Proper stormwater management is considered to be a crucial program that will protect the public health, properties, vital stormwater infrastructure assets, and downstream waterways from adverse effects that can result from stormwater runoff.
WHAT IS STORMWATER RUNOFF?
Stormwater runoff is rain or melted snow that flows over driveways, parking lots, roads, sidewalks, streets and roofs or any impervious surface that does not allow the water to infiltrate into the soil. As water travels over these surfaces, it picks up dirt, trash, oil, grease, pesticides, fertilizers, pet wastes, and other pollutants and carries them all directly into our waterways.
Unlike wastewater (sewage), stormwater runoff does not flow to a treatment plant. It flows directly into waterways such as Spring Creek, Swatara Creek and eventually the Susquehanna River. Stormwater runoff can cause public safety hazards, health risks, and environmental threats.
WHY IS STORMWATER SO IMPORTANT TO DERRY TOWNSHIP?
Urban stormwater runoff is the number one source of surface water pollution in the United States.
HOW DOES STORMWATER AFFECT PROPERTIES IN DERRY TOWNSHIP?
Stormwater is the portion of rainfall that does not soak into the ground (infiltrate) and runs off impervious surfaces such as patios, driveways, yards, and parking lots into the stormwater sewer system and ultimately into Spring Creek or Swatara Creek. Stormwater does not get treated before it enters these creeks. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says this runoff and the “Nonpoint Source Pollution” (NPS) associated with it is the nation's largest water quality problem. NPS is the result of stormwater that runs over land and picks up pollutants such as: trash, waste oil, household chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, pet wastes, septic tank overflows, and sediment. NPS pollutants can cause unsafe drinking water or swimming water, fish kills, and other environmental and human health problems.
IMPROVEMENTS TO THE TOWNSHIP’S STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
Because of the vital environmental and regulatory importance of proper stormwater management, Derry Township Municipal Authority (DTMA) is taking important steps in 2016 to enhance the Stormwater Management Program in the Township of Derry for the purpose of:
Protecting public health and safety
Reducing flooding events and impacts
Insuring healthier habitats for township streams
Improving water quality by treating surface runoff
Minimizing stream bank erosion
Reducing long-term capital costs through routine and proactive maintenance
Providing a dedicated stream of funding to properly operate, maintain and improve facilities in addition to complying with federal and state regulations
In order to do so, Derry Township has authorized expansion of the purpose and powers of DTMA to include ownership and operation of stormwater facilities located within the Township. This transition of the stormwater program from the Township to Authority provides for greater efficiencies in operation while eliminating competition with the other traditional services provided by the Township such as police, fire, public works and recreation. The Authority has the ability to more equitably distribute the costs of stormwater service to properties within the community based upon impervious surface and the amount of stormwater runoff from each property.
REASONS WHY DTMA’s STORMWATER PROGRAM WILL BENEFIT THE DERRY TOWNSHIP COMMUNITY:
Focus – The Authority will concentrate activities and funding on stormwater management, rather than all other responsibilities faced by the Township.
Funding - The Authority will use revenue collected from the Stormwater Management Fee exclusively for stormwater management, compliance with state and federal requirements, and to match grants.
Maintenance – Stormwater Management Fee revenue will be used to maintain the stormwater system, fund capital improvements, reduce water pollution, and meet state permit requirements.
Choices – The Stormwater Management Fee will be structured to fit the uniqueness of Derry Township and the various sectors in our community.
Green Infrastructure - Stormwater funds can be invested in rain gardens, tree planting, wetland construction, stream improvements, etc.