What is Stormwater?
Stormwater can be defined as surface water run-off that is generated by rain or snowmelt within a watershed area. In urban areas, rain that falls on the roof of your house, or collects on paved areas like driveways, roads and sidewalks is carried away through a system of drainage inlets and pipes called a storm sewer system. The storm sewer system is separate from the sanitary sewer system. Unlike the sanitary sewer system, the collected stormwater is not treated. In some cases it may be filtered through a stormwater management pond; in other cases, it flows directly from the neighboring streets into streams, wetlands, rivers, embayment areas, and lakes.
Why does the stormwater run-off need to be controlled?
If you live or often spend time near a waterway, you are probably familiar with what happens after a rain event. Polluted run-off emptying into clean water is often discolored from sediment and/or plagued with litter. You may be advised not to swim or fish for a couple of days following a rain event because of the poor water quality.
Common pollutants associated with urban stormwater run-off include pesticides, fertilizers, oils, salt, litter, and sediment. These contaminants are, in many instances, transported directly from the storm sewer system into our waterbodies. These pollutants can destroy wildlife, cause the destruction of spawning habitats, reduce the aesthetic value of a stream corridor, wetland or pond, and limit recreational uses of our waterways.
How does the Town of Perinton manage stormwater?
In Perinton, stormwater is managed through comprehensive land use planning, zoning laws, building codes, and a local erosion and sediment control, construction/post construction stormwater pollution prevention and illicit discharge law. Stormwater is also regulated at the State and Federal government level as well.
Since significant changes were made to the Federal Clean Water Act in 1972 and 1978, the quality of the nation’s water resources have greatly improved. Unfortunately, about 40% of the nation’s streams, rivers, wetlands, lakes, ponds, and embayment areas still receive contaminated stormwater runoff from rural and urban areas. In order to ensure that continued progress is made by the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) established a new set of stormwater regulations in 2003 to help control stormwater run-off. These regulations placed strict controls on earth disturbing activities and mandated that local municipalities implement minimum measures to mitigate the impacts of stormwater run-off on our water resources.
These Stormwater Regulations require the Town of Perinton to develop a Stormwater Management Program that focuses on ways to improve water quality and reduce stormwater pollutants within the community. Perinton’s program has been under development since early 2004 and has implemented many of the recommended pollution prevention measures. In order to track Perinton’s progress and the success with its program, an Annual Report is prepared and submitted to the NYSDEC for review every June. The Annual Report attempts to outline specific water quality control activities undertaken by the Town during the previous year. This year’s Annual Report can be viewed online under “Links of Interest”. A hard copy will also be made available for review at the Perinton Public Works Office.
What can you do to help reduce stormwater pollution?
- Remember: “Only rain down the drain”. The storm sewer system is for rainwater and snow melt only. Even leaves or grass clippings can diminish the capacity of a storm sewer system
- Never dump or pour any material (either solid or liquid) into the storm sewer system.
- Reduce the amount of and use environmentally friendly pesticides and fertilizers on your lawn.
- Minimize the usage of de-icing materials on driveways and walks.
- Properly dispose of pet wastes.
- Compost vegetative material (grass clippings and other yard debris).
- Drain your swimming pool only when a test kit detects that no chlorine is present.
- Wash your vehicle on your lawn instead of on your driveway.
- Conduct regular maintenance on your septic system.
With help from the public, stormwater pollution can be controlled. The most effective way to reduce this pollution is to stop it from entering the storm sewer system in the first place.
How can I get involved?
The Town of Perinton has utilized volunteers to stencil or mark storm drains reminding the neighborhood that “Only rain goes down the drain”. For more information regarding the Town’s Stormwater Management Program, including the draft annual report, or becoming a stormwater project volunteer, please contact us or call the Perinton Public Works Department at 223-5115.
Have a Question or can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact Us
Jason R. Kennedy, P.E.
Commisioner of Public Works
Eric M. Williams
Asst. Commissioner of Public Works/Stormwater Management Officer
Robert K. Kozarits, P.E.