ShareThis Page
Buffalo Township could need stormwater upgrades |

Buffalo Township could need stormwater upgrades

George Guido
| Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:01 a.m

While Buffalo Township is up to date on its stormwater management ordinance, some costly updates appear to be coming down the pike.New National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System guidelines will include a requirement that township remove sediment from waterways that results from construction project drainage.

Dave Ivanek, of Bankson Engineers, gave a PowerPoint presentation to the township supervisors and a large audience of residents and businessmen Wednesday night.

The presentation included details on what will be required of homeowners and contractors.

The goal of the national program is to get as few pollutants as possible in the waterways that, in Buffalo’s case, includes Buffalo Creek, Little Buffalo Creek, Little Bull Creek and the Allegheny River.

Supervisors will consider adding an impact fee to building permits to pay for sediment removal. The township might also seek state and federal grants to assist with the cost of sediment removal.

Officials said a last resort would be to raise taxes.

Resident Rich Jarmul said when he built his home on Bear Creek Road, complying with the new guidelines added about $5,000 to the construction costs.

“I’ve already complied,” Jarmul said. “But it was an expense I wasn’t prepared to do.”

Ivanek said building smaller structures such as a backyard shed or carport may be exempt from the guidelines.

Another regulation that drew groans from the crowd deals with washing cars in driveways.

The NPDES guidelines discourage putting pollutants like detergents and phosphates into municipal stormwater systems that eventually go into waters where drinking water is derived, such as the Allegheny River that serves numerous Alle-Kiski Valley communities.

Officials said, however, that residents can wash their cars in their yards, which will absorb the cleansers, or in their garages, where wastewater will enter the sewerage system and be treated before reaching the river.

The presentation is part of the requirement that educational information be distributed at public gatherings, such as township meetings.

“If you think what you heard is overwhelming, wait until these standards are implemented,” said township Engineer Ken Howard.

Buffalo Township is required to adopt the standards because the municipality has areas where the average population density is at least 1,000 people per square mile.

Township officials said they are irked because some communities between Buffalo Township and Butler are exempt because of sparse populations.

Therefore, sediment formed in other communities that flows into Buffalo Township has to be removed.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.