Stormwater FAQs

What is a rain garden and how can I make one?
Rain gardens are planted areas designed to soak up rain water, which drains from a roof or other impervious surfaces.  They offer several benefits to communities and residents.  Rain Gardens: Increase the amount of stormwater that recharges groundwater Filter pollutants from stormwater that washes off roofs, lawns, and paved areas Provide attractive habitat for birds, butterflies, and many beneficial insects A more through guide is available via CRC Watersheds Association by clicking here.
Why did Pennsylvania start regulating stormwater management?
Since 1978, Pennsylvania has had laws in place to control stormwater, as required by the Federal Government. (For decades, the State has not intensely focused on issues, until the devastation caused by the flooding from Hurricane Floyd in September of 1999.) Property destruction, personal losses, and litigation forced the state and federal governments to step up efforts and work towards controlling the effects of development as they may contribute to downstream flooding conditions.
The acronym stands for National Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems. This is a stormwater management program developed by the state offices of the Department Of Environmental Protection to address pollution and flooding. The Delaware County Conservation District (DCCD) processes and seeks compliance toward stormwater discharge permits for construction activities. State laws require municipalities to obtain state permits, and to strictly regulate water quality and quantity from construction sites, new development, illegal dumping to storm sewer systems and to educate the public (residents and business owners) on the importance of pollution prevention.
What does NPDES PHASE II have to do with me or my neighborhood?
If you live in a neighborhood that has streets maintained by the municipality, and there are storm sewers in those streets and pipes that take the stormwater to a stream or other body of water, you are responsible to keep your basins clear of sediment and pollutants and to prevent illegal dumping into storm sewers. If you are aware of a neighbor who connects a hose from their washing machine or sewage system directly into a storm sewer or drainage basin, or stream, you should notify township officials immediately. If you are aware of any malfunctioning septic systems you should notify township officials immediately. For an informative brochure entitled When It Rains, It drains, click here.
What watershed am I in? 
There are three different watersheds in Edgmont Township.  Each is located in a different portion of the Township.  These watersheds and their locations are:
  • Chester Creek Watershed: most of the western portion of the Township
  • Ridley Creek Watershed: some of the western portion of the Township and all of the central (primarily the area of Ridley Creek State Park)
  • Crum Creek Watershed: the eastern portion of the Township There are several other waterways which serve as tributaries to these creeks.
These tributaries are: the Rocky Run, Stackhouse Mill Run, Plumsock Run, Tagalong Run, Little Pony Trail Run
I own a house on two acres. Why should I care about stormwater?
Stormwater affects everybody, we all live downhill from somewhere. If we don’t control runoff from our own property, somewhere, somebody down hill from us will feel it. Remember your parents saying to you - “if everybody threw their trash out the car window the whole road would be covered with trash?” If we all neglect our responsibilities to maintain our own property and control our own runoff, there will continue to be devastating effects on those down hill from us. You can be the solution to stormwater pollution! * Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly * Repair all auto and motor equipment leaks * Clean up after your pet * Wash cars on your lawn, not on your driveway * Recycle * Dispose of household hazardous waste such as batteries, used oil, paint and certain cleaning solvents at designated collection locations. For details regarding household hazardous waste collections contact 610-892-9620 or 
This doesn’t pertain to me. I don’t discharge any stormwater from my property.
Do you live in a house with rain gutters? Do your rain gutters take your roof water and dump it onto your driveway or to a storm drain? Do you have a storm drain on or near your driveway or property? Do you drain your swimming pool every fall? Did you build a tennis court, expand your driveway, enlarge your roof or add a garage? Unless you have some sort of stormwater system on your property, you are discharging water from your property into a stream somewhere, making it somebody else’s problem. (For details on how to properly drain your pool – see Frequently Asked Questions FAQ’s) Here are a few suggestions to make a difference: Install a rain barrel (for information about rain barrels contact Pennsylvania Resource Council in Edgmont Township at 610-353-1555 or and use the collected rainwater for watering flowers and gardens. Disconnect your rain gutters from discharging onto driveways and redirect the water to grassy areas or infiltration beds (dry wells).
Why is my township now getting involved with stormwater? Why doesn’t the State take care of this?
The state is a big place and there are a lot of watersheds in Pennsylvania. State agencies such as the Department of Environmental Protection rely heavily on local governments to do the majority of regulating when it comes to keeping the streams clean, healthy and controlling flooding from unmanaged stormwater.

I run a business in Edgmont Township. How can I help keep the streams clean?
If you operate a restaurant, keeping your dumpster from leaking fluids into the ground is a start. Sweeping your sidewalks rather than washing possible pollutants into the ground will help. For an informative brochure created specifically for food establishments and if you operate an automotive repair or gas station please visit the Township office.
My neighborhood uses a professional lawn treatment company. Should we worry about pollution?
When you fertilize your lawn you’re not just fertilizing the lawn. Rain washes the fertilizer along the curb, into the storm drains and into the creeks and eventually into the Rivers. This causes algae to grow which uses up oxygen the fish need to survive. Don’t fertilize before a rain storm and don’t spray on sidewalks or driveways. Use fertilizers sparingly. Test your soil and consider organic/slow release products. Leave grass clippings lay, they act as natural fertilizer for your lawn. Compost and introduce compost into the soil in trouble spots. Maintain a buffer strip of un-mowed natural vegetation bordering all waterways to trap fertilizers.
What is the County doing to help?
The Stormwater Management Act, Act 167 of 1978, provides for the regulation of land and water use for flood control and stormwater management. This law, among other things, requires counties to prepare and adopt a watershed stormwater plan for each designated watershed. Delaware County has prepared a plan for the Chester Creek Watershed.  Edgmont Township has adopted the Chester, Ridley, and Crum Creek conservation plans.

I have an in ground septic system. Should I worry about pollution?
Modern septic systems are designed to function well for a period of approximately 15 years if they are used and maintained correctly. Your system is designed to work with the soils on your property. The components of the soil filter the gray water and remove pollutants. You should have your system pumped as recommended by your maintenance company, or no less than every two years. When you have your septic tank pumped you should have the system checked over to be sure it is in proper working order. No strong chemicals or old medicine should ever be flushed through the house plumbing into the septic systems. They will kill beneficial bacteria that are necessary to break down the waste in your system. Certain paint, paint thinners, excessive amounts of bleach, oils of any kind should all NOT be put into your system as they can cause immediate failure and are a danger to the aquifer. Avoid using a garbage disposal. Do not connect foundation sump pumps to your septic system. Keep trees and shrubs at least 35 feet away from your tile field to prevent root damage to pipes. Route surface drainage (including snow melt) away from your tile field. For more sewage related reference materials available contact your DEP Regional offices at 484-250-5900 or check out the DEP Home Page at