LG files plan to ad­dress storm-wa­ter man­age­ment

The Ambler Gazette - - OPINION - By Eric Devlin

The Lower Gwynedd Town­ship Board of Su­per­vi­sors voted to help clean up por­tions of lo­cal creeks dur­ing its Sept. 11 meet­ing af­ter of­fi­cials ex­plained the town­ship would not re­ceive a needed per­mit with­out do­ing so.

Lower Gwynedd Town­ship Man­ager Larry Co­mu­nale told the board that the town­ship needed to sub­mit a notice of in­tent to the Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion af­ter a study was done show­ing that lo­cal por­tions of the Wis­sahickon and Neshaminy creeks were re­ceiv­ing sed­i­ment. The notice of in­tent, ac­cord­ing to Co­mu­nale, is a plan that the town­ship would file to as­sist with the re­moval of the sed­i­ment.

“Both streams are im­pacted most sig­nif­i­cantly by sed­i­men­ta­tion, ac­cord­ing to the PDEP,” Co­mu­nale said. “There­fore un­der fed­eral clean wa­ter reg­u­la­tions, the town­ship and other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that have land that drains into those creeks must re­duce the amount of sed­i­ment into those creeks.”

David Connell, Lower Gwynedd Town­ship en­gi­neer, said, “There are sev­eral things we have to do. This is all part of the NPDES [Na­tional Pol­lu­tant Dis­charge Elim­i­na­tion Sys­tem] per­mit­ting process which started about 10 years ago, and this was per­mit­ting for storm sewer out­lets.” Connell said the per­mit that the town­ship orig­i­nally re­ceived was good for five years and ex­tended for a few years af­ter. How­ever, the re­newal process was snagged over to­tal max­i­mum daily loads, or TMDL, which he said an­a­lyze a stream and de­ter­mine what “bad stuff” is go­ing in to the stream.

“In this par­tic­u­lar case … you have two ma­jor wa­ter­sheds, the Wis­sahickon and the Neshaminy, that drain this mu­nic­i­pal­ity. It was de­ter­mined by the DEP that your ma­jor pol­lu­tant was sed­i­ment and you are go­ing to have to re­move sed­i­ment from your waste wa­ter,” Connell said.

Connell said the notice of in­tent is an ap­pli­ca­tion for the town­ship’s next per­mit re­newal, which states that the town­ship will pre­pare a new storm-wa­ter man­age­ment or­di­nance within one year af­ter the next per­mit pe­riod and will re­move a cer­tain level of sed­i­ments from waste­water a year af­ter the next per­mit. The town­ship will clean out storm sew­ers and sweep streets of sed­i­ments, he said.

Board Vice Chair­woman Kath­leen Hun­sicker asked if Connell thought the DEP would ac­cept what the town­ship planned to do. Connell said he was con­fi­dent be­cause his engi­neer­ing firm was heav­ily in­volved in form­ing the pro­gram that the DEP uses to ac­cept the ap­pli­ca­tions.

Connell said that salt used for snow re­moval, while tech­ni­cally con­sid­ered a pol­lu­tant, was not in­cluded as a sed­i­ment and the town­ship would not have to in­clude that in its ap­pli­ca­tion.

Co­mu­nale said this was the “most cost-ef­fec­tive” way to meet the re­quire­ments, not­ing there was a range of ac­tions the town­ship could have taken “to get credit for re­duc­ing sed­i­ment into the creek.”

In other busi­ness, Co­mu­nale ex­plained why many of the wa­ter mains throughout the town­ship have be­gun to break.

Co­mu­nale said the breaks can be at­trib­uted to the Ambler Bor­ough wa­ter tank re­coat­ing project on Hous­ton Road in the Ambler sec­tion of the town­ship that has forced the bor­ough to have to tem­po­rar­ily ac­cept wa­ter from North Wales, caus­ing the wa­ter pres­sure to change and break­ing the mains.

He said he un­der­stood that the sit­u­a­tion was an in­con­ve­nience to res­i­dents, es­pe­cially since some of the wa­ter mains are break­ing on streets that have just been repaved. He said the sit­u­a­tion should be fixed soon, once the wa­ter tank in Ambler has been re­in­stated.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.