater management plan required. Types are as follows:
- SWM Application – for stand-alone stormwater plans or stormwater plans submitted with subdivision/land development applications
- Small Projects – Simplified Method
- Agricultural Projects – Simplified Method
For Stormwater Management Applications, please contact the Township Administration Office at 610-273-3970.
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)
Honey Brook Township is a participant in and is complying with all the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection(PADEP)’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. An MS4 includes any storm sewers, swales, roadways, etc. owned by a municipality within the EPA-designated “urbanized areas”. The goals of Honey Brook Township’s Small MS4 Program are reduce the discharge of pollutants within the Township to the required levels, where applicable, or the maximum extent practicable; protect water quality; and satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act. The Township is charged with:
1. Educating the public,
2. Encouraging participation in stormwater-related projects/activities,
3. Preventing illicit discharges,
4. Addressing construction site runoff,
5. Inspecting stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) installed for stormwater management,
6. Ensuring good housekeeping and maintenance of Township facilities and municipally-owned stormwater management systems.
More detailed information can be found by visiting the MS4 page of the website by clicking here.
Managing Stormwater and Preventing Stormwater Pollution: Information and tips
Click here for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Stormwater Management Program.
Important ways to prevent storm water pollution*:
- Properly dispose of hazardous substances such as used oil, cleaning supplies and paint – never pour them down any part of the storm sewer system and report anyone who does.
- Use pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides properly and efficiently to prevent excess runoff.
- Look for signs of soil and other pollutants, such as debris and chemicals, leaving construction sites in storm water runoff or tracked into roads by construction vehicles. Report poorly managed construction sites that could impact storm water runoff to your municipality (610-273-3970 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Install innovative storm water practices on residential property, such as rain barrels or rain gardens, which capture storm water and keep it on site instead of letting it drain away into the storm sewer system.
- Report any discharges from storm water outfalls during times of dry weather – this is a sign that there could be a problem with the storm sewer system.
- Store materials that could pollute storm water indoors and use containers for outdoor storage that do not rust or leak in order to eliminate exposure of materials to storm water.
*Source: Keeping Streams Clean.
Homeowners: homeowners can reduce runoff and pollution from their property though proper lawn maintenance, adding rain gardens or cisterns, maintaining on-lot sewage systems, and disposing of waste properly.
10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Stormwater Runoff Pollution
1. Use fertilizers sparingly.
2. Sweep up driveways, sidewalks, and gutters.
3. Never dump anything down storm drains or in streams.
4. Vegetate bare spots in your yard.
5. Use the least toxic pesticides, follow labels, and learn how to prevent pest problems.
6. Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces; consider a rain garden to capture runoff.
7. Take your car to the car wash instead of washing it in the driveway.
8. Check your car for leaks and recycle your motor oil.
9. Pick up after your pet.
10. If you have a septic tank, have it pumped and system inspected regularly. Click here for more sewage management information.
Click on the links below for more ideas and information:
- 10 Things You Can Do To Protect Water Resources
- More Things You Can Do To Protect Water Resources
- 20 Ways to Protect Streams & Your Streamside Property
- Green Lawn
- Hazardous Material Recycling
- On-Lot Sewage Information
- Rain Gardens
- Septic Maintenance
- Solution to Pollution
- Stormwater Management for Small Projects
- Stormwater Monthly Planner
- Streamside Living
- Watershed Education: Penn State Extension
– Master Watershed Steward Program
– Watershed Webinars
- When it Rains, It Drains
Basin owners: for tips on how to maintain a drainage basin on your property, click on the following:
Businesses: business owners should strive to reduce runoff from impervious areas on their sites, properly dispose of trash and hazardous materials, and monitoring outdoor activities. For more, click on the following:
Agriculture: the use of fertilizers and pesticides, animal wastes, and land use along streams can impact water quality. Click on the links below to see how you can help:
- Chester County Conservation District (CCCD):
– Agricultural Services.
– Chesapeake Bay Program.
– Equipment Rental Program.
– Nutrient Management Program.
– Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Program.
– What Type of Plan Do You Need for Your Farm?
– Winter Manure Application Guidelines
– Newsletter of the CCCD: The Back 40
Fall/Winter 2015 edition.
Spring/Summer 2015 edition.
Fall/Winter 2014 edition.
- Agricultural Runoff Fact Sheet
Developers: developers are responsible for stormwater management, erosion and sediment control, and pollution prevention during construction of both large and small projects. For additional information, click on the following:
- Building Towards Cleaner Water
- Construction Best Management Practices Maintenance
- Green Guide for Property Management
Get Involved: Learn More about Stormwater Management, Water Quality, and Resource Conservation
The Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program is training a new class in spring 2019. Individuals with an interest in the environment and a strong desire to make a difference in the community are encouraged to learn about the program at one of the information sessions:
- Wednesday, February 6th, 10:00-11:00 am in Suite 370 of the Chester County Government Services Center, 601 Westtown Road, West Chester, PA 19382
- Sunday, February 17th, 1:00-2:00 pm at the Environmental Center, Smedley Park, 20 Papermill Rd., Springfield, PA 19064
Details are available by clicking here. The 2019 training sessions will take place on Wednesdays from 6:00-8:30 pm in Smedley Park, Springfield, beginning March 6 until mid-May, with three Saturday field trips. In addition to the 40 hours of training, 50 hours of volunteer service is required to receive certification. For more information, click here or contact Meagan Hopkins-Doerr at 610-696-3500 or e-mail email@example.com.
Honey Brook Township Newsletter articles:
– Fall 2018/Winter 2019 (see “The Ins and Outs of Septic Systems in Pennsylvania, p. 7).
– Fall/Winter 2017 (see “MS4 and You” on page 7).
– Spring/Summer 2017 (see “You can Curb Water Pollution in Your Own Backyard” on pp 20-21).
– Fall/Winter 2016 (see “Swimming Pool and Home Heating Oil Tank Advisories” and “Learn How to Store Water Properly for Emergencies” on page 7).
– Spring/Summer 2016 (see “Grasscycling” article on pp 13-14 and “Keeping Honey Brook’s Waters as “Sweet Streams” and “Things You and Your Community Can do to Protect Water Resources” on page 23).
– Fall/Winter 2015 (see the Reducing Stormwater Pollution article on page 7).
– Spring/Summer 2015 (see the Lawn & Garden Care article on page 7).
– Winter 2014 (see the Planning Commission Update on page 1).
– Fall 2013 (see On-Lot Sewage Maintenance Ordinance on page 1, stormwater information on page 6, and Water Quality Hotlines on pp 7-8).
Other sites to visit for more information:
Last update: February 7, 2019.