Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater runoff from naturally soaking into the ground.
Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants as it travels and flows into a storm sewer system, or flows directly to a lake, stream, river, wetland, or coastal water. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the water bodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water.
The Clean Water Act is the federal legislation that governs stormwater management. Stormwater point discharges to waters of the U.S. are regulated using National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. In 1999, federal regulations extended coverage of the NPDES program to local separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) serving populations less than 100,000. New Britain Township is required to comply with the NPDES program as an MS4 permittee. Under the NPDES stormwater program, permittees must develop a stormwater management plan that provides the details of how the community (New Britain Township) will comply with the requirements of the permit. Permits are based on a framework of six minimum control measures:
New Britain Township and all MS4 programs share the goals of reducing the discharge of pollutants from the Township, protecting water quality, and satisfying the requirements of the Clean Water Act.
Everyone lives in a watershed! New Britain Township is a part of the Crosswicks-Neshaminy Watershed. The watershed covers an area of approximately 236 square miles. Watersheds provide habitats for wildlife, soil in which to grow our food, and the streams, rivers and lakes we use for fishing, boating and swimming, as well as supplying our drinking water. We all share a common interest in having a healthy watershed.
During the land development process, forests are cleared, soils are compacted, natural drainage patterns are altered and impervious surfaces such as roads, buildings, and parking lots, are created. These changes increase the amount of polluted runoff that reaches our local waterways. As a result, stream banks begin to erode, critical instream habitats are washed away or filled in with sediment, downstream flooding increases, and water becomes too polluted to support sensitive fish and wildlife or recreational activities.
Neshaminy Creek - For more information, follow this link to view the Township Ordinance: Neshaminy Creek Act 167, Township Ordinance 2011-04-01