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Rain Barrels Benefit the Environment

Stormwater Pollution / Polluted Runoff

Stormwater Information

As of December 18th, 2013, any previous version of Chapter 19 of the Franklin Township Code of Ordinances is hereby repealed in its entirety.  This Chapter has been replaced with a new version entitled "Chapter 19: Stormwater Management", which amends certain provisions pertaining to stormwater within the Franklin Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance and Zoning Ordinance.
Chapter 19 of the Franklin Township Code of Ordinances, amended and enacted on 12/18/2013

Although you may see a street sweeper cleaning the streets around the Township, the Township does not pick up grass clippings and leaves for residents.  It is the responsibility of each individual homeowner to dispose of their own grass clippings and leaves and not put them in the street or on top of stormwater inlets.  Click Here for more information and education regarding Township resident's responsibilities for their grass clippings and leaves.

Large volumes of stormwater overwhelm, erode and pollute local streams, and flood low lying areas. To lessen these destructive stormwater impacts and help ensure any existing problems do not worsen, municipalities across Chester County have adopted new stormwater management ordinance standards. These new standards are a key tool in reducing these stormwater impacts,
safeguarding properties from flooding and erosion, and protecting streams and local water quality. 


What is Stormwater and Why is it a Problem? 

Rain barrels benefit the environment by:

  • Decreasing the amount of stormwater runoff, thus helping to keep our creeks clean
  • Providing an alternative water source during periods of dry weather
  • Helping to maintain a healthy biotic community in the soil, by reducing the need to water plants with chlorine-treated water
  • Reducing the demand for treated water

​As stormwater streams over streets, driveways, lawns, and other surfaces, the flow picks up chemicals, dirt, debris, and other pollutants. Polluted stormwater can then flow into a storm sewer and be discharged untreated into a waterbody; or it can flow directly into a stream, lake, river, wetland, or coastal water. This can have many adverse effects on plants and animals, and is becoming the nation's biggest threat to clean water.
Unlike polluted discharges from industry or sewage treatment facilities (forms of point source pollution), polluted runoff (a form of nonpoint source pollution) is generated by all of us. Stormwater pollution starts with everyday activities, like washing our car, fertilizing our lawn, walking our dog, and disposing of motor oil. While most of our individual actions have only a small impact on water quality, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cautions that "the cumulative impact of how we choose to interact with our land and water is huge." To protect and restore the quality of our streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans, we all need to develop more water-friendly habits.
Below are some simple actions that we can take to help improve water quality:

  • Recycle motor oil at any auto parts store.
  • Wash your car on a pervious surface (like gravel). Or better yet, bring it to a car wash that recycles and treats water.
  • Seed and mulch bare ground within 14 days after removing vegetative cover.
  • Save plastic grocery bags and use them to scoop the poop from your pooch. Flushing pet waste is advised over leaving it on the ground.
  • Have your septic system inspected every 3 years and pumped as necessary.
  • Fertilize only in the fall. Use slow-release or organic fertilizers to help grass grow new roots and store nutrients for next year’s growth.
  • If you have a pond, make its shore a no-mow zone.

Brochures and Other Resources containing additional information and suggestions for reducing stormwater pollution are available at:

For more information:
If you have questions or require additional information regarding stormwater, please contact the DEP's Southeast Regional Office.

Stormwater Programs
The EPA's Office of Wastewater Management leads and manages a Stormwater Program as part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NDPES). The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is an NPDES permitting authority and is authorized to implement the stormwater NPDES permitting program for construction activities, industrial activities, and municipal separate storm sewer systems.​

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s)
According to the EPA's Stormwater Phase II Final Rule, the term MS4 includes: roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, or storm drains; designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater; owned or operated by a public body; that are not part of a publicly owned treatment works.
Franklin Township is covered by the MS4 program and has an MS4 permit. This requires the Township to implement and enforce a storm water management program which encompasses six minimum control measures, or best management practices (BMPs):

  • Public education and outreach
  • Public participation/involvement
  • Illicit discharge detection and elimination
  • Construction site runoff control
  • Post-construction runoff control
  • Pollution prevention/good housekeeping

– Last updated April 22, 2020

Franklin Township - Stormwater Information

Stormwater is rainfall that runs off of roofs, driveways, lawns, roads, parking lots, sidewalks, farm fields, and other surfaces created or disturbed by manmade activities. This runoff picks up
pollutants (such as dirt, oil, litter, pesticides, fertilizer, etc.) as it flows across these surfaces, and eventually enters local streams. 

While Rainfall is Natural, Stormwater is Man-made

Stormwater Management Ordinance