Welcome to the Horsham Township Stormwater Management Information page. This page is designed to provide Township residents with quick access to information and resources to preserve and protect clean water in the Township and the Montgomery County regional community. Horsham Township is actively involved in a variety of programs and initiatives to meet various Statewide and National goals for clean water. Local residents and businesses have a role to play too, which when combined together will have a positive impact on our environment and the water that is so important to us all.
The Township is actively involved in meeting statutory permitting requirements under state and federal law. The Township is also active with partners in a variety of programs and strategies to enhance water quality through plantings, mowing strategies, implementation of stormwater management facilities and other "best management practices" (BMPs).
We hope that you will find this information useful in learning about the requirements as well as tools to use on your own. For direct information from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, visit their website at www.depweb.state.pa.us
Stormwater is water runoff from precipitation that flows across the ground and pavement when it rains or when snow and ice melt. The water seeps into the ground or drains into storm sewers. These are the drains you see at street corners or at low points on the sides of streets. Collectively, the draining water is called stormwater runoff.
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 stream banks. Stormwater travels through a system of pipes and roadside ditches that make up stormwater 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.
This is why your assistance is needed to improve local water quality.
As stormwater flows over driveways, lawns, and sidewalks, it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants. Stormwater then flows into a storm sewer system or directly to a lake, stream, river, wetland, or coastal water. Anything that enters our storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water. It does not go to the water treatment facility. Polluted runoff is the nation's greatest threat to clean water. By practicing healthy household habits, homeowners can keep common pollutants like pesticides, pet waste, grass clippings, and automotive fluids off the ground and out of stormwater. Adopt these healthy household habits and help protect lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands, and coastal waters. Remember to share the habits with your neighbors!
Looking to enlighten our future generations to the importance of our water resources? Check out the links below for materials created by the EPA to help you do so.
A rain garden is a planted shallow depression designed to catch and filter rainfall runoff. The garden captures rain from a downspout or a driveway. The water sinks into the ground, aided by deep rooted plants that like wet and dry conditions. A residential rain garden should dry out between rains and should only hold water for approximately 24 -72 hours. This timeframe prevents standing water that could create mosquito habitat. For more information on how to create your own rain garden, visit www.raingardennetwork.com
Watch "Rain Gardens – Saving Streams One Garden At A Time"
Rain barrels are installed at the bottom of your down-spouts and catch the rain water that comes off the roof. You can then reuse that water to water your garden or yard. Please try to empty your rain barrel between rain events to maximize the effectiveness of the rain barrel. You can either purchase your rain barrel from the Township or make your own.
The rain barrels sold by Horsham Township are designed to be used outdoors, with three overflow connections, a nylon spigot, and a drain plug, and can also be linked together up to 3 barrels per barrel. The barrels have screw on lids, and the overflows are designed to fit any standard garden hose to make it easier to redirect the overflow to where it needs to go. Each barrel has a 50 gallon capacity and are made from used food grade barrels.
As we remove forest canopy and replace it with roads, parking lots, driveways, homes, patios, pools (impervious surfaces) and even grass, we immediately have impact on watersheds and receiving streams. Planting trees, shrubs and/or plants that have a deep root structure help stormwater infiltrate into the ground. They also catch rain water on their leaves and branches which helps to reduce the amount of run-off during a storm. For more information on trees to plant in our region, visit www.patrees.org
Did you know the deposit Fido made on the lawn this morning is a growing threat to our environment? Did you also know that studies have found that 40% of pet owners do not pick up after their pets? The average dog produces a half a pound of waste per day. If 40% of the pet owners in Montgomery County don't pick up after their four-footed friends, the dog waste is left behind on the ground to decompose or be carried away by stormwater runoff to our creeks and waterways.
When pet waste reaches our waterways, the untreated bacteria, nutrients and parasites contaminate the water and pose health risks to humans and other animals. Don't let your dog be a canine sewage pipe. Flush your dog's waste down the toilet, toss it in the trash or better yet, get a doggy composter.Be a responsible pet parent; always remember to Stop, Stoop and Scoop. Your pet(s) and the environment will thank you!
Use the link below to view the EPA's guidelines and Best Management Practices (BMP) in regard to pet waste and the impact on water pollution.
Stormwater Pollutants include sediment, sand, cigarettes, litter, cooking oil and grease, paint, automobile fluids, yard wastes, pet waste, pesticides, and fertilizers.
Businesses also need to be aware that things they do or products they use in their daily operations can enter the stormwater system and affect our water sources. Runoff from construction sites, spills at fueling areas and chemicals used to keep outdoor areas clean can be picked up by rainwater and whisked into the storm sewer system.
Vehicle wastes are among the many common stormwater pollutants that can degrade water quality. Stormwater runoff from vehicle maintenance and repair wastes has been found to contain high concentrations of metals, organics, oil and grease. When these wastes wash into our waters they can kill aquatic organisms. Metals such as chromium, cadmium, lead, and zinc have the potential to contaminate drinking water supplies as well as bio accumulate in aquatic life. Organics such as engine degreasers, cleaners, and other solvents can also degrade water quality.
Fats, Oils & Grease (FOG)
Storage Container Safety
Preventing & Cleaning Up Spills
The construction industry has a key role to play in stormwater management. As stormwater flows over a construction site, it can pick up pollutants such as sediment, debris, and chemicals. Uncontrolled erosion has a significant financial impact on a construction project. It costs time and money to repair gullies, replace vegetation, clean sediment clogged storm drains, and mitigate damage to other people's property.
Installing and maintaining pollution prevention techniques on site can reduce the potential for stormwater pollution and help protect our nation's water supply.
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 (MS4's) serving populations less than 100,000. Horsham Township is required to comply with the NPDES program as a MS4. Under the NPDES stormwater program, permittees must develop a stormwater management plan that provides the details of how the community (Horsham Township) will comply with the requirements of the permit. Permits are based on a framework of six minimum control measures:
More information on this program is available from the Pennsylvania DEP website.
Fact: 1" of rainfall on a 1000 sq. ft. roof will produce 600 gallons of rainwater. To calculate the square footage of your house, you can measure the outside area of the exterior walls. To find area, multiply Length times Width. Using an example of a house that is 50' in length by 35' in width, we would multiply 50' x 35' to equal 1750 sq. ft. Move the decimal point over 3 places to the left to continue the equation.
Since 1" of rain yields 600 gallons on a 1000 sq. ft. roof, we will multiply 600 x 1.75 to determine the quantity of run-off from our example roof. 600 x 1.75 = 1050 gallons.
For every one inch of rainfall, then, approximately 1050 gallons will drain off of the roof.
To determine an annual rooftop yield for a 1000 sq. ft. roof in Montgomery County, we take the average rainfall, determined to be 44.35" according to weather.com, and multiply by 600 gallons. 44.35 x 600 = 26, 610 gallons of rainfall.
How much rainwater can be collected from your roof?
The goals of all MS4s programs and Horsham Township are to reduce the discharge of pollutants from the township, to protect water quality and to satisfy requirements of the Clean Water Act. Horsham Township would like you to remember that the water and any items that go into a storm sewer go directly into streams. This water is not cleaned in any way and does not go to the waste water treatment plant. Horsham Township needs all of its residents to assist us in keeping our storm water and storm water sewer system clean by doing the following: dispose of water properly, clean up after your pets, use fertilizers properly and efficiently to prevent excess runoff and store materials that could pollute storm water indoors. Also, please monitor storm water inlets near your property. No one should dump anything into the storm sewer system. If you see someone dumping please call the township at 215-643-3131.
Horsham Township has been marking all of the storm drains in the township with the "No Dumping / Drains to Creek" stencils. These storm drain stencils educate the public that anything you dump into the storm drain ends up directly in a creek or other public water way. If you would like to volunteer and help with storm drain stenciling: check your neighborhood for missing stencils and then call Mark Hudson at 215-672-6913 or e-mail us at email@example.com. Let us know the number of stencils you need and we can drop them off to you so that you can put them on.
Residents may be the first to recognize "illicit" discharges dumping into storm sewers or coming out of from storm sewer outfalls. If you see an "illicit" discharge please report it to the township by calling Mark Hudson at (215) 672-6913 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A watershed is made up of the land area that drains to a specific body of water, such as a tributary, stream or river. The topography of our local hills and valleys define the watershed boundary (catchment area) and the watershed outlet is the mouth of a pond, river or lake. There are four (4) watersheds that run through Horsham Township, they are:
|Fertilizer||Car Wash||Oil Leaking||Pet Waste|
Horsham Township Municipal Building
1025 Horsham Road
Horsham, PA 19044
Phone: (215) 643-3131
Fax: (215) 643-0448
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
Horsham Township Police Department
1025 Horsham Road
Horsham, PA 19044
Non-Emergency Response: (215) 643-3600
Business: (215) 643-8284
Fax: (215) 643-0390
Hours: 24 Hours