134 South Main Street
Nazareth, PA 18064

General Info - Storm Water

What is Storm Water?
Storm water is rainwater and melted snow that runs off streets, lawns, and other sites. When storm water is absorbed into the ground, it is filtered and ultimately replenishes aquifers or flows into streams and rivers. In developed areas, however, impervious surfaces such as pavement and roofs prevent precipitation from naturally soaking into the ground. Instead, the water runs rapidly into storm drains, sewer systems, and drainage ditches and can cause:

  • Downstream flooding
  • Stream bank erosion
  • Reduced water quality
  • Changes in the flow rate of a stream
  • Infrastructure damage
  • Contaminated streams and rivers

Like many Pennsylvania communities, the Borough of Nazareth is faced with a range of storm water management challenges from increasing federal and state regulation to aging and undersized infrastructure. Depending on where you live in our Borough you may or may not have been directly impacted by these events, but you likely know someone who has been.

Storm Water

What is the Problem?
According to the State Department of Environmental Protection, STORM WATER ONLY may enter the storm water system. There are many resources available explaining the need for clean water and what you, as a community member, can do to help the Borough reduce the flow of non-storm water into our storm water system.

Storm water becomes a problem when it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants which end up in our receiving waters that we use for drinking water and recreation.

The Facts About Storm Water
Pennsylvania is the most flood prone state in the country. It has experienced several serious and sometimes devastating floods during the past century, often as a result of tropical storms and hurricanes, and heavy rainfall on an existing snow pack. To a large extent, the flooding that results from such extreme storms and hurricanes occurs naturally and will continue to occur. Storm water management cannot eliminate flooding during such severe rainfall events. Flooding impacts are devastating communities, even those with conventional storm water management programs. In many watersheds throughout the state, flooding problems from rain events, including the smaller storms, have increased over time due to changes in land use and ineffective storm water management. This additional flooding is a result of an increased volume of storm water runoff being discharged throughout the watershed. This increase in storm water volume is the direct result of more extensive impervious surface areas, combined with substantial tracts of natural landscape being converted to lawns on highly compacted soil or agricultural activities.

Nazareth's Storm Water is Every Resident's Responsibilty...Here Are Some Solutions
Did you know that the storm water drains and inlets within your neighborhood have an important impact on the water quality of our streams? Why? Because storm drains flow directly to nearby rivers and streams, not to wastewater treatment plants. Your street is really like waterfront property and everything that rain washes off of your roof, yard, and driveway goes to the nearby water used for swimming, boating, and maybe even drinking. Anything dumped into these drains goes directly/indirectly into a local stream. Everyone can help. Homeowners, business owners, developers, and other citizens should never dump anything into storm drains so we can protect our water from storm water pollution that may close beaches, cause unsightly weed and algae growth, and even kill fish.

Other Ways to Help:

  • Use less fertilizer on lawns
  • Recycle used oil
  • Pick up pet waste and dispose of properly
  • Dispose of household hazardous waste responsibly
  • Wash your vehicle at a commercial car wash, not on the driveway
  • Organize a neighborhood pollution watch.
  • Participate in a stream or creek cleanup within the Borough
  • Plant trees along a stream or creek.
  • Mark storm drains with warnings about dumping.
  • Use pesticides only when necessary
  • Sweep up yard debris rather than hosing down paved areas
  • Do not blow grass clippings or leaves into the street or inlets
  • Service your car regularly to prevent leaks onto paved areas
  • Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on an unpaved area
  • Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled or recyclable products whenever possible
  • Compost or recycle yard waste

Remember to practice these healthy household habits.

Borough Comittment
Nazareth Borough has made a long term commitment to improving its storm water situation. Beginning in 1996 the Borough received a CBDG grant and addressed and solved a flooding situation on Bank Street with a major rebuilding of storm drains to solve runoff problems in that area. In 2001, a recurring flooding problem in the Franklin Street area required some roadway and storm drain adjustments and again a CBDG Grant provided the necessary funding. An area of East Prospect Street near the South New Street intersection often flooded to the point where a road closure was needed. East Prospect Street had to be tapered and resurfaced so that runoff would occur and ponding would be eliminated. The work was completed in 2005 with CBDG grant funds supporting the construction. In June of 2008, the Borough again embarked on another storm water project when it committed to $800,000 of improvements on East Walnut Street. That project was completed in 2009 and followed by major improvements to Convent Avenue and Spring Street during 2013. Over the last eighteen years, Nazareth Borough has spent nearly $2 million to alleviate its storm water situation.

How to Help...We need your help with storm water!
For any questions or concerns regarding storm water or to report illicit discharges or construction runoff, please call the Borough at (610) 759-0202. Contact the Borough Administrative Office to report any erosion and sediment, storm water runoff or other pollution issues, whether from construction sites, businesses, or other locations throughout the Borough.

There are many ways you can help the Borough with its storm water program and participate in volunteering programs that will keep trash, debris and other pollutants out of the storm sewer system.

Please visit the following websites for more information on storm water management:

Emergency Contact Listings:

  • Police Emergency - 911
  • Spills & Emergencies: PA DEP - 484-250-5900
  • Fish Kills: PA Fish Commission - 717-626-0228
  • Sanitary Sewer Clogs, Leaks, Overflows: 911
  • Illicit Discharges into Storm Sewer System: Nazareth Borough - 610-759-0202

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