Water Quality Information

Mount Joy Township began implementing its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) water quality program in 2018.  Our storm sewer system consists of the Township-owned roads, storm pipes, swales, inlets, and basins that collect and convey rainfall to waterways.  All runoff that passes through the Township’s MS4 and exits through an outfall is the responsibility of the municipality. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administer the MS4 program and provide useful information on stormwater management via their websites.

It takes a collective effort to improve the quality of the runoff that ends up in our local creeks and streams.  Rain and snow that does not soak into the ground flows downhill until it reaches a waterway, taking with it any soil, debris, trash, or pollutants.  Remember that the storm pipes and inlets along the roads ultimately flow to surface waters, so help make sure only stormwater flows to the storm sewers! Read more about our public education strategies and what Mount Joy Township can do to involve more people in these pollution prevention initiatives.

If you see anything other than stormwater flowing through the storm sewer system, contact Mount Joy Township at 717-367-8917 or email justin@mtjoytwp.org to report it. Prevention is the best way to eliminate pollutants from our waterways, although accidents are bound to happen. Our Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination (IDD&E) Program sets forth the Township’s protocols when pollution appears to be within the storm sewer system.

Lancaster County’s overarching water quality goals are based on targets from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. However, organizations like the Lancaster Clean Water Partners and the Lancaster County Conservation District are fueling a bottom-up approach to meeting these targets. The approach of engaging municipalities, local watershed groups, non-profit organizations, farmers, businesses, and citizens to pitch in however they can is the Common Agenda for Lancaster.

When It Rains It Drains

Collaborative Water Quality Improvements

We recognize that achieving our community’s water quality goals is much more efficient and effective when working together. Mount Joy Township is proud of the Conoy Creek Streambank Stabilization Project made possible with the cooperation of the owners and management of the Green Meadows Mobile Home Park. The project, completed in winter 2022/23 stabilized the Conoy Creek’s banks within the community, resulting in a significant sediment reduction that helped meet the Township’s obligation for the current permit cycle.

Another great example is the Conewago Creek cooperative effort with Londonderry Township in Dauphin County. This multi-phase project is significantly improving the water quality and wildlife habitat for a large stretch of the creek. You can read more about this public-private approach made possible by local leaders, or visit the ArcGIS story map below. It also emphasizes the role of organizations like the Lancaster Clean Water Partners and the Lancaster Conservancy who came to the table with resources and expertise in conserving both land and water resources for generations to come.

Conewago Creek Restoration report

Stormwater Management Permits

A permit is typically required for all regulated activities, including:

  • Land development
  • Removal of ground cover, grading, filling, or excavation
  • Construction of new or additional impervious surfaces
  • Construction of structures
  • Installation or modification of stormwater management facilities and conveyances
  • Diversion or piping of any watercourse

Permit applications and instructions can be found on our Forms & Applications page.  Mount Joy Township uses a three-tiered permit system for stormwater management:

Stormwater Exemption – The cumulative installation of 1,000 sf. of impervious coverage on a lot may be exempt from the requirement to submit a Stormwater Management Site Plan.

Small Project – The cumulative installation of 5,000 sf. of impervious coverage and/or earth disturbance may be eligible for approval as a Small Project, which requires volume control for at least the first inch of rainfall from impervious surfaces.

Site Plan – All regulated activities that do not qualify for an Exemption or Small Project must submit an engineered site plan to show stormwater management.

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