Stormwater Management

Stormwater management involves the control of water that runs off the surface of land from rain or melting ice or snow. The volume or amount of runoff and its rate substantially increases as land development occurs. Management of stormwater is necessary to compensate for adverse effects such as frequent flooding, erosion and sedimentation problems, concentration of flow on adjacent properties, damage to roads and infrastructure as well as non-point source pollution washed off from impervious surfaces.

The Pennsylvania legislature enacted the Storm Water Management Act (No. 167) in 1978 which authorizes, among other things, the local implementation and enforcement of stormwater ordinances. Chadds Ford Township's local regulations can be found in Chapter 105 of the Chadds Ford Township CODE.

Proper management of stormwater directly relates to the quality of our water. This is especially important in Chadds Ford Township because the vast majority of residents obtain their water from private wells. Water quality is not just important for wildlife, but directly affects our own health. Please take time to view the following information and websites regarding what you can do to help improve the quality of water in Chadds Ford:

Please see an excellent explanation of stormwater runoff at the US Environmental Protection Agency's web site.

Stormwater Complaints

Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection requires Chadds Ford to investigate illicit discharges into streams. Promptly report any of the events listed on the Who Are You Going To Call water quality hotline document by either calling the appropriate telephone number or contacting the Township office.

Swimming Pool Requirements

Chadds Ford Township would like to remind pool owners of their responsibilities concerning the discharge of pool water. The Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law and the Chadds Ford Township NPDES MS4 permit prohibits the discharge of non-stormwater, such as pool water, into the municipal storm sewer system. Every year, there are incidents of fish kills relating to either the discharge of pool water at the end of the season, at the beginning of the season, or the running of tap water or pool water hoses into storm sewers. Pool water discharged with residual chlorine at even the low level found in tap water has had adverse impacts on nearby creeks and ponds. Pool owners/operators can be liable for any damage to aquatic life or the stream that occurs as a result of their pool discharge(s).

Discharge of pool water to either sanitary sewers or storm sewers is prohibited by our municipality's ordinances. Pool water should not be discharged to storm drains, or streets that run to storm drains, but rather over a grassy area at a rate that optimizes infiltration and aeration and will not cause erosion. According to the DEP guidelines, pool water should have zero chlorine residual, and be within the acceptable ranges for temperature and pH as specified.

Single family residences with pools should also not be draining pool water directly to streams, storm sewers, or streets. Discharges should be over a grassy area at a rate that allows the water to soak into the ground. It is not permitted to discharge filter backwash water to storm sewers or streams; this water must also be infiltrated to the ground.

Should you have any questions regarding your responsibilities under the PA Clean Streams Law, please contact the Township or the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Southeast Regional Office, Bureau of Water Management, 484-250-5970.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our streams healthy!

Mowing Tips

Set your lawn mower blade to its highest setting. A high cut (3”) encourages deeper roots. Increasing the grass height only 1/8 of an inch results in about 300 square feet more leaf surface for each 1,000 square feet of lawn. More leaf surface enables grass to generate more energy for healthy growth, especially of roots. Taller grass shades out weeds, limits moisture evaporation from soil and harbors beneficial insects which control pests. Cut the lawn often enough so that you remove no more than 1/3 of the blade at one time. This means more frequent mowings in the spring, fewer in the heat of summer.

Leave your grass clippings as you mow. Clippings provide nutrition for your lawn. They are comprised of water, organic matter, nitrogen, and a small amount of phosphorus--all things your grass needs. Because clippings supply up to 50% of a lawn’s nitrogen needs over the season, you will not need as much fertilizer. Clippings from regular mowings will NOT cause thatch build up and will not hurt the grass.

Do not dump yard waste (clippings, branches, or leaves) in the street where it can wash into storm drains, or in parks, along streams, or piled at the base of trees.

Click here for more mowing tips.

Stormwater Management Links

DEP Stormwater Information
EPA Nonpoint Source Toolbox
Delaware County Conservation District
Center for Watershed Protection - Stormwater Manager's Resource Center
Stormwater Outreach Materials and Reference Documents
National Menu of Stormwater Best Management Practices
PA DEP Southeast Regional Office Contact Info