maintains two separate and distinct sewer systems The Township
Sanitary Sewer System
This system uses a network of pipes to collect sewage from homes and businesses and channels wastewater into the Township’s pollution control plant before releasing it, after treatment, into Brush Creek. These conduits are fully enclosed and buried underground. Customers of the Township’s sanitary sewer service pay according to their volume of use. The system’s primary purpose is to protect public health.
Stormwater Runoff System
This system collects rainwater runoff and directs it into local streams without putting it through the sewage treatment plant. Parts of this system are open to the surface and no one is charged for its use. The primary role of the stormwater system is to protect property against flooding and water damage.
Both the sanitary and stormwater sewer systems use a combination of private and public components. The design and construction standards are specified in the Uniform Construction Code of the Township Code of Ordinances and prior Township approval is required for all development plans. Pennsylvania Dept. of Labor & Industry Uniform Construction Code
A growing awareness of just how vulnerable Pennsylvania’s waterways have become to damage from stormwater runoff has resulted in legislation requiring municipalities like Cranberry to obtain permits before discharging stormwater runoff into waterways like Brush Creek.
These permits, valid for five years, require communities to put stormwater management programs in place that reduce the discharge of pollutants, educate the public, and protect local water quality.
Cranberry Township is required to develop and implement a Pollution Reduction Plan (PRP) under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit For Stormwater Discharges From Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4).
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Information:
Stormwater Management History
Before 2002, rainwater runoff issues were addressed separately for each new development in Cranberry. However, as the surface contours of the Township continued changing with new development, the need for a coordinated, global, and comprehensive approach to handling storm water became apparent. In 2002, Cranberry implemented a plan to deal with flooding, infiltration/inflow problems, detention, and related stormwater drainage concerns.
That stormwater management plan targets the accelerated runoff resulting from land development and prescribes the construction of various swales, culverts, catch basins and detention ponds, as well as other water-handling facilities to channel and stage the release of rainwater to prevent downstream flooding.
The responsibility for maintaining these stormwater facilities is divided among homeowners, neighborhood associations, commercial property owners, the Township, and state authorities as follows:
- Roof and foundation drains These drains, along with the gutters, spouts and pipes which connect them to the community’s storm sewer system, are the homeowner’s responsibility.
- Driveway pipes and culverts These are typically the homeowner’s responsibility.
- Drainage ditches These are generally the responsibility of the homeowners association unless the ditch is specifically designated as a public or municipal drainage easement.
- Pipes and culverts underneath roadways The owner of the road assumes responsibility for these facilities. On private roads, or on newer plans where the roads have not yet been accepted by the Township, it is the homeowners’ or developer’s responsibility. On public roads, it is the responsibility of either the Township or the State.
- Clearing debris and erosion along stream channels Removing debris from local streams to keep them flowing in their channels is generally the responsibility of the land owners whose property abuts or is traversed by that stream. Note, however, that repair of erosion on large streams, such as building channel walls, may require a state permit.
- Catch basins The owner of the road along which catch basins are situated is responsible for maintaining them. That could be either the Township, PennDOT, the plan developer, or the owners of a private roadway or parking lot where basins are installed.
- Detention facilities Detention ponds in residential plans are typically the responsibility of the neighborhood’s homeowners association. Detention facilities in non-residential areas are normally the responsibility of the private establishments they serve. Developers are typically responsible for detention pond maintenance in newly developing plans until they are turned over to the homeowners association.