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This content was originally published on our sister company's website, Peters Consultants, Inc.

The PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) initiated the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program to promote greater understanding of stormwater as a valuable resource and to improve overall stormwater management practices.

The updated state and federal guidelines no longer recommend flushing stormwater into the nearest waterway or detention basin as quickly as possible. The standard mown grass storm basin may help limit localized flooding, but these traditional basins actually degrade water quality and stormwater that should be recharging into local groundwater aquifer.   

Stormwater may be a nuisance or occasionally a hazard but it should never be treated like trash, it is actually a precious resource. Most of our northeast Pennsylvania communities depend on well water for day-to-day water needs. Even communities with public water supplies often use deep wells as one of their water sources. According to the EPA, 40% of people living in the United States use groundwater for drinking, cooking, cleaning, showering, and all other types of activities. 97% of people living in rural areas of the nation use groundwater, and 30-40% of water used agriculturally (for farming) is from the ground.  These large numbers tell us that groundwater is an important source and needs to be taken care of.