2011-2012 Annual Report
PERINTON WATERSHED & STORMWATER INFORMATION
What is a Watershed?
A watershed is a geographic area of land in which all water flows across or under on its way to a stream, river or lake. A watershed's landscape is made up of homes, businesses, farms, meadows, lawns, forests and roads. We all live in a watershed and our behavior; either individually or collectively will directly impact the quality of water downstream from our properties. In Perinton, we have five different watershed areas that include the Irondequoit Creek Watershed; the Thomas Creek Watershed; the White Brook Watershed; the Finger Lakes Watershed; and the Erie Canal Watershed.
Additional Watershed Resources:
Center for Watershed Protection: Why Watersheds?
You too can be a H2O Hero: H20 Hero
What is Stormwater?
Stormwater can be defined as the surface water run-off that is generated by rain or snowmelt within a watershed. In urban areas, rain that falls on the roof of your house, or collects on paved areas like driveways, roads and sidewalks is carried away through a system of drainage inlets and pipes called a storm sewer system. The storm sewer system is separate from the sanitary sewer system. Unlike the sanitary sewer system, the collected stormwater is not treated. In some cases it may be filtered through a "man-made" or constructed pond; but in others, it flows directly from the neighboring streets into our streams, wetlands, rivers, embayment areas, and lakes.
Why do we have to control or manage stormwater?
If you live or often spend time near a waterway, you are probably familiar with what happens after a rain event. Polluted run-off emptying into clean water is often discolored and plagued with litter. You may be advised not to swim or fish for a couple of days following a rain event because the pollution carried along with the surface water run-off may pose a health risk.
Common pollutants associated with stormwater run-off include pesticides, fertilizers, oils, salt, litter, and sediment. These contaminants are, in many instances, transported directly from the storm sewer system into our water resources. These pollutants can destroy wildlife, cause the destruction of spawning habitats, reduce the aesthetic value of a stream corridor, wetland or pond, and limit recreational uses of our waterways.
How do you manage stormwater?
In Perinton, stormwater is managed through comprehensive land use planning, zoning laws, building codes, and a local erosion and sediment control, construction/post construction stormwater pollution prevention and illicit discharge law. Stormwater is also regulated at the State and Federal government level as well.
Since sweeping changes were made to the Federal Clean Water Act in 1972 and 1978, the quality of the nation's water resources has greatly improved. That's the good news. The bad news is that about 40% of the nation's streams, rivers, wetlands, lakes, ponds, and embayment areas still receive contaminated stormwater runoff from rural and urban areas. In order to ensure the continue the progress made by the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) have established a new set of stormwater regulations that have strict controls on earth disturbing activities as well as center on what municipalities, like the Town of Perinton, can do locally to mitigate the impacts of stormwater run-off on our water resources.
The new Stormwater Regulations require the Town of Perinton to develop a Stormwater Management Program that focuses on methods to improve water quality and reduce stormwater pollutants within the community. The Town's program has been under development since early 2003 and has since implemented many of the recommended pollution prevention measures. In order to track Perinton's progress and the success with its program, the EPA requires that an Annual Report be prepared and submitted to the NYSDEC for review. The Annual Report attempts to outline specific water quality control activities undertaken by the Town during the previous year. This year's Annual Report can be viewed online and is located above under "Quick Links". A paper copy will also be made available for review, during normal business hours, at the Perinton Public Works Office (100 Cobb's Lane). Written comments will be accepted by Eric M. Williams at the Perinton Department of Public Works.
What can you do at home to help reduce stormwater pollution?
- Never dump or pour any material (either solid or liquid) into the storm sewer system; this will reduce the quality of water resources within our community. Remember: "Only rain down the drain". The storm sewer system is for rainwater and snow melt only. Even the accumulation of vegetation, like leaves or grass clippings can diminish the capacity of a storm sewer system;
- Reduce the amount of pesticides and fertilizers used on yards and/or use environmentally friendly chemicals;
- Minimize the usage of de-icing materials on driveways and walks;
- Properly disposing of pet wastes. Did you that 15% to 20% of bacteria found your waterways come from pet and other animal wastes?
- Compost vegetative material (grass clippings and other yard debris);
- Drain your swimming pool only when a test kit detects no chlorine; and
- Conduct proper maintenance on your septic system;
With help from the Perinton Community, stormwater pollution can be controlled. The most effective way to reduce this pollution is to stop it from entering the storm system in the first place.
How can I get involved?
Monroe County has developed a Community Water Watch (CWW) Program that, through the efforts of volunteers and local municipalities, monitors stream water quality trends, as well as identifies or reports water quality problems. The Town of Perinton has also, in past had volunteers stenciling storm drains as well as conducting stream corridor clean-up activities. For more information regarding the CWW Program or the Town's Stormwater Management Program, including the draft annual report, please contact us or call Eric Williams at the Town of Perinton Department of Public Works at 223-5115.
Make your Home the Solution to Stormwater Pollution
Living next to Stormwater Management Ponds
Lawn Care and Pesticide Application
Pools, Fountains, and Spas
Construction Phase II Stormwater Regulations
The Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County: Program Guidance & Stormwater Information
New York State Dept of Environmental Conservation: Stormwater: Phase II Regulations
United States Environmental Protection Agency: Homeowner tips for Clean Water