Stormwater Management

Unlike sanitary sewers that divert water to a treatment plant directly from your home, storm drains lead directly to surrounding lakes and rivers without any type of treatment.

Upper Makefield Township needs your help to keep our waterways clean. Every rain or snow melt sends a trickle of pollutants from your yard –pet waste, lawn care products, leaves, soil, and bits of trash—untreated—into the tributaries of the creeks and groundwater feeding the Delaware River.

Everyday Decisions to Help Clean Water

As an Upper Makefield Resident, you can preserve the health of our waterways:

  • Limit use of lawn chemicals to minimal application levels.
  • Landscape with native plants.
  • Bag and compost leaves and grass clippings.
  • Sweep your curbside street inlets and drains free of yard debris. (Never blow leaves or grass clipping into the street)
  • Clean up after your pet to reduce the level of harmful bacteria flowing untreated into streams
  • Use commercial car washes, which recycle and treat water, or wash your car on grass or an area that can absorb the water.
  • Pick up litter and trash routinely.
  • Dispose of oil and automotive fluids properly and legally.
  • Report concerns to the Township for investigation by submitting a Citizen Illicit Discharge Reporting Form.

Consider Rain Barrels or Rain Gardens

These innovative one-property storm water systems really make a difference in filtering rainwater before it reaches our storm sewer system. Here’s a how-to manual to help homeowners build a rain garden.

Gather “Inlet Inspectors” for an Outdoor Community Project

If your schoolchildren or neighborhood are seeking a community project, we can set you up for a onetime project that will make a lasting difference. Stencil storm drains with warnings about dumping Select a section of riparian corridor for stream or creek cleanup Plant trees along a pond, stream, or creek If you are interested in any of these programs, contact the Planning and Zoning Department at 215-968-3340.

Bucks County Stormwater Management Efforts

This brochure highlights stormwater management efforts at Brownsburg Park, and elsewhere within the county.

EPA and DEP Standards

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Federal Environmental Protection (EPA) agency keep raising the bar for municipal leaders to make stormwater runoff less toxic for our land, wildlife, and recreational opportunities. We work with the Bucks County Conservation District, Pennsylvania’s DEP, Southeast Regional Office, and the EPA to meet guidelines and standards that are updated annually. As a property owner, you can do a lot to reduce the thousands of pounds of pollutants that travel when water moves downstream from your neighborhood. Even the simple bookmark listed below is helpful for adults and even a school project.

After the Storm

An EPA Brochure, “After the Storm.”
A PA Insurance Dept. Brochure, “After the Storm.”

Things You Can Do

A Bookmark, “10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Stormwater Runoff Pollution.”

Be observant and report any concerns about illicit discharge to the Township.

Homeowners Guide to Stormwater Management

Looking for ways to protect your property, improve your watershed or manage stormwater generated by a home improvement?  This Homeowners Guide to Stormwater Management offers tips to develop and implement a stormwater management plan.

Remember to check with the Planning & Zoning Department before beginning home improvement projects to learn if any permits are required.

Protecting your Streamside Property—and More

The Bucks County Conservation District has curated an impressive list of homeowner-oriented publications and brochures, including “20 ways to Protect Your Stream & Your Streamside Property.” “Native Plants for Clean Streams.”

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)

2023 MS4 Educational Workshop Presentation

Do you have a concern about a potential illicit discharge? Submit a Citizen Illicit Discharge Reporting Form to the Township for investigation.

For additional information, visit these websites:
Bucks County Conservation District
Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection

Community Guide for Long-Term Planning
Pennsylvania’s “My Water” webpages

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) My Water pages outline the next stage in waterway protection: Municipal Storm sewer water Pollutant Reduction Plans launched in 2017.

Regulatory Reports
Regulatory Resources