Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania is facing an urgent need for effective stormwater solutions, and if the authorities don’t act fast, things might get ugly. More on this story from Richard Gazarik’s article on TribLive News:

“More than half of residents’ complaints to Hempfield Township concern stormwater, and the staff spends one day each week responding to problems, Supervisor Chairman Doug Weimer said.

“It’s become an ever-increasing issue in the development of a growing township like Hempfield,” he said.”

Hempfield Township’s main solution to the problem is maintaining about 25 storm water retention ponds scattered all around the locale to alleviate flooding and prevent sewage treatment plant overflow, especially during heavy rain. However, with an average of almost 39 inches of rain per year (U.S. average is barely 37 inches/annum) and 132 days of precipitation (32 days more than the national average), Hempfield Township residents can expect major environmental issues due to stormwater runoff if they don’t implement quality storm water solutions soon.

While the township is already spending about $650,000 a year for their storm water runoff management projects, much of which are paid through the locale’s general fund, the effort still doesn’t seem enough. John Poister, spokesperson for Hempfield’s Department of Environmental Resources, agrees so. He notes that any kind of rainstorm, no matter how strong it is, is capable of creating more sewage runoff than one treatment plant can handle, thereby resulting in contaminated runoff ending up in natural waterways.

Hempfield Township’s main line of defense is its network of retention basins, and understanding how they work can give a good overview of the problem. Basically, retention basins work by storing runoff from streets and adjacent lands into some sort of a man-made lake. The water is then treated using natural filtration processes—the sediment found in the runoff itself settles down the bottom of the retention basin and won’t have a chance of contaminating critical bodies of water. Therefore, cleaner water slowly drains from the basins and into water systems.

Obviously, the township’s retention ponds are not able to hold water levels beyond their capacity. It’s a good thing that companies like HydroLogic Solutions, Inc. can provide localities like Hempfield Township and others with efficient stormwater management systems, such as StormChamber. These stormwater solutions, along with retention ponds or catch basins, can help protect waterways from pollution as well as reduce the risk of flooding in susceptible areas.

(Source: Stormwater Runoff Issues Getting Worse in Hempfield, TribLive News, July 8, 2014)