Lower Paxton Township's MS4 Program
There are 6 Minimum Control Measures (MCM) that make up Lower Paxton Township’s Municipal Separate Stormwater System (MS4) program. These 6 MCMs are:
- Public Education
- Public Involvement
- Construction Site Runoff Management
- Post Construction Stormwater Management
- Illicit Discharge and Detection
- Good Housekeeping and Pollution Prevention for Municipal Operations
- Public Education includes distributing informational posters, meeting with the public, providing links on the web page to related information, and providing a means for reporting suspected pollution concerns.
Public Involvement. Citizens are encouraged to comment on stormwater issues; to organize groups to stencil storm drains to increase public awareness of the hazards of water pollution; and to promote community clean-ups and adoption of local waterways.
Construction Site Runoff Management. Construction activities have sediment runoff rates 1,000 to 2,000 times greater than forested land and 10 to 20 times greater than agricultural lands. The Dauphin County Conservation District has the primary responsibility for managing construction runoff. Lower Paxton Township works closely with the Conservation District to mitigate construction runoff through regulations to control construction activities and penalties for non-compliance; review of construction plans to ensure site specific needs are addressed; and site inspections to ensure necessary control measures have been installed and maintained.
Post Construction Storm Water Management. Proper site management reduces the effects of development on our waterways. Development can cause waterway degradation by increasing sediment load, possible chemical or nutrient contamination, reducing ground water recharge, and increasing the volume and speed of water flows. Township ordinances govern the design, construction, and maintenance of storm water facilities, and provide penalties for non-compliance. The Township also inspects existing facilities to ensure they are working properly, working with property owners to ensure compliance.
Illicit Discharge Detection. Any discharge to an MS4 that is not composed entirely of stormwater, with some exceptions, such as hydrant flushing and firefighting runoff, is an illicit discharge. MS4 facilities are not designed to convey or handle illicit discharges. Illicit discharges enter the MS4 system either through direct connections or indirect connections, such as leaking sanitary sewer systems, spills which reach storm drains, or deliberate dumping into drains or other facilities. Illicit discharges can contribute to high levels of pollutants including oils, heavy metals, excess nutrients, and viruses/bacteria.
Good Housekeeping and Pollution Prevention for Municipal Operations. The Township must examine its actions to ensure that it is not contributing to water degradation. The Township works to accomplish this objective through:
- Training employees to eliminate pollutants from entering the storm system.
- Modifying and constructing facilities to reduce runoff and possible contamination.
An example of good housekeeping is Township salt domes, which shelter stockpiled salt from precipitation, eliminating dissolved salts from entering the storm sewer system.