Local Government

Meeting the stormwater funding challenge.

Municipalities in Pennsylvania are under increasing pressure to manage stormwater runoff. Some are regulated as a MS4 community (where stormwater pipes are not connected to or treated by a wastewater system) or party to a watershed plan designed to bring a local stream into environmental compliance. Stormwater infrastructure can be a tall order.

But many communities are learning that investments in stormwater management go beyond regulatory compliance. They are finding out that green stormwater infrastructure, in particular, brings benefits in addition to healthier streams. They are seeing improved flood resiliency, increased property values, “green” job creation, and better fishing. And they are finding ways to pay for it.

The Center for Water Quality Excellence (CWQE) helps municipalities better understand the universe of funding opportunities and strategies that support local stormwater programs.

A PENNVEST initiative, the CWQE will be operating as a pilot in York and Lancaster counties and has no cost to municipalities seeking assistance. CWQE staff or “coaches” can provide one-one-one guidance on implementation and funding strategies. We shine light on what has worked well for other municipalities similar to yours. Making customer service a priority, the Center will offer in-person and phone support to best suit your schedule.

CWQE:

  • Offers an educational library of stormwater resources available to the general public at no cost (visit https://support.cwqe.org)
  • Provides personalized service to municipalities within the pilot counties (York and Lancaster) to find solutions to specific stormwater questions or challenges
  • Shares approaches in stormwater finance and partnerships that have worked well for similar municipalities
  • Connects you with existing partnerships in your area and new funding opportunities
  • Offers workshops and open houses to share the latest in funding and stormwater management best practices and technology
This bioswale at Freysville Park, Windsor Township, York County, adds to the park’s scenic beauty, controls erosion, and infiltrates runoff to recharge local groundwater.

Green Infrastructure: A Wise Investment

Green Infrastructure (GI) includes a suite of cost-effective practices that replicate nature’s treatment of stormwater. As part of comprehensive planning and local ordinances, GI can be promoted in rural or urban settings. New land development or site redevelopment projects can benefit from GI.

GI practices have proven to be especially effective in correcting stormwater problems (rate, quality, volume and recharge) in urban settings. In general, they rely on capturing and managing runoff close to where rain and snow land. By contrast, conventional stormwater management techniques collect and pipe runoff to large basins.

In short, GI cleans stormwater and stems the volumes of runoff that can degrade streams. Cleaner stormwater means healthier aquatic habitat, better fishing, safer recreation on the water, less localized flooding, and more resilient stream systems. GI projects may also open up new lands for public recreation.