Environmental / Water Management Information


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 Stormwater Runoff 
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 sediment or soil 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
  • Observed pollution event or pollutants in stream or storm sewers

Newtown Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority 

  • 215-968-4109
  • After hours, call 911
  • Clogged or leaking sanitary drains

Newtown Artesian Water Company 

  • 215-968-6781
  • After hours, call 911
  • Broken water mains

Newtown Borough 

  • 215-968-2109
  • Weekdays during working hours

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission 

  • 1-855-FISH-KIL (1-855-347-4545)
  • Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekdays

Educational Brochures 

General Information

Information for Homeowners and Residents: 

Information for Businesses: 

Information for Builders and Developers 

Additional Links 
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection 
Bucks County Conservation District 
Center for Watershed Protection 
Polluted Runoff  At this site, there are several sub-topics under the “Quick Finder” section that may be useful for MS4s
EPA Watersheds

Environmental Links: 
Newtown Creek Coalition 
Heritage Conservancy 
Pennsylvania's State Recycling Association 
Recyclable Plastics
Recycling Guide 2021
2018-2028 Bucks County Municipal Waste Management Plan
Society of Wetland Scientists