Storm Water Management Center (MS4)

~Go to Code of Ordinance page to view the Brecknock Township Stormwater Management Ordinance~

(July 2017)

Legal Notice for Pollutant Reduction Plan (PRP) for the Little Muddy Creek, UNT to Muddy Creek, Muddy Creek, Conestoga River and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Pollutant Reduction Maps

Your Actions Prevent Stormwater Pollution!

Stormwater And Floodplains 

Fence ‘Em Out

Why Keep the Cows Out of the Streams?

Conservation Planning Made Easy


Stormwater is the precipitation that falls on roofs, lawns and paved areas and is carried  away by a system of stormwater pipes, culverts and ditches.  Collectively, the draining water is called storm water runoff.  Storm water becomes a problem with it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, pet waste and other pollutants as it flows into the water bodies we use for swimming, fishing and drinking untreated.  Excessive debris can clog inlets, causing flooding and erosion of stream banks.  Property owners including homeowners, business owners and farmers can help reduce stormwater pollution.  For additional information click here, Where it Rains, It Drains Brochure.


MS4 is a municipal separate storm sewer system, meaning any storm sewers, swales, roadways, etc. owned by the municipality within the EPA-designated “urbanized area”.  The designated urbanized areas for Brecknock Township and the associated MS4 can be seen on these maps  (Map #1 & Map #2). Operators of regulated small MS4s are required to maintain a stormwater program in compliance with the MS4 permit to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the required levels, where applicable, or the maximum extent practicable, protect water quality and satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act.  The Township shall educate the public, encourage participation in stormwater-related projects/activities, prevent illicit discharges, address construction site runoff, inspect stormwater BMPs installed for stormwater management, and ensure good housekeeping and maintenance of Township facilities and municipally owned stormwater management systems.

Illicit Discharges
Federal regulations define an illicit discharge as any discharge to the storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of stormwater.  There are exceptions to this rule such as firefighting activities, landscape irrigation, foundation drains, water from crawl space pumps etc.

Sources of illicit discharges include:

  • sanitary wastewater
  • failing septic systems
  • car wash waste water
  • improper oil disposal
  • radiator flushing disposal
  • spills from roadway accidents
  • improper disposal of household toxics or improper use of pesticides and herbicides etc.

Illicit discharges enter the system either through direct connections (deliberate pipe hookups to the storm drain system) or indirect connections (spills collected by drain outlets, or deliberate dumping down the storm drain.) These illicit discharges drain directly to the creeks and streams and may be loaded with a large amount of harmful and toxic substances.  These pollutants enter the aquatic system and degrade the water quality and threaten wildlife and human health.  Those who allow prohibited discharge to enter the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) are in violation of the Stormwater Management Ordinance and can be subject to a fine.

Report suspected illicit discharges: (link to water quality hotlines sheet)

Clean Water Act (CWA) & MS4 Requirements

The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) prohibits the discharge of pollutants into waterways without the appropriate permits. Pennsylvania’s Stormwater Management Act (better known as Act 167), MS4 Program, Chapter 102 (Erosion and Sediment Control Requirements), and NPDES Permit Program for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activities are amongst the Commonwealth’s methods for meeting the runoff-related requirements of the Clean Water Act.

Implementation of stormwater management efforts in Pennsylvania occurs at the local level because individual municipalities are ultimately responsible for adopting zoning, subdivision and land development, and stormwater ordinances that keep their locality’s runoff under control.  Many municipalities are required to obtain MS4 permits for discharge of runoff from their communities.

Under the MS4 Program, permittees are required to incorporate the following six elements (known as minimum control measures, or MCMs) into their stormwater management programs:

  • Public education and outreach
  • Public involvement and participation
  • Illicit discharge detection and elimination
  • Construction site runoff control
  • Post-construction stormwater management in new development and redevelopment
  • Pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations and maintenance

Each MCM has a series of suggested best management practices (BMPs) associated with it to guide permit holders in program development, tracking, and reporting.

Effective stormwater management plays a crucial role in maintaining and maximizing the value of our water resources. There was a time when stormwater management was considered an afterthought; it took place late in the development process, long after building and siting decisions had already been made. Today, we know better.  Stormwater management should be taken into account early in the planning process and should play an integral role throughout construction.   A lot of factors go into developing a site and its stormwater management plan. Each project is different depending on site-specific conditions including soil types, topography (grading), amount and kinds of vegetative cover, amount of impervious cover, underlying geology, and hydrology.  These are a few of the features that must be carefully considered before undertaking development of any site.

Managing Stormwater and Preventing Stormwater Pollution Information and Tips
Important ways to prevent storm water pollution:

  • Properly dispose of hazardous substances such as used oil, cleaning supplies and paint – never pour them down any part of the storm sewer system and report anyone who does.
  • Use pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides properly and efficiently to prevent excess runoff.
  • Look for signs of soil and other pollutants, such as debris and chemicals, leaving construction sites in storm water runoff or tracked into roads by construction vehicles.  Report poorly managed construction sites that could impact storm water runoff to your community.
  • Install innovative storm water practices on residential property, such as rain barrels or rain gardens, that capture storm water and keep it on site instead of letting it drain away into the storm sewer system.
  • Report any discharges from storm water outfalls during times of dry weather – a sign that there could be a problem with the storm sewer system.
  • Store materials that could pollute storm water indoors and use containers for outdoor storage that do not rust or leak to eliminate exposure of materials to storm water.

Homeowners can reduce runoff and pollution from their property through proper lawn maintenance, adding rain gardens or cisterns, maintaining on-lot sewage systems, and proper disposal of waste.

1.  10 Things You can Do
2.  Composting
3.  Green Lawn
4.  Stormwater Monthly Planner*
*(link says Chester County but applies to Lanc. County also)
5.  Solution to Pollution
6.  Natural Yard Care
7. Caring for your Streamside Property
8. On-Lot Septic System Facts

Business owners should strive to reduce runoff from impervious areas on their sites, properly dispose of trash and hazardous materials, and monitoring outdoor activities.

1.   General Business Information
2.   Automobile Service Facilities
3.   Restaurants
4.   Fact Sheet on Coverings for Raw Materials/Finished Products
5.   Spill Prevention Planning

The use of fertilizers and pesticides, animal wastes, and land use along streams can impact water quality, but you can help!
1.      Ag Conservation Plans
2.      Ag Runoff Fact Sheet
3.      Am I in Compliance – click here for more information
4.      Agricultural Funding Opportunities:

Developers are responsible for stormwater management, erosion and sediment control and pollution prevention during construction of large and small projects.  For additional information see:
1.      Building Towards Cleaner Water
2.      Construction BMP Maintenance
3.      Preventing Pollution at Construction Sites:

Hazardous Material Recycling

Seminars, Events & Volunteer Opportunities
Lancaster County Watersheds
LCCD Tree Sale
LCCD Events/Seminars

Other Sites to Visit
Lancaster County Conservation District  (LCCD) (
PADEP Southcentral Office (
County Clean Water Consortium (
PADEP Stormwater Management Program  (
EPA Chesapeake Bay TMDL
Pennsylvania Best Management Practices (BMP) Manual