Storm Water Management

It is everyone’s responsibility to protect our streams and rivers.  London Grove Township manages storm water by balancing flood/erosion control with water quality.  The Township is responsible for maintaining storm inlets, pipes, and detention basins that are located on Township property or in Township rights of way.  Each property owner is responsible for managing storm water on his/her property.

If you see pollution in streams or storm water facilities in London Grove Township, please contact the Township office at 610.345-0100.

What is Stormwater?

When it rains or snows, the water soaks into the ground, evaporates back into the atmosphere or runs off. This runoff, also known as stormwater, has some obvious impacts such as flooding and erosion. Some less obvious, but equally important, impacts of stormwater runoff include increased pollution, reduced ground water supplies, and lower stream flows during dry spells.


Traditionally, stormwater has been seen as a nuisance to be collected and dumped into the nearest ditch or stream and disposed of. Unfortunately, such an approach neglects the reality that most of us live or work downstream of someone else. As a result, our neighbor’s nuisance becomes our problem, which in turn becomes a problem for our downstream neighbors.

What is Stormwater Management?

Management of stormwater is necessary to compensate for the possible impacts of development such as flooding, erosion and sedimentation problems, concentration on flow on adjacent properties, damages to roads, bridges and other infrastructure as well as non-point source pollution washed off from impervious surfaces.

The Township is required to obtain a permit under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) in order to operate a storm sewer system. The permit, called a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, requires the Township to take certain steps to ensure that stormwater in the Township is properly managed and controlled. It also requires that the Township educate the public about storm water impacts, as well as provide opportunities for public involvement and participation. To read more about the MS4 program, permits and impacts click on the links below:

London Grove Township prepares and submits an annual report on our ongoing efforts to achieve the above-noted minimal control measures. To request a copy of the most recent annual report, please contact London Grove Township via phone at 610.345.0100.

Stormwater Ordinance

Stormwater management in London Grove Township is regulated by Ordinance No. 183 (adopted 04.02.2014) There are different requirements for agricultural and non agricultural projects. For Non-agricultural projects, a stormwater management plan is  required if you intend to create over 1,000 s.f. of impervious surface and/or 5,000 s.f. of earth disturbance. The stormwater management plan must be submitted with the appropriate application and fees for the Township Engineer to review. You should be aware that some projects, generally larger ones, also require the review and approval of the Chester County Conservation District. If you have questions about a specific project or about stormwater management in general, feel free to contact the Township office as well.

Report Illicit Discharge

Developing and implementing a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the storm sewer system (includes developing a system map and informing the community about hazards associated with illegal discharges and improper disposal of waste).

What is illicit discharge?

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: firefighting activities, landscape irrigation, foundation drains, waster from crawl space pumps etc. Sources of illicit discharges include: sanitary wastewater, failing septic systems, car wash waste water, improper disposal of household toxins or improper use of pesticides and herbicides etc. Illicit discharges enter the system wither 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.

London Grove Township, as well as many other communities in the Southern Pennsylvania region, recently was required to obtain a permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) for its storm drainage system. This permit required the Township to locate and map all stormwater piping and drainage ditch systems owned and maintained by the Township. The permit also requires the Township to inspect these drainage systems periodically to detect any “illicit discharges” from the systems.

What in the world is an illicit discharge? Simply stated, an illicit discharge is something that is exiting a storm drainage pipe or drainage ditch that is not stormwater and potentially could pollute our streams. Examples of illicit discharges that would be typical for a community like ours are septic system overflows, sanitary wastewater, chlorinated pool water, paints, oil or other vehicle fluids, etc.

While the Township has inspected its drainage system thoroughly once since the permit was issued, our inspectors can not be everywhere all the time. If you happen to see something exiting a storm pipe or ditch that looks, smells or feels like something other than stormwater, please contact the Township so we can track it to its source and keep our streams as clean and pure as possible. To report an illicit discharge call Ken Battin at the Township, 610-345-0100 or send an email to

Please report illicit discharges to the Township: 610-345-0100.

Stormwater Tips

stormwater 1Auto Care: Washing your car at home on the driveway or street can send detergents and other contaminants through the storm sewer system. It is best to wash your car at a commercial car wash where the wastewater is treated and recycled. If you do wash your car at home, do so near a grassy area where the water can infiltrate into the ground. And never dump motor oil or antifreeze into the storm drain. Dispose of these at a local service station or approved recycling center.

stormwater 2Only Rain in the Drain: Never dump anything into a storm drain, including oil, paint, soap, debris, and leaves. Storm sewers don’t go to the sewer plant but discharge directly into streams. You might be pouring oil into your own drinking water!

stormwater 3Pick Up After Your Dog: Pet waste can be a major source of excess nutrients and bacteria to our streams. Always properly dispose of pet waste.

stormwater 4

When Your Car’s Leaking Oil On The Street, Remember It’s Not Just Leaking Oil On The Street: Leaking oil goes from car to street, and is washed from the street into the storm drain and into our lakes, streams and into coastal waters. Now imagine the number of cars in the area and you can imagine the amount of oil that finds its way from leaky gaskets into our water. So please, fix oil leaks!

Residential Landscaping Tips

downspoutsDownspouts: Direct all downspouts away from pervious surfaces and onto lawns. Rain barrels can be used to collect water from downspouts, making it available for watering.

lawncareLawn Care: Fertilizers and pesticides should be used sparingly. When applied in excess, these chemicals are washed off by rainwater and enter the local storm sewer system. Do not sweep yard waste and leaves into the street. These add extra nutrients to streams.

Plant Native Trees and Shrubs: Erosion of stream banks can be prevented through the use of vegetated strips along the banks. Also known as riparian buffers, these strips of tall grasses, trees and flowers act to stabilize banks, which prevents erosion and additional sediment load in the stream. Click here for a “Native Plant List.”

rain gardensRain Gardens: A specially designed rain garden can be planted with native vegetation to that will provide an area for rainwater to collect and soak into the ground. Stormwater from rooftop drains and pavement areas can be directed to these vegetated areas. Click here for Rain Garden instructions.



Stormwater Educational Materials

Below are Stormwater educational pamphlets and materials prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Resources to Help Homeowners

Below is a list of links to some useful information to help you manage stormwater on your property.

Construction Related Activities

State & Federal Stormwater

Want to Learn More

Click here to check out “A Homeowners Guide to Stormwater Management” and a brochure on “Caring for Your Streamside Property”

Click here to visit CWMP to learn more about Stormwater Management and MS4