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Stormwater - MS4

Stroudsburg Borough Stormwater Management & MS4

What is Stormwater Runoff?
Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground.  Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater runoff from naturally soaking into the ground.

Why is Stormwater Runoff a Problem?
Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants and flow into a storm sewer system or directly into a lake, stream, river, wetland, or costal water, untreated.

What is MS4?
A Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) is a conveyance or system of conveyances that is owned by a municipality, designed or used, to collect or convey stormwater.

To learn more about Stormwater, follow the links below for external resources:

Stroudsburg Borough Stormwater Management & MS4    Public Education

Effects of Stormwater Runoff

  • Polluted stormwater runoff can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.
  • Sediment can cloud the water and make it difficult or impossible for aquatic plants to grow. Sediment also can destroy aquatic habitats.
  • Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms. When algae die, they sink to the bottom and decompose in a process that removes oxygen from the water. Fish and other aquatic organisms can’t exist in water with low dissolved oxygen levels.
  • Bacteria and other pathogens can wash into swimming areas and create health hazards, often making beach closures necessary.
  • Debris—plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles, and cigarette butts—washed into waterbodies can choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life like ducks, fish, turtles, and birds.
  • Household hazardous wastes like insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, used motor oil, and other auto fluids can poison aquatic life. Land animals and people can become sick or die from eating diseased fish and shellfish or ingesting polluted water.
  • Polluted stormwater often affects drinking water sources. This, in turn, can affect human health and increase drinking water treatment costs.

Be the Solution to Runoff Pollution!

As stormwater flows over driveways, lawns, and sidewalks, it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants. Stormwater can flow into a storm sewer system or directly to a lake, stream, river, wetland, or coastal water. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water. Polluted runoff is the nation’s greatest threat to clean water.

By practicing healthy household habits, homeowners can keep common pollutants like pesticides, pet waste, grass clippings, and automotive fluids off the ground and out of stormwater. Adopt these healthy household habits and help protect lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands, and coastal waters. Remember to share the habits with your neighbors!

You can help by taking steps around the home to increase the amount of water that soaks into the ground. This reduces the amount of water flowing into the street. Here's how:

  • Wash your car on the lawn (not the driveway), or take your car to a commercial car wash.
  • Plant lots of trees, shrubs, and ground cover.
  • Use a rain barrel to catch and store water for gardens.
  • Redirect down spouts from paved areas to vegetated areas.
  • Install gravel trenches along driveways and patios.
  • Use porous materials (i.e. wooden planks and bricks) for walkways and patios.
  • Grade driveway and walkways to direct water flow toward vegetated areas.


Stroudsburg Borough Stormwater Management & MS4    Public Involvement

Why Is Public Participation and Involvement Necessary?

The EPA believes that the public can provide valuable input and assistance to a regulated small MS4’s municipal stormwater management program and, therefore, suggests that the public be given opportunities to play an active role in both the development and implementation of the program. An active and involved community is crucial to the success of a stormwater management program because it allows for:

  • Broader public support since citizens who participate in the development and decision-making process are partially responsible for the program and, therefore, may be less likely to raise legal challenges to the program and more likely to take an active role in its implementation;
  • Shorter implementation schedules due to fewer obstacles in the form of public and legal challenges and increased sources in the form of citizen volunteers;
  • A broader base of expertise and economic benefits since the community can be a valuable, and free, intellectual resource; and
  • A conduit to other programs as citizens involved in the stormwater program development process provide important cross-connections and relationships with other community and government programs. This benefit is particularly valuable when trying to implement a stormwater program on a watershed basis, as encouraged by EPA.


Stroudsburg Borough Stormwater Management & MS4    Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

What is an Illicit Discharge?

An illicit discharge is an unlawful act of disposing, dumping, spilling, emitting, or other discharge of any substance other than stormwater into the stormwater drainage system. The stormwater drainage system includes streets, ditches, catch basins, yard inlets, lakes, and streams.

Illicit discharges cause water pollution by sending pollutants right into creeks, streams, ponds, and lakes. Be sure you know what illicit discharges are so you can help prevent water pollution and keep our streams clean!

Prevent water pollution. Call the Borough to report an illicit discharge or any type of water pollution in our streams or stormwater inlets. In case of emergencies, call 911.

Examples of Illicit Discharges

  • Paint being poured into or near the storm drainage system.
  • Changing oil or antifreeze over or near a storm structure.
  • Washing vehicles where the runoff could drain into the storm drainage system.
  • Washing dumpster pads and allowing the runoff to drain into the storm drainage system.

What Information Should Be Given When Reporting a Suspected Illicit Discharge?

  • What is your name and best contact information? This information is kept confidential and is only used if the Township requires additional information.
  • What time did you see the discharge? It is important that illicit discharges are reported immediately so the person(s) responsible can be found and the discharge can be cleaned up and corrected as soon as possible. We want to respond as quickly as possible to prevent pollution to our environment.
  • Where did you see the discharge? We'll need an address, intersection, business name, or landmark to help us quickly find the illicit discharge.
  • What do you think the discharge is? Was it a paint spill, oil spill, sewer leak, or some another type of illicit discharge?

Report A Spill

Emergency Contact List for Spill Response:

Common Spill / Illicit Discharge

  Spill Reporting (8:30-5:00, M-F):    570-421-5444, Ext 104
  After Business Hours: 724-301-5536 (Borough Manager Larry Kopp)
    570-656-9758 (Public Works Manager Brian Ace)


EMERGENCY (Immediate Danger to Health Property & Environment

DIAL 911


Stroudsburg Borough Stormwater Management & MS4    Additional Resources


Youth / Family

Borough Documents