Polluted Runoff: Nonpoint Source Pollution EPA Watersheds: This webpage is offered to educate residents about stormwater regulations, potential water pollution or flooding as a result of our local activities in the watershed. Bedminster Township operates a Municipal Stormwater System (MSS) that currently being reviewed for permitting by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP). This Permit will require that the Township:
- Develop and implement 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 many municipalities in Pennsylvania were required to obtain a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to discharge storm runoff from the municipality owned storm sewer system (known as MS4. Click here to view the MS-4 Homepage and MS-4 Fact Sheet).
When the NPDES permit is obtained by Bedminster Township, requirements of the permit will include tasks such as:
- Enact a Stormwater Management Ordinance compliant with the MS4 Model Ordinance
- Inspect every stormwater outfall that discharges to the local streams and creeks for signs of pollution
- Encourage the public to participate in stormwater related activities
- Provide educational materials to the public and business owners
- Review construction plans and permits for stormwater related concerns
- File an annual report with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) documenting the permit related activities that occurred during the year.
Stormwater Management Documents
- Meadows – the New Standard
- Word of the Day: Imperviousness
- Trees: Good for You
- All Water is Somebody’s Source Water
- BCCD Rain Garden Pamphlet
- Canines for Clean Creeks
- Clean Water BMPS – Auto Service Businesses
- Clean Water BMPS – Restaurants and Food Services
- Clean Water Maintain Your BMPS
- Clean Water Maintain Your BMPS Erosion Sediment Control
- Clean Water Swimming Pool Guidelines
- Love Your Stormwater
- Maintain Your BMPS for Construction Industry
- PA Stormwater Management Manual Rain Gardens
- Raingarden Brochure
- Raingarden Manual
- Solution to Pollution
- The Influence of Construction Activities
- Tips for Septic System Owners
- What the Construction Industry Needs to Know About Stormwater
- When it Rains it Drains
- Erosion & Sedimentation Control, Grading and/or Stormwater Management Permit Application (Rev. 11/7/16)
Things You and Your Community Can Do to Protect Water Resources
- 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 streambank soils in place. The DEP recently enacted a 75′ buffer along streams to enhance water quality and reduce stormwater runoff. Delaware Riverkeeper.org
- 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 retain more of the overall parcel as open space.
- Disconnect your downspout from the street drain and Plant a Rain Garden – Rainwater from your roof is just as damaging to creeks and streams as runoff 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, be 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. Please stop by the township building for ideas or consult the Rain Garden publications and visit the rain garden blog at the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy site. The Bucks County Conservation District supports the construction of rain gardens and puts out this BCCD Rain Garden Pamphlet.
- 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 meadows 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
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 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 215-249-3320 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays, or email us at bedminsterpa.org. Call 911 during non-business hours. Also, take photos if possible.
For more information regarding residential stormwater, please review The Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater pamphlet and an accompanying webinar, titled “A Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater” provided courtesy of Penn State.