The New Stormwater Laws— What Do They Mean to You?
Every time it rains, stormwater finds it’s way into our catch basins, streams and reservoirs. Water is essential to our life, but if not controlled, it can wash away and ruin some of our other resources. In turn, our actions can spoil the bodies of water, known as watercourses, and contaminate other forms of life.
The Town Board has adopted two stormwater laws that will help to protect our water sources and prevent stormwater runoff.
Law Preventing Illegal Discharges. If you are lucky enough to look out your window and view a babbling brook, or any other type of flowing water in your yard, you should be aware of the law pertaining to illegal discharges.
The law requires that:
• You do not discharge any sewage, sludge, garbage, solid waste or residue into any body of water. For example, you cannot permit your washing machine or dishwasher to drain directly into a stream or water body You must hook up them up to a sanitary sewer or into your septic system.
• You maintain the watercourse free of trash, debris and other items that would pollute, contaminate or retard the flow of water.
Aside from making sure that the body of water not polluted, we are all responsible for allowing the water to run freely. The law does provide an exemption for certain discharges that are not considered harmful, such as water from sump pumps, residential car washing, air conditioning condensate and dechlorinated swimming pools.
Law to Control Sediment Formation, Stormwater Runoff
If you decide to build a new patio or deck, add pavement to your driveway or make changes to your yard, you may need to obtain a permit to control the flow of water off of the rea you disturb.
• If you are making a property change that will create more than 1000 square feet of new impervious area (using materials that do now allow water to seep into the ground) then you are required to obtain a permit from the Town.
If you are clearing, excavating, grading land or creating any soil disturbance of over 5,000 square feet you must obtain a permit from the Town. Contact the Building and Engineering Department, at 914-238-4723, to obtain a permit.