Storm water is water from precipitation that flows across the ground and pavements when it rains or when snow and ice melt. The water seeps into the ground or drains into what we call storm sewers. These are the drains you see at street corners or at low points on the sides of streets. Collectively, the draining water is called storm water runoff.
Storm water becomes a problem when it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants as it flows or when it causes flooding and erosion to stream banks. Storm water travels through a system of pipes and roadside ditches that make up storm sewer systems. It eventually flows directly to a lake, river, stream, wetland, or coastal water. All of the pollutants storm water carries along the way empty into our waters, too, because storm water does not get treated!
Bristol Borough is preventing storm water pollution through a storm water management program. This program addresses storm water pollution from construction, new development, illegal dumping to the storm sewer system, and pollution prevention and good housekeeping practices in municipal operations. It will also continue to educate the community and get everyone involved in making sure the only thing that storm water contributes to our water is water.
An illicit discharge is any discharge to the storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of stormwater. A few exceptions to this rule include: firefighting activities, landscape irrigation, foundation drains, and water from crawl space pumps.
Sources of illicit discharge include but are not limited to:
- Sanitary wastewater
- Failing septic systems
- Improper oil disposal
- Radiator flushing disposal
- Spills from roadway accidents
- Improper disposal of toxics
- Improper use of pesticides and herbicides
Illicit discharges enter the system either through direct connections (deliberate pipe hookups to the storm drain system) or indirect connections (spills collected by drain outlets, or deliberate dumping down the storm drain). These illicit discharges drain directly to the creeks and streams and may be loaded with large amounts of harmful and toxic substances.
If you notice illicit discharges, please report them to the Borough at 215-788-3828.
You Can Help Manage Stormwater By Volunteering: .
* If you are interested in volunteering contact the Borough at 215-788-3828.
- Stencil storm drains with warnings about dumping.
- Participate in a stream or creek cleanup in the Borough.
- Plant trees along a pond, stream or creek.
- Organize a neighborhood or watershed pollution watch.
- Join Storm Watchers program to monitor inlets in your neighborhood.
Source: PADEPs When it Rains, It Drains Brochure.
Additional Links To Helpful Information
Link to DEP website: http://www.dep.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx
What Businesses Can Do:
Preliminary Floodplain Map Updates
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recently released new (preliminary) floodplain maps, known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), to reflect current flood risks, replacing maps that were up to 14 years old.
Copies of the Preliminary Floodplain Maps are also available for review at the Borough Hall