What is Stormwater?
In undeveloped landscapes, rainwater runoff is part of the natural hydrologic cycle. Vegetation, soils, and a wide range of organisms filter, absorb, and use rainfall in their living processes. Evaporation and transpiration takes place, and this completes the cycle. Excess precipitation infiltrates into groundwater and flows into surface waters, recharging aquifers, and supporting aquatic life.
The entire system is affected when the landscape is changed: impervious surfaces (paved streets, parking lots, rooftops, etc.) prevent stormwater from percolating into the ground and cause it to pick up debris, sediments, chemicals, and other pollutants as it moves over the ground.
What is Stormwater Management?
Stormwater Management is the effort to reduce runoff of rainwater or melted snow into streets, lawns and other sites and the improvement of water quality, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
When stormwater is abosrbed into the soil, it is filtered and ultimately replenishes aquifiers or flows into streams and rivers. However, when heavy rainwater hits, ground saturated by water creates excess moisture that runs across the surface and into storm sewers and road ditches. This water often carries debris, chemicals bacteria, eroded soil, and other pollutants, and carries them into streams, rivers, lakes, or wetlands.
How does Stormwater Management help?
In urban and developed areas, impervious surfaces such as payment and roofs prevent precipitation from naturally soaking into the ground. Instead, water ruins rapidly into storm drains, sewer systems and drainage ditches and can cause flooding, erosion, turbidity (or muddiness), storm and sanitary sewer system overflow, and infrastructure damage. However, stormwater design and "green infrastructure" capture and reuse stormwater to maintain or restore natural hydrologies.
Detaining stormwater and removing pollutants is the primary purpose of stormwater management. Pervious Surfaces that are porous and allow rainfall and snowmelt to soak into the soil, Gray infrastructure, such as culverts, gutters, storm sewers, conventional piped drainage, and Blue/Green infrastructure that protect, restore, or mimic the natural water cycle, all play a part in stormwater management.
Stormwater Management requirements in Longswamp Township
Longswamp Township Stormwater Management Ordinance 1998-189
Longswamp Township Little Lehigh Creek Watershed Act 167 Stormwater Management Ordinance 2005-228A
Longswamp Township Sacony Creek Watershed Stormwater Management Ordinance 2008-252
Longswamp Township Perkiomen Creek Headwaters Act 167 Stormwater Management Ordinance 2011-265