Pollution Control

Significant improvements have been achieved in controlling pollutants that are discharged from sewage and wastewater treatment plants. Stormwater management, especially in urban areas, is becoming a necessary step in seeking further reductions in pollution in our waterways and presents new challenges.

Treatment & Prevention

Stormwater runoff normally cannot be treated in the same way as accomplished by sewage and wastewater treatment plants. More often than not, end-of-pipe controls are not the best answer for removing pollutants from stormwater runoff. Pollutants in runoff enter our waterways in numerous ways and the best way of control is usually at the pollutant's source. Sometimes, significant improvements can be made by employing best management practices, or "BMPs". Proper storage of chemicals, good housekeeping and just plain paying attention to what's happening during runoff events can lead to relatively inexpensive ways of preventing pollutants from getting into the runoff in the first place and then our waterways.

Management System Approach

Effective stormwater management is often achieved from a management systems approach, as opposed to an approach that focuses on individual practices. Once pollutants are present in a water body, or after a receiving water body's physical structure and habitat have been altered, it is much more difficult and expensive to restore it to an undegraded condition. Therefore, the use of a management system that relies first on preventing degradation of receiving waters is recommended.

Phase II Stormwater Regulation

Phase II Stormwater Regulations require towns, like Southeast, to implement programs and practices to control polluted stormwater runoff. Part of the requirements of the Phase II General Permit, issued by NYSDEC, is to implement six minimum control measures to prevent stormwater impacts on water quality. BMPs under each of the minimum measures focus on the prevention of pollutants from ever getting into stormwater. Similarly, some of the practices under the post-construction runoff control minimum measure address site design issues that can result in pollution prevention.

Minimum Control Measures

The menu of BMPs is based on Phase II's six minimum control measures: