What is MS4?
The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System, or MS4, is a network of inlets, pipes, swales, outlets, and other features designed to control runoff from public streets, sidewalks, and other impervious areas. Eventually, the runoff discharges into several specific bodies of water including streams, ponds, lakes, wetlands or rivers.
Upper Leacock Township has two main watersheds, the Conestoga River Watershed and the Mill Creek Watershed. You can view the map below to see which watershed you reside in.
(click map to enlarge)
Lancaster County has over 1,400 miles of streams crossing its vast landscape which flow from northeast to southwest through the county and enter the Susquehanna River. Along the way, these streams are bombarded with numerous pollution sources such as pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste, car oil, etc. All these components can affect the overall water quality of the stream. Occasionally these waterways cannot handle various sources of pollution and can become impaired or degraded. The state of Pennsylvania has identified the Conestoga River and the Mill Creek impaired by excessive amounts of nutrients and sediment.
How You Can Help
The easiest way to help prevent these streams from being polluted is to avoid straightening or constricting any flowing streams you encounter. Also, avoid mowing vegetation directly next to a stream as it reduces the ability of filtering pollutants before they enter the water body. To learn more ways to help our flowing streams, please read these articles posted below: