Storm Water Management (MS4)
Stormwater Management Program (SWMP)
What is Stormwater? Stormwater is rain and snowmelt that flows across impervious surfaces like roads, buildings, and parking areas. During storm events, polluted runoff is collected and conveyed through the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), and then discharged directly into local streams. The MS4 includes stormwater pipes, inlets, roadways, swales, and detention basins. Stormwater picks up numerous polluting substances as it flows across the ground surface including manure, soil/sediment, fertilizer, chemicals, petroleum products, trash, and bacteria. The purpose of the SWMP is to protect water quality by reducing stormwater pollution.
MS4/Stormwater Permit: In March 2018, Rapho Township received a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges. The permit is managed and enforced by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and requires the Township to implement best management practices (BMPs) to support six Minimum Control Measures (MCMs):
- MCM #1 Public Education and Outreach
- MCM #2 Public Participation and Involvement
- MCM #3 Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- MCM #4 Construction Site Runoff Control
- MCM #5 Post-Construction Stormwater Management
- MCM #6 Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping
Pollutant Reduction Plan: As part of their MS4 Permit, Rapho Township developed a Pollutant Reduction Plan (PRP) and is working to implement projects that reduce the amount of sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus that enter local streams. In 2019, the Township used awarded grant funds to retrofit an existing detention basin along Lefever Road by adding water quality components. The Township is also currently working with Penn Township and Mount Joy Borough to restore impaired stream channels.
Documents: Pollutant Reduction Plan
Pollutant Control Measures: Rapho Township must also take measures to identify and eliminate sources of Pathogens and Priority Organic Chemicals (POCs) to the Susquehanna River.
- Pathogens: Pathogens are disease-causing organisms (E.coli) originating from both animal and human sources such as leaking septic systems, sanitary sewer pipes, and manure application on farms.
- POCs: Priority Organic Compounds (POCs) include a wide range of chemicals used in industry and persist in sediment and fish tissue. The sources of these chemicals can come from spills, leaks and from poorly maintained hazardous waste sites.
Rapho Township is in the Chiques Creek Watershed: All stormwater runoff originating in Rapho Township flows into the Chiques Creek or the Little Chiques Creek - these two streams form the east and west boundaries of the Township. The Chiques Creek Watershed Alliance hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Check out their Facebook Page for volunteer opportunities!
What Can You Do to Protect the Chiques Creek? There are a lot of things that you can do to help the Township improve water quality:
- Manage stormwater on your own property, build a rain garden, install a rain barrel, wash your car on the lawn, remove turf grass and plant native shrubs and trees
- Keep stormwater inlets clear of grass clippings, leaves and trash. Do not dump anything down a stormwater inlet. Report suspected illicit discharges to the Township
- Participate in the Chiques Creek Watershed Alliance events