Stormwater Management Officer/Contact: Timothy M. Lavocat, P.E., CFM, Town Engineer
Address: Clarence Engineering Department
6221 Goodrich Road
Clarence, NY 14032
Our Water. Our Future. Ours to Protect
What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that doesn’t soak into the ground and eventually runs off into waterways. It flows from rooftops, over paved areas and bare soil, and through sloped lawns while picking up a variety of materials on its way. As it flows, stormwater runoff collects and transports soil, animal waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizers, oil & grease, debris and other potential pollutants.
What is the Problem?
Rain and snowmelt wash pollutants (pesticides, motor oil, bacteria, nitrogen, lead, chemicals, sediments and litter) from streets, constructions sites, and land into storm sewers and ditches. Eventually, the storm sewers and ditches empty the polluted stormwater directly into streams and rivers with no treatment. This is known as stormwater pollution.
Polluted stormwater degrades our lakes, rivers, wetlands and other waterways. Nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen can promote the overgrowth of algae and deplete oxygen threatening water quality and can kill fish and other aquatic life. Bacteria from animal wastes and improper sewerage systems can make lakes and waterways unsafe for wading, swimming and fish consumption. Eroded soil clouds the waterway and interferes with the habitat of fish and plant life.
According to an inventory conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPS), half of the impaired waterways are affected by urban/suburban and construction sources of stormwater runoff.
What the Town is doing to Prevent Stormwater Pollution
The U.S. EPA Phase II Rule requires operators of small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) to develop and implement a storm water management program that addresses six minimum controls. The six minimum controls are:
1. Public education & outreach
2. Public participation & involvement
3. Illicit discharge detection & elimination
4. Construction site runoff control
5. Post-construction site runoff control
6. Pollution prevention & good housekeeping for municipal operations
The entirety of the Town of Clarence’s Stormwater Management Plan, which goes over each of these components in detail, can be reviewed through the link found at the bottom of the page or in person at the Engineering Department.
The Town of Clarence is also a participating member in the Western New York Storm Water Coalition.
The Western New York Storm Water Coalition is a forum for the regulated communities to share resources and work in partnership toward compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Phase II Storm Water requirements. The overall goal of the Coalition is to utilize regional collaboration to identify existing resources and develop programs to reduce the negative impacts of storm water pollution. For further information on the Coalition and how it is working to address the requirements of the Phase II Storm Water Rule, to learn more about preventing storm water pollution, or download Stormwater brochures, contact the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning at (716) 858-6370 or at their website.
Be the Solution to Runoff Pollution
As a resident of the Town of Clarence you can help us to maintain and improve our water quality by practicing healthy household habits. Homeowners can keep common pollutants like pesticides, pet waste, grass clippings, and automotive fluids off the ground and out of stormwater.
There’s a lot that you can do, see how easy it is to begin with the items on the following list:
Start buying household products labeled “nontoxic” whenever possible. Be sure to dispose of old products as directed. Never dump anything down a storm drain, most lead directly into area waterways.
Clean water-based paints from rollers, pans and brushes in sinks that go into the sanitary sewer system. Use paint thinners to remove oil-based paint from brushes and rollers but do not rinse down sinks or drains.
Keep your autos in good repair and watch for possible leaks. Take leftover or used fluids to a household hazardous waste collection. Clean up leaks and spills with an absorbent material such as kitty litter.
Wash your car on the lawn or gravel, which filter the dirt and soap out of the water. Use soaps without phosphates, which remove oxygen from the water.
Swimming Pool and Spa water, containing chlorine is harmful to aquatic life. Drain your swimming pool only when a test kit does not detect chlorine levels. Whenever possible, drain water into the sanitary sewer system.
Consider using organic fertilizers or cut down on fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides as much as possible. If you do use these chemicals, be sure to follow directions and don’t apply before it’s forecasted to rain.
Start choosing native plants and grasses for your landscaping. They are adapted to the local environmental conditions, requiring less water, maintenance, pesticides, and fertilizers. These plants will save you money as well as providing vital habitat for birds and nectar for pollinators.
Use a mulching mower to reduce leaves to small pieces. Leaves can also be raked and composted where they will naturally be broken down.
Pick-up pet waste as soon as possible and put it in the trash. Pet waste has harmful bacteria that can get into our waterways.
Keep your septic system maintained to prevent system failures.
Clean drains around your home, including roof gutters, and maintain your downspouts. Clean inlets and grates around your house. Do not remove inlet grates to dispose of materials.
The Town maintains public drainage ditches and catch basins. If you see an obstruction, damage, or if it is in need of cleaning please contact the Town of Clarence Highway Department, (716)741-3210.
If there are any questions on how to properly dispose of any household product please contact Erie County’s Household Hazardous Waste program at (716)858-6800.
An illicit discharge is anything being dumped into a storm sewer other than rainwater, including but not limited to the products listed above. Report an illicit discharge immediately by calling (716)741-8952 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on identifying Illicit Discharges please refer to the following document