Stormwater is Everyone’s Responsibility!
Did you know that the stormwater drains and inlets within your neighborhood have an important impact on the water quality of our streams?
Why? Because storm drains flow directly to nearby rivers and streams, not to wastewater treatment plants. Your city street is really like waterfront property and everything that rain washes off of your roof, yard, and driveway goes to the nearby water used for swimming, boating, and maybe even drinking. In addition, anything that is dumped into these drains, such as used motor oil, paint, or excess pesticides, goes directly into a local stream. Stenciling will remind everyone – homeowners, business owners, developers, and other citizens – not to dump anything into storm drains so we can protect our water from storm water pollution that may close beaches, cause unsightly weed and algae growth, and even kill fish!
Public Education and Outreach on Storm Water Impacts
Public education and outreach is a key component of stormwater management. Well-planned public education and outreach programs will support and help achieve the goals of the other minimum control measures. Personal and household decisions can have a large impact on stormwater. From car washing to laundry detergent to dog walking, small alteration in daily activities can make a difference. Forty Fort Borough and the WVSA continues to take steps towards spreading awareness.
As a result of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement of 1983, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated the governance of stormwater and reduction of pollutants entering the Chesapeake Bay. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) monitors and ensures affected municipalities satisfy these mandates through the imposition of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits.
Thirty-two local municipalities, including the Borough of Forty Fort, are municipal members of the Regional Stormwater Management Program (RSMP), led by Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority (WVSA). The RSMP is a collaborative, cost-effective approach to meeting unfunded mandates governing stormwater management. For more information, please visit wvsa.org.
THIS POLLUTION COMES FROM WHERE?
From all of us! Storm water picks up litter, yard waste, excess lawn fertilizers and pesticides, leaking oil on streets and parking lots, pet wastes in parks and on lawns, and dirt from construction sites. All together, this adds up to more pollution than industries make!
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
Never dump substances down a storm drain that you wouldn’t swim in or drink. Spread this simple message to everyone you know. Other ways to help include:
- Use less fertilizer on lawns
- Recycle used oil
- Pick up pet wastes
- Dispose of household hazardous wastes responsibly
For more information check out The PA Department of Environmental Protection at www.depweb.state.pa.us
|National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)|
|Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)|
|Pennsylvania Environmental Council|
|Stormwater Resources (Education and Outreach)|
|U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)|
|After the Storm – Video produced by EPA and The Weather Channel on how polluted runoff threatens watersheds.|
|Trash Free Waters website – Resources to educate the public about the impact of trash and ways to prevent marine debris.|
|Nonpoint Source Outreach Digital Toolbox – A catalog of over 700+ materials (TV/print/radio/give-aways/mascots/ public attitude surveys, evaluations of public response to media campaigns) that can be used in a stormwater public education campaign.|
|Stormwater Outreach Materials and Reference Documents – Provides outreach materials that municipalities, watershed groups, state, and local governments can customize and use for their own stormwater outreach campaigns.|