WHAT IS STORMWATER MANAGEMENT?


The Municipality of Monroeville encompasses roughly 19.7 square miles of the earth’s surface. Over the course of an average year 36 inches of precipitation falls on Monroeville which amounts to roughly 12.3 billion gallons of water. In a suburban setting like Monroeville approximately 60% of this water is not absorbed by the ground and becomes roughly 7.4 billion gallons of stormwater runoff which flows untreated into storm sewers and streams.

This runoff has several negative consequences:

1. Runoff from areas like maintained lawns, roads, parking lots, driveways, and construction sites carry pollutants such as oil, gasoline, transmission fluid, road salt, sediment, etc. which pollute the streams and rivers harming the aquatic ecosystem and polluting the waters we use for recreation and drinking water.

2. Runoff, especially from roofs and paved areas, has higher temperatures which harms aquatic ecosystems in streams and rivers by raising water temperature and reducing oxygen levels in the water.

3. Higher runoff rates make the streams and rivers flow deeper and faster eroding the stream banks which is harmful to the aquatic ecosystems and often causing roads and other infrastructure to be undermined and destroyed.

4. Higher runoff rates result in downstream flooding which damages public and private properties.

5. Water that runs off is not absorbed into the ground, which in turn decreases groundwater levels needed to provide well water to some people and to maintain adequate stream flows in drier months.

6. Increased runoff necessitates more stormwater infrastructure (pipes, inlets, manholes, detention facilities) which costs taxpayer money to build and maintain.

In order to address all these issues the Municipality has enacted a stormwater management program. The program provides for the operation of a storm sewer system and rules to address stormwater runoff from lands in the Municipality. This program is regulated by the Federal Clean Water Act under a system called the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, commonly referred to as an MS4 permit. Under the program the Municipality is required to obtain an MS4 permit to discharge stormwater, and the permit stipulates many activities that the Municipality must conduct in order to stay in compliance.

The purpose of this website is to educate the public while satisfying some of the permit requirements.


HOW DOES MONROEVILLE MANAGE STORMWATER?

Monroeville manages stormwater in the following ways:

1. Monroeville operates and maintains the following stormwater infrastructure:
    a. 3,693 storm sewer pipes constituting roughly 68 miles of pipe
    b. 3,047 storm sewer inlets also known as catch basins
    c. 338 storm sewer manholes
    d. 707 storm sewer headwalls or outfalls
    e. 34 stormwater detention facilties
    f. The estimated value of this infrastructure is $36 million.


2. Monroeville utilizes a state-of-the-art street sweeper to clean the roads twice a year, in spring and fall, which removes sediment and other pollutants which might otherwise wash into the storm sewer system and into streams.

3. Monroeville periodically inspects the water quality of 523 storm sewer outfalls to monitor them for pollution.

4. Monroeville requires construction projects to install stormwater detention facilities and stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP’s) which temporarily store runoff during rain events and clean and cool the runoff to combat some of the negative aspects of runoff.

5. Monroeville annually conducts public involvement and participation by hosting the Jack Sedlak Clean-up day in April. This event removes hundreds of bags of litter and refuse from roadsides and streambanks which might otherwise end up the streams and creeks. The Municipality promotes and advertises this event, provides gloves, bags, vests, crews to collect the bags and transport them to the landfill, and hosts a picnic afterwards for the volunteers complete with food and prizes.

6. Monroeville maintains an Adopt-a-road/ stream program where families or community groups can adopt a portion of road or stream to keep clean of litter and refuse that might otherwise pollute creeks and streams.

7. Monroeville utilizes proper snow removal techniques including a state-of-the-art brine maker to minimize the amount of road salt applied to the roadways which ultimately washes into streams.

8. The Municipality conducts leaf collection in the fall which removes tons of leaf litter from potentially entering the runoff stream and in the process creates beneficial leaf mulch for use throughout the Municipality.

9. The Municipality conducts public education and outreach to inform residents and businesses about stormwater management via this website, TV-15, newspaper, and other methods.



WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?

Don't Be Part of the Problem!

Don’t dump anything other than water into storm sewer grates or onto roads!

ONLY RAIN IN THE DRAIN! The water that enters the storm sewer grates does not get treated! This water flows directly into creeks and streams. If you dump oil, antifreeze, paint, paint thinner, pesticides, fertilizer, chlorinated pool water, etc. into the storm sewer or onto the road it will end up poisoning the creeks and streams.

 

 

Don’t put pet waste in the storm sewer grates!

• We have ongoing problems with people putting pet waste into storm grates. The bacteria in the pet waste pollutes the creeks and streams. The plastic bags pet owners use to collect and dispose of the waste clogs the storm sewers causing flooding and requiring expensive repairs

• Pet waste should be placed in the garbage, flushed in the toilet, or buried in the yard.

• See this website for more.



Don’t cause pollution by improperly draining your pool (or hot tub)!

• Wait a few days after you last add chlorine before you drain the pool, the chlorine will dissipate over a fewdays. Check the chlorine level before you drain to make sure it is gone.

• Add a dechlorinator like sodium thiosulfate to the pool to eliminate the chlorine, this is available at pool stores.

• Check the pH of the water before draining. The pH should be close to 7, which is neutral. If the pH differs, adjust the chemicals and retest until the pH is acceptable. Use your pool water testing kit to check the pH.

• Don’t just drain onto a driveway or street. Ideally let the water drain across lawn or other vegetated areas for as long a distance as possible before it gets to the road or storm sewer. This filters the water and allows some of it to soak into the ground. If you have dechlorinated and checked the pH your lawn will love this deep watering.


Don’t dirty the water by washing your car!

• Obviously car wash water includes nasty pollutants like soap, road salt, oil, dirt, antifreeze, etc. which you would not want to flow into creeks and streams where it can kill fish, insects, frogs and other aquatic life.

• Ideally wash your car at a commercial car wash. The dirty water at car washes goes to a treatment plant where it is properly treated at ALCOSAN before being returned to the Ohio River.

• If you wash your car at home, try to wash it in the lawn where the water can be absorbed or filtered instead of flowing into the storm sewer or onto a road. In many cases the driveway is acceptable as well if the water from the driveway flows onto the lawn. If you cringe at this water flowing onto your lawn think about it going into streams!

 

 


Don’t let your car, truck, boat, or motorcycle cause water pollution!


• Don’t let your car leak fluids. One drop of used motor oil can contaminate a million drops of water. One quart of oil will contaminate 250,000 gallons of water or create an oil slick 2 acres in size. Allowing your car to leak oils, antifreeze, etc. creates a traveling water pollution machine, fix those leaks!

• Perform your own oil changes, brake jobs, or other maintenance in a garage or other sheltered location where drips, leaks, spills, etc. cannot be washed away by rain. A recent study found that backyard mechanics in Michigan alone create more oil pollution than the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.

 

 


Don’t make your lawn green at the expense of the environment!

• Avoid using herbicides (weed killers) and fertilizers if you can. Simply mowing your lawn at a taller height can result in deeper, stronger roots, greener more drought resistance blades, and can crowd out weeds.

• If you must use herbicides and fertilizers look into less harmful natural options such as corn gluten which is a natural, non-toxic weed suppressor and slow release fertilizer.

• Get a soil test! Penn State will test your soil for $9 via this website or the Allegheny County Extension Office. The same scientists farmers rely on to manage their fields will provide you a custom detailed report that will tell you what fertilizer to buy and how much to use (i.e. apply 1.75lbs per 100 square feet of 10-10-10 once in fall and once in spring). This will save you money, provide better results, and protect the environment.

• If you feel you must use them apply herbicides and fertilizer in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. Apply the proper amount at the proper time to save yourself money, get the best result, and save the environment.

• Don’t apply these chemicals when the ground is frozen or before rains are forecasted.

• Be careful or use a spreader with “edgeguard” to avoid spreading herbicides or fertilizer on sidewalks, streets, or driveways adjacent to lawn areas where the chemicals will get washed into the storm sewers.

• Do not blow leaves or lawn clippings onto the road where they will be washed into the storm sewers and ultimately to the creeks and streams. This organic material depletes oxygen in water and can cause algae blooms that harm fish and other organisms.


Be part of the Solution!

Alert us to pollution!

Only stormwater runoff should go into storm sewers. If you see someone dumping something in a storm drain or on the road, or see unclean water coming out of a pipe let us know!

We have a stormwater pollution hotline:

Call us at 412-856-3330

Email us at: swpollution@monroeville.pa.us



Help Us Clean Up Monroeville!

Refuse and litter is not pretty to look at but it also often ends up washing or blowing into storm sewers and streams. Removing the litter makes the town look nicer and improves water quality.

Come help us clean-up Monroeville:

• Jack Sedlak Clean-Up Day
Held annually on Earth Day in April.

• Attend a free picnic afterwards with food and prizes!

• Call Monroeville Parks at 412-856-1008 for details.


 



 

Plant some native trees or vegetation to reduce and filter runoff!

Native Pennsylvania plants for rain gardens.

Native Pennsylvania plants for sunny locations.

Native Pennsylvania plants for shady locations.

Native Pennsylvania plants for acidic soils.

 

 

 

 


Install a rain barrel to capture roof runoff!



Rain Barrels - a form of rain harvesting.

How to build a simple rain barrel.

How to harvest water from a rain barrel.

 

 


 


Install a rain garden to capture and filter runoff from lawns, driveways, and roofs!

Rain garden information for homeowners.

Rain gardens and the community.


Basic rain garden installation information.




Educate yourself and share your knowledge with others!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stormwater Management on Residential Lots
Homeowner's Guide to Stormwater
Ponds and Streams - What lives there...how to protect them
Federal Environmental Protection Agency Stormwater Program Website
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Stormwater Management Website
Allegheny County Stormwater Management Plan Website
Turtle Creek Watershed Association Website
Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) Water Resource Center
Sustainable Monroeville - learn about sustainability through local group meetings
Penn State Extension Stormwater Management
Construction Site Stormwater Management

Municipal MS4 Documents
Draft Pollutant Reduction Plan (PRP) Open For Public Comment
  Please submit comments to: storej@monroeville.pa.us

• Prior Annual Reports / Progress Reports
     - Coming Soon

 

 

 

 

 
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