Keep drains free of debris for best stormwater practice

Stormwater: Reducing Nutrient Pollution

Keeping major waterways clean is vital to protecting the environment and our communities. You can learn how to meet several MS4 permit requirements with the materials on this page!


Stormwater runoff from rainwater or melting snow transports pollutants into storm systems and ultimately into our local waterways. Roads, parking lots, driveways, and rooftops prevent groundwater absorption, increasing the volume of runoff. Because that runoff is not cleaned or filtered before it reaches those waterways, it is imperative we take small steps toward protecting our communities.

Stormwater can pick up harmful nutrients known as phosphorus and nitrogen, which in high levels can have toxic effects on animal, plant, and human life.

We need to work together to keep stormwater systems clear of waste and harmful chemicals. Because pollution from runoff is harmful to our environment, minimizing impacts associated with that runoff will improve our water quality and quantity. Pennsylvania’s MS4 Program was developed to help reduce these pollutants.

RETTEW’s Municipal Services group developed the fact sheet “Detention Basin Retrofits for Water Quality Benefits” located in the sidebar to the right. The sheet details how turning dry detention basins into dry extended detention basins or bioretention basins can help municipalities achieve water quality goals in a cost-effective way. These projects help meet pollutant reduction plan requirements while improving water quality. The fact sheet explains what these basins are, a summary of steps to convert them, and outlines regular maintenance requirements.

Feel free to use the fact sheet and any other materials on this page in any communication or educational outreach to local residents and business owners.

“You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.”
~ Professor Wangari Maathai

If you have other ideas you’d like to see us address in our MS4 educational tools, please contact us!