Birmingham Township

 

Stormwater Page for Birmingham Residents

Also on this page:

DEP Guideline for pool water discharge (PDF file).

Please call the Stormwater Hotline to report illicit discharges, construction run-off, failing septic systems and any other thing that might pollute our streams 610-793-2600

Stormwater pollution from point sources and nonpoint sources is a challenging water quality problem. Unlike pollution from industry or sewage treatment facilities, which is caused by a discrete number of sources, stormwater pollution is caused by the daily activities of people everywhere. Rainwater and snowmelt run off from streets, lawns, farms, and construction and industrial sites and pick up fertilizers, dirt, pesticides, oil and grease, and many other pollutants on the way to our rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. Stormwater runoff is our most common cause of water pollution.

Because stormwater pollution is caused by so many different activities, traditional regulatory controls will only go so far. Polluted storm water runoff is often transported to municipal separate storm sewer systems(MS4s) and ultimately discharged into local rivers and streams without treatment. EPA’s Storm Water Phase II Rule establishes an MS4 storm water management program that is intended to improve the Nation’s waterways by reducing the quantity of pollutants that storm water picks up and carries into storm sewer systems during storm events. Common pollutants include oil and grease from roadways, pesticides from lawns, sediment from construction sites, and carelessly discarded trash, such as cigarette butts, paper wrappers, and plastic bottles. When deposited into nearby waterways through MS4 discharges, these pollutants can impair the waterways, thereby discouraging recreational use of the resource, contaminating drinking water supplies, and interfering with the habitat for fish, other aquatic organisms, and wildlife.

Education and outreach are key components to any successful stormwater program.

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What Are the Phase II Small MS4 Program Requirements?

Operators of regulated small MS4s are required to design their programs to: Reduce the discharge of pollutants to the “maximum extent practicable” (MEP);_ Protect water quality; and_Satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act.Implementation of the MEP standard will typically require the development and implementation of BMPs (Best Management Practice) and the achievement of measurable goals to satisfy each of the six minimum control measures.

The Phase II Rule defines a small MS4 storm water management program as a program comprising six elements that, when implemented in concert, are expected to result in significant reductions of pollutants discharged into receiving waterbodies.

Stormwater pollution from point sources and nonpoint sources is a challenging water quality problem. Unlike pollution from industry or sewage treatment facilities, which is caused by a discrete number of sources, stormwater pollution is caused by the daily activities of people everywhere. Rainwater and snowmelt run off streets, lawns, farms, and construction and industrial sites and pick up fertilizers, dirt, pesticides, oil and grease, and many other pollutants on the way to our rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. Stormwater runoff is our most common cause of water pollution.

Education and outreach are key components to any
successful stormwater program.


The six MS4 program elements, termed “minimum control measures,” are outlined below:

1. Public Education and Outreach

Distributing educational materials and performing outreach to inform citizens about the impacts polluted storm water runoff discharges can have on water quality.

2. Public Participation/Involvement

Providing opportunities for citizens to participate in program development and implementation, including effectively publicizing public hearings and/or encouraging citizen representatives on a storm water management panel.

3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

Developing and implementing a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the storm sewer system (includes developing a system map and informing the community about hazards associated with illegal discharges and improper disposal of waste).

4. Construction Site Runoff Control

Developing, implementing, and enforcing an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities that disturb 1 or more acres of land (controls could include silt fences and temporary storm water detention ponds).

5. Post-Construction Runoff Control

Developing, implementing, and enforcing a program to address discharges of post-construction storm water runoff from new development and redevelopment areas. Applicable controls could include preventative actions such as protecting sensitive areas (e.g., wetlands) or the use of structural BMPs such as grassed swales or porous pavement.

6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping

Developing and implementing a program with the goal of preventing or reducing pollutant runoff from municipal operations. The program must include municipal staff training on pollution prevention measures and techniques (e.g., regular street sweeping, reduction in the use of pesticides or street salt, or frequent catch-basin cleaning). or its chosen BMPs and measurable goals for each minimum control measure. To help permittees identify themost appropriate BMPs for their programs, EPA will issue a“menu,” of BMPs to serve as guidance. NPDES permitting authorities can modify the EPA menu or develop their own list.

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New Pollution Regulations for Birmingham Township

What is a TMDL?

TMDL stands for Total Maximum Daily Load. The TMDL represents the maximum amount of pollutant allowed to enter a waterbody. The Pollutants considered for the creeks of New Garden are bacteria, sediment and nutrients. The new rules and regulations are part of Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act and state that water bodies not meeting the water quality standards are considered to be impaired. Almost all of the creeks in Southern Chester County are considered impaired and do not meet the water quality standards.

What does the TMDL propose?

The TMDL proposes pollution reduction from wastewater treatment plants, municipal Stormwater runoff and nonpoint sources (i.e., runoff from agricultural lands urban areas and residential lands). Reductions are proposed for pollutant sources that will make a positive difference for the surface waters of our area and bring them into compliance with federal and state water quality standards.

Public Participation

The Clean water Act provides for any individual or organization impacted by the development and implementation of the TMDLs to participate in the procedures. The public often contributes useful information about an impaired waterbody and offers insight about their community that might make pollution reduction strategy’s successful.

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Stormwater News

Illicit Discharges

Birmingham Township is developing a program to detect and eliminate illicit discharges, which is part of the overall Stormwater program.

Center for Watershed Protection Illicit Discharge and Detection Manual What is an Illicit Discharge?

Illicit Discharge Fact Sheet"

Federal regulations define an illicit discharge as any discharge to the storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of stormwater. There are exceptions to this rule: firefighting activities, landscape irrigation, foundation drains, water from crawl space pumps etc. Sources of illicit discharges include: sanitary wastewater, failing septic systems, car wash waste water, improper oil disposal, radiator flushing disposal, spills from roadway accidents, improper disposal of household toxics or improper use of pesticides and herbicides etc.Illicit discharges enter the system either through direct connections (deliberate pipe hookups to the storm drain system) or indirect connections (spills collected by drain outlets, or deliberate dumping down the storm drain.)These illicit discharges drain directly to the creeks and streams and may be loaded with large amount of harmful and toxic substances. These pollutants enter the aquatic system and degrade the water quality and threaten wildlife and human health.

To learn more about the stormwater program call the township office.
610-793-2600

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Helpful Links:

Links for Developers and Contractors:

Links for Homeowners:

Downloadable stormwater PDF files:

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