Do you know where stormwater goes? Why it matters

Date: July 17, 2014

Stormwater runoff starts from your roof, your lawn, your gutters and our streets. It ends up in our local streams, and creeks, and therefore our water supply. That’s why it’s so important to minimize pollutants and contaminants in stormwater runoff. 

Ferguson Township is required to participate in a Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-mandated program for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4).

This program aims to reduce the flow of pollutants into the township’s storm sewers and drainage ditches. 

Ferguson Township and other Centre County MS4 partners are working with the Clearwater Conservancy to promote public education, outreach and involvement in stormwater matters. In collaboration with the State College Borough, College Township, Patton Township, Harris Township, and Penn State University, the township is working through Clearwater Conservancy, which spearheads these public awareness initiatives: 

  • Watershed Clean-Up Day every Spring
  • Newspaper articles and ads
  • Creating a website dedicated to MS4 stormwater efforts
  • Rain barrel workshops -- build a rain barrel and take it home 

Next Spring, one of our initiatives independent of Clearwater Conservancy will be to participate with the education program at Millbrook Marsh for elementary students. Annually, hundreds of students come by bus to the Marsh. Next year, they will also be educated about where stormwater goes and the impact of dumping. 

We want residents to learn as early as possible how to help protect the water supply. 

How can you help? Dispose of household paints, chemicals, prescription drugs, and pet wastes correctly. 

  • Products such as oil, antifreeze, litter, animal wastes, fertilizer, pesticides and sediment from erosion can wash into the storm drain system during rain storms or by melting snow. This untreated stormwater eventually flows into our streams and aquifers and can impact water quality.
  • Never dump automotive waste materials or used household products into a storm drain, anywhere in the ground, or in a basement sump pump.
  • Always use household and lawn care products in accordance with the instructions.
  • Be conscious of what lies “downstream” when washing cars or applying lawn care products.
  • Avoid long-term exposure of uncovered soil stockpiles. Establish vegetation to prevent erosion.
  • Clean up pet waste and dispose in a method that will prevent introduction into storm sewers and ditches.
  • Report illicit discharges.

The township is required and committed to vigilance on stormwater matters, including reporting of illicit discharges, the inspection of stormwater facilities, and implementation of good housekeeping practices. 

For more information and links about stormwater management, search “stormwater management” at our website.