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What is Stormwater Pollution?

Water from rain and melting snow that flows over lawns, parking lots and streets is known as stormwater runoff. This water, which travels along gutters, into catch basins and through storm drain pipes and ditches, usually is not treated, but then flows or is discharged into local waterbodies. Along the way, the stormwater picks up trash (fast-food wrappers, cigarette butts, styrofoam cups, etc.) and toxins and other pollutants (gas, motor oil, antifreeze, fertilizers, pesticides and pet droppings). This polluted stormwater can kill fish and other wildlife, destroy wildlife habitat, contaminate drinking water sources and force the closing of beaches because of health threats to swimmers.

Human activity is largely responsible for the stormwater pollution. Everything that we put on the ground or into the storm drain can end up in our water. Each of us has a responsibility to make sure these contaminants stay out of our water.

Whether we have clean water is up to you.

Township Ordinances protecting the environment

You can see the full text of the ordinances listed below by clicking: Township Code.

Litter, dumping and improper disposal of waste (Section 24-4.3). Prohibits littering and dumping and imposes a minimum fine of $500. There is also a $250 reward for any person assisting in the conviction of a violator.
Pick up after your pet (Section 8-5.6). Properly dispose of pet waste into the trash or toilet. Animal waste contains coliform bacteria, which is harmful to our health and, when washed into swimming waters, can result in beach closings
Do not feed wildlife such as geese, pigeons, ducks and deer (section 8-12) Feeding results in more pollution from their wastes.
Illicit Connection (Section 14-3). Prohibits the illicit connection to the Township’s stormwater collection system.
Stormwater Control (Section 19-7.7). Provides that all properties minimize increase in stormwater runoff from new development and minimize impact to the environment.
Environmental Assessment (Section 19-7.16). Provides that major development projects require a comprehensive analysis of the environmental impacts and the proposed design shall minimize the adverse impacts.

Drainage System Maintenance

Upper Townships’ drainage systems consist of natural and man-made watercourses and storage basins that must be maintained in order to prevent flood damage from smaller, more frequent storm events. Drainage systems also are found in streets, roadside ditches, underground recharge systems as well as open channels and detention and retention basins.

The Upper Township Public Works Department inspects our storm water drainage systems on a semi-annual basis. Our maintenance program includes inlet cleaning, pipe cleaning, drainage basin maintenance and street sweeping. To report improper activity such as dumping in our lakes, lagoons and drainage basins, please call the Department of Public Works at 609-628-2647 or our Code Enforcement Officer at 609-693-2011, ext 245.If this occurs after normal business hours, please report the incident immediately to the police at 609-861-5300.

Additional Educational Resources

NJDEP’s website Cleanwaternj.org
New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards
The Watershed Partnership for New Jersey (WPNJ)
Watersheds/NPS Education Programs - Clean Ocean Action
The Center for Watershed Protection
DEP Stormwater Fact Sheets
DEP Stormwater Flyers