Stormwater Management

What is Stormwater Management? 

Stormwater is the natural source of freshwater that originates during precipitation events. When it lands on the ground, it infiltrates and recharges the aquifers that we get our drinking water from and rehydrates the plants and animals that make up our food.

Stormwater runoff is generated from rain and snowmelt events that flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops and does not soak into the ground. The runoff picks up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that can harm our rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal waters.

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Stormwater Management in the Borough 

Polluted stormwater is commonly transferred through Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), from which it is often discharged untreated into water bodies. Population growth and the development of urban/urbanized areas are major contributors to the number of pollutants in the runoff as well as the volume and rate of runoff from impervious surfaces. Together, they can cause changes in hydrology and water quality that result in habitat modification and loss, increased flooding, decreased aquatic biological diversity, and increased sedimentation and erosion.

The NPDES permit helps to prevent and control this discharge. Municipalities who have a separate storm sewer systems (MS4) from sanitary sewer systems must have a stormwater permit and are required by the DEP and the EPA to develop and implement a stormwater management program to reduce stormwater runoff and prohibit illicit discharge.


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The State College Borough is an MS4 Partner. The Public Works Department monitors stormwater management according to the Borough’s Stormwater Ordinance (Borough Codes, Chapter XIV, Part B) and under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Permit.

Our stormwater management program includes six minimum control measures: public education, public involvement, construction and post-construction runoff management, illicit discharge detection and elimination, and good housekeeping/general pollution prevention.

The following documents provide more information on how the Borough will operate its core stormwater management programs:

Not Quite Quenched?

All members of the State College community can help with these stormwater improvement efforts. Check out these links for more on stormwater.

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