Public Works


In 2002 the Federal Government, through the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), required municipalities to obtain a permit to operate their municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4's). The major purpose of the permitting regulations is to preserve, protect and improve the nation's water resources from polluted storm water runoff. Storm water discharges from MS4's in urban areas are a major concern because of the high concentration of pollutants found in these discharges.

The permit requires MS4 operators to design a storm water management program to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the "maximum extent practicable"; protect water quality; and satisfy the requirements of the Clean Water Act. This typically requires the development and implementation of Best Management Practices and the achievement of measurable goals to satisfy each of six minimum control measures:

  1. Public Education and Outreach

  2. Public Participation and Involvement

  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

  4. Construction Site Runoff Control

  5. Post-construction Runoff Control

  6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping

Once the Borough's MS4 permit was obtained in 2003 we have been taking various steps in maintaining compliance with the regulations and meeting storm water quality goals. You may have seen various advertisements in the newspaper or the Borough Newsletter building public awareness in storm water quality; we implemented a storm drain labeling program in cooperation with Eagle Scouts and the Rotary Club; the Borough drafted and passed a new storm water ordinance; we have partnered with the engineering firm Vollmer Associates to conduct storm water outfall monitoring, sampling and laboratory analysis of water discharges; we have partnered with the Chester-Ridley-Crum Watershed Association to provide public education and to organize storm water-related community activities; we are providing employee awareness training; and of course we are maintaining all required documentation and periodic reports as well as conducting municipal operations that include street sweeping, storm water inlet cleaning, inspection of pipes to detect leaks and illicit discharge, and good housekeeping of municipal facilities - all in an effort to achieve the federal goals of pollution reduction from storm water runoff.

The Borough schedules occasional public storm water meetings. Periodic meetings serve as another means to educate the public in storm water quality issues as well as build involvement from stakeholders such as residents, businesspersons, developers and community organizations. It is hoped that as the program and awareness grows, the level of public involvement will grow proportionally. The Borough is always looking for opportunities to work with community groups as well as individuals with an interest in storm water quality. Volunteer opportunities include the storm water inlet labeling program, stream clean-ups, distribution of educational literature and tree planting during the Borough's Tree Program planting seasons. We also encourage residents to look out for signs of illegal pollutant dumping in the storm water collection system, and to contact the Borough should pollutants appear to be discharging from the storm sewer system into Borough creeks. If you or your community group wishes to volunteer for a storm water quality project please contact the Public Works Department. For more information regarding the NPDES Storm Water Quality Program visit the following websites:

For more information regarding storm water regulations, contact Public Works at 696-5282.


Department of Public Works
Borough of West Chester
Phone: (610) 696-5282
205 Lacey Street Fax: (610) 436-1383
West Chester, PA 19382 E-mail:

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401 East Gay Street
West Chester, PA 19380
Phone: (610) 692-7574
Fax: (610) 436-0009
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