Borough of Newtown

23 North State Street
Newtown, PA  18940
Phone: 215.968.2109
Fax: 215.968.6338

Office Hours:  Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM

All meetings are held
in Borough Hall
unless otherwise noted.

View us on Google Maps

General Information > Environmental / Water Management Information

Stormwater Management and Environmental Concerns

Introduction

Stormwater management concerns the control of water (from rain, melting ice or snow) that runs off the surface of the land. The amount and rate of runoff is increased considerably as land is developed; construction of impervious surface (e.g. parking lots) hinders the infiltration of rainfall into the soil. Therefore stormwater management is imperative to offset the possible impacts of development – flooding and erosion problems, concentration of flow on neighboring properties, damages to infrastructure, and non-point source pollution (i.e. pollution that comes from the general drainage of the land such as runoff from parking lots and farmland).

Federal regulations enacted in December 1999 require Newtown Borough to improve on their existing stormwater management program. 

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II stormwater program requires that Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) address the six required elements contained in the federal regulations to reduce water pollution:

Public education and outreach 
Public participation and involvement 
Illicit discharge detection and elimination 
Construction site runoff control 
Post-construction stormwater management in new development and redevelopment 
Pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations and maintenance

 

Preventing Stormwater Pollution

Stormwater runoff occurs when water from rain or snow and ice melting flows over the ground. Stormwater becomes a problem when it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants as it flows or when it causes flooding and erosion of streambanks. Stormwater travels through a system of pipes and roadside ditches that make up storm sewer systems. It eventually flows directly to a lake, river, stream, wetland or coastal water. All of the pollutants stormwater carries along the way empty into our waters, too, because stormwater does not get treated!
 
Here are some of the most important ways for Borough residents to prevent stormwater pollution:

  • Properly dispose of hazardous substances, such as used motor 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 of these items.
  • Look for signs of soil and other pollutants, such as debris and chemicals, leaving construction sites in stormwater runoff or tracked into roads by construction vehicles. Report poorly managed constructionsites that could impact stormwater runoff to the Borough.
  • Install innovative stormwater practices on residential properties, such as rain barrels or rain gardens, that capture stormwater and keep it on-site instead of letting it drain away into the storm sewer system.
  • Report any discharge from stormwater outfalls during times of dry weather – a sign there could be a problem with the storm sewer system.
  • Pick up after pets and dispose of their waste properly. No matter where pets make a mess – in a backyard or on open space – stormwater runoff can carry pet waste from the land to the storm sewer system to a stream.
  • Store materials that could pollute water indoors and use containers for outdoor storage that do not rust or leak to eliminate exposure of materials to stormwater.

 

Friendly Reminders

When you’re fertilizing the lawn, remember you’re not just fertilizing the lawn.

You fertilize the lawn. Then it rains. The rain washes the fertilizer along the curb, into the storm drain, and directly into our streams, ponds, lakes and into coastal waters, including the Delaware Bay. This causes algae to grow, which uses up oxygen that fish need to survive. So if you fertilize, please follow directions and use sparingly.

When your pet goes on the lawn, remember it doesn’t just go on the lawn.

When our pets leave those little surprises, rain washes all that pet waste and bacteria into our storm drains. And then pollutes our waterways. So what to do? Simple. Dispose of it properly (preferably in the toilet). Then that little surprise gets treated like it should.

Water Quality Hotlines

Residents can help report violations or problems they notice in their neighborhood and local streams before they cause more damage and pollution. Residents sometimes may be the first to recognize "illicit" discharges dumping into storm sewers or coming out of from storm sewer outfalls. You can help by promptly reporting the following events to the authorities listed below.

Here are some of the conditions that you should report and who to contact:

Sediment leaving a construction site in stormwater

Off site discharge of sediment, erosion, and other improper controls during construction

Bucks County Conservation District

215-345-7577

Email photo and send full address and directions

Observed pollution event or pollutants in stream

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Water Quality Hotlines

484-250-5900
1-800-541-2050 (toll free)

Anytime, including evenings and weekends

Clogged or leaking sanitary sewer lines

Newtown Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority

215-968-4109

After hours, call 911

Broken water mains

Newtown Artesian Water Company

215-968-6781

After hours, call 911

Spills

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Water Quality Hotlines

484-250-5900
1-800-541-2050 (toll free)

Anytime, including evenings and weekends

Illegal dumping activity into water courses

Newtown Borough

215-968-2109

Weekdays during working hours

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Water Quality Hotlines

484-250-5900
1-800-541-2050 (toll free)

Anytime, including evenings and weekends

Dry weather flows from outfall pipes into streams (72 hours after a rain storm)

Newtown Borough

215-968-2109

Weekdays 9 AM -5 PM

Fish Kills

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission
1-855-FISH-KIL (1-855-347-4545)

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

?Water Quality Hotlines

484-250-5900
1-800-541-2050 (toll free)

Anytime, including evenings and weekends

Educational Brochures

Information for Homeowners and Residents:

EPA Water Homepage:  http://water.epa.gov/

EPA Water Pollution Prevention and Control:  http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/

EPA Stormwater Homepage:  http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/stormwater/index.cfm 

EPA MS4 Main Page:  http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/stormwater/Municipal-Separate-Storm-Sewer-System-MS4-Main-Page.cfm

National Menu of Stormwater Best Management Practices:  http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/swbmp/index.cfm

Stormwater Outreach Materials and Reference Documents:  http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/stormwater/Stormwater-Outreach-Materials-and-Reference-Documents.cfm

MS4 Fact Sheets:  http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/stormwater/Stormwater-Phase-II-Final-Rule-Fact-Sheet-Series.cfm

After the Storm

Water Efficient Landscaping

Information for Businesses:

EPA Water Homepage:  http://water.epa.gov/

Stormwater Outreach Materials and Reference Documents:  http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/stormwater/Stormwater-Outreach-Materials-and-Reference-Documents.cfm

Information for Builders and Developers

EPA Water Homepage:  http://water.epa.gov/

EPA MS4 Main Page:  http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/stormwater/Municipal-Separate-Storm-Sewer-System-MS4-Main-Page.cfm

MS4 Fact Sheets:  http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/stormwater/Stormwater-Phase-II-Final-Rule-Fact-Sheet-Series.cfm

Stormwater and the Construction Industry

After the Storm

How Do I Get Stormwater Coverage for Construction My Site?

Educational Shows
After the Storm” is a 1/2 hour video documentary focused on the effects of polluted stormwater runoff, which is a leading cause of problems to our nation’s rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. The program also illustrates simple things that citizens can do to help protect their local watersheds.


Additional Links
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (Keyword: Stormwater)
Bucks County Conservation District
Environmental Protection Agency
Center for Watershed Protection

Polluted Runoff:  http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/index.cfm.  At this site, there are several sub-topics under the “Quick Finder” section that may be useful for MS4s

EPA Watersheds:  http://water.epa.gov/type/watersheds/index.cfm

Environmental Links:

Newtown Creek Coalition: http://www.newtowncreekcoalition.org 
Interactive map from the EPA listing, Superfund sites, hazardous waste, toxic releasers and water discharges
 
This is The Southeast regional DEP web site
  
Heritage Conservancy - information regarding Natural and Historic Resource 
Pennsylvania's State Recycling Association Information regarding on recycling issues

Society of Wetland Scientists - information on wetlands