Property Owner Prevention
Swissvale Borough needs everyone to do their share in maintaining a safe and healthy environment. Anything that goes into the storm inlets flows directly into the streams untreated and can end up in your drinking water. The most important thing to consider is that what you dump into the storm inlet not only affects you, but it affects your neighbors and other communities that the streams flow through. Please be cautious and keep the following things in mind to prevent pollution.
- Dumping used motor oil or other toxic wasted down the storm inlets eventually finds its way into streams thus killing wildlife and polluting stream beds. Do not dump these hazardous wastes into the inlets. Instead, they should be taken to recycling centers which dispose of the substances properly.
- Don't litter. Always dispose of trash and other debris in the proper receptacles.
- When using fertilizers and pesticides, follow the label for use and storage methods.
- Help prevent erosion by planting steep slopes and planting bare spots. Loose soil will erode the stream bank and harm fish and wildlife.
- Helpful resources for homeowners to assist with stormwater management:
Report Illicit Discharges
If you see illegal dumping into our storm sewers, waterways and/or pollution discharge to our streams, creeks and rivers, report it to the Borough at 412-271-0350.
Importance of Managing Stormwater
Stormwater is rainwater and melted snow that runs off streets, lawns, and other sites. When stormwater is absorbed into the ground, it is filtered and ultimately replenishes aquifers or flows into streams and rivers. In developed areas, however, impervious surfaces such as pavement and roofs prevent precipitation from naturally soaking into the ground. Instead, the water runs rapidly into storm drains, sewer systems, and drainage ditches and can cause:
- Combined sewer overflows
- Contaminated streams, rivers, and coastal water
- Downstream flooding
- Habitat destruction
- Increased muddiness created by stirred up sediment
- Infrastructure damage
- Stream bank erosion
Stormwater Basic Information
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Program regulates stormwater discharges from three potential sources: municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4), construction activities, and industrial activities. Most stormwater discharges are considered point sources, and operators of these sources may be required to receive an NPDES permit before they can discharge. This permitting mechanism is designed to prevent stormwater runoff from washing harmful pollutants into local surface waters such as streams, rivers, lakes or coastal waters.
Many fact sheets detailing the Minimum Control Measures (MCMs) that the Borough is required to comply with every year can be found here, for example:
- Small MS4 Stormwater Program Overview, and Illicit Discharges and Our Stormwater (PDF)
- The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) website provides information on their Stormwater Management Program to help explain the regulations
- Check out the PA Department of Environmental Protection's current News Releases
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Information
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also provides additional help with understanding the benefits of stormwater management at these websites:
- Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s)
- Benefits of Public Education Efforts
- National Menu of Best Management Practices for Stormwater
Information from the Delaware Estuary
Simple, inexpensive and effective business and housekeeping practices are detailed in these beautiful brochures:
- Best Management Practices - What are They? (PDF)
- Good Housekeeping Practices for Restaurants and Food Service Establishments (PDF)
- Good Housekeeping Practices for Auto Maintenance, Repair and Fueling Operations (PDF)