Swissvale Borough

Stormwater Management

10 Things You Can Do to Protect the Streams & Rivers of PA Watch Video:

What can you as a property owner do?

Swissvale Borough needs everyone to do their share in maintaining a safe and healthy environment. Anything that goes into the storm inlets flows directly into the streams untreated and can end up in your drinking water. The most important thing to consider is that what you dump into the storm inlet not only affects you, but it affects your neighbors and other communities that the streams flow through. Please be cautious and keep the following things in mind to prevent pollution.

  • Dumping used motor oil or other toxic wasted down the storm inlets eventually finds its way into streams thus killing wildlife and polluting stream beds. Do not dump these hazardous wastes into the inlets. Instead, they should be taken to recycling centers which dispose of the substances properly.
  • Don't litter. Always dispose of trash and other debris in the proper receptacles.
  • When using fertilizers and pesticides, follow the label for use and storage methods.
  • Help prevent erosion by planting steep slopes and planting bare spots. Loose soil will erode the stream bank and harm fish and wildlife.
  • Listed below are helpful resources for homeowners to assists with stormwater management.

Report Illicit Discharges

If you see illegal dumping into our storm sewers, waterways and/or pollution discharge to our streams, creeks and rivers, report it to the Borough at 412-271-0350.

Why Manage Stormwater?

Stormwater is rainwater and melted snow that runs off streets, lawns, and other sites. When stormwater is absorbed into the ground, it is filtered and ultimately replenishes aquifers or flows into streams and rivers. In developed areas, however, impervious surfaces such as pavement and roofs prevent precipitation from naturally soaking into the ground. Instead, the water runs rapidly into storm drains, sewer systems, and drainage ditches and can cause:

  • Downstream flooding
  • Stream bank erosion
  • Increased muddiness created by stirred up sediment
  • Habitat destruction
  • Combined sewer overflows
  • Infrastructure damage
  • Contaminated streams, rivers, and coastal water - (Source: US EPA)

Let Freddy the Fish tell you! Freddy the Fish:

Stormwater Basic Information

What is the NPDES Stormwater Program?

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Program regulates stormwater discharges from three potential sources: municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4), construction activities, and industrial activities. Most stormwater discharges are considered point sources, and operators of these sources may be required to receive an NPDES permit before they can discharge. This permitting mechanism is designed to prevent stormwater runoff from washing harmful pollutants into local surface waters such as streams, rivers, lakes or coastal waters.

Many fact sheets detailing the Minimum Control Measures (MCMs) that the Borough is required to comply with every year can be found here, for example:

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also provides additional help with understanding the benefits of stormwater management at these websites:

Below are links to helpful information created by the Delaware Estuary. Simple, inexpensive and effective business and housekeeping practices are detailed in these beautiful brochures.