Just as we share in the benefits of living on the riverfront, we also share in the responsibility to protect the river and our watersheds from pollution.
During a storm, asphalt parking lots, concrete pavements and ordinary grass lawns allow rain water to move quickly, eroding soil and hardscaping as it rushes to the river. Stormwater runoff carries oil, litter, chemicals and debris into our waterways, and is the source of many problems for homeowners, like lawn ponding and basement flooding.
Working together, there are many steps we can take to slow the flow of stormwater and increase its safe absorption into the ground.
Rain Gardens. A depression in the lawn planted with native wildflowers, rushes, ferns, shrubs and small trees can help capture, filter and return rain water to the ground. You can learn more about designing a rain garden on the US Environmental Protection Agency website.
Dry Wells. A covered, porous container buried underground to capture runoff so it can be slowly absorbed into the ground. This solution may not work for everyone. Visit the EPA's website to learn more.
Vegetated Swales. An open, shallow channel with natural plantings along the sides and bottom that collects stormwater, helps filter it, and channels the runoff slowly to a discharge point. Read more about swales and other green infrastructure at the EPA's website.
Rain Barrels. Capture the water from roof gutters and save it for watering your lawn, garden and indoor plants. The EPA has a webpage for that, too.
Permeable Pavement. If you're designing a new driveway, walkway or garden path, consider using hardscaping materials that allow rain water to be absorbed and filtered back into the ground. The EPA has more information about the wide variety of permeable paving materials.
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System
New Hope Borough has a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which regulates our storm sewer system and requires New Hope to implement a storm water management program. This includes six program elements called "Minimum Control Measures" which, when implemented together, are designed to result in significant reductions of pollutants discharged from the storm sewer system.
Below are the six measures with links to the DEP's fact sheets:
- Public education and outreach
- Public participation and involvement
- Illicit discharge detection and elimination
- Construction Site storm water runoff
- Post-construction storm water management in new development and redevelopment
- Pollution Prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations and maintenance
What Can You Do?
Contact New Hope Borough Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org to report any stormwater runoff or other pollution issues, whether from construction sites, businesses, or other locations throughout the Borough.
Volunteer with your local watershed association, the Aquetong Watershed Association or the Primrose Creek Watershed Association, to:
- Organize a neighborhood pollution watch,
- Participate in a stream or creek cleanup within the Borough, or
- Plant trees along a stream or creek.
Practice these healthy household habits:
- Use fertilizers and pesticides sparingly and only when necessary
- Do not blow grass clippings or leaves into the street or inlets
- Sweep up yard debris rather than hosing down paved areas
- Compost or recycle yard waste
- Pick up pet waste and dispose of it properly
- Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on an unpaved area
- Service your car regularly to prevent leaks onto paved areas
- Dispose of household hazardous waste at designated collection locations
- Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled or recyclable products whenever possible
- EPA Water Home Page
- EPA Stormwater Home Page
- Pa. DEP Stormwater Home Page
- Bucks County Conservation District Home Page