Stormwater Management


Note: A link to the updated SWPPP requirements is  now available under Related Documents.

What is Stormwater

Stormwater is precipitation (rain or snow) that travels across:

  • Driveways
  • Lawns
  • Parking lots
  • Roads
  • Roofs

What is carried by Stormwater?

Stormwater can pick up:

  • Fertilizers
  • Litter
  • Oil
  • Pesticides
  • Pet Waste
  • Sediment

Where Does Stormwater Go?

Stormwater moves across impermeable and semi-impermeable surfaces; resulting in polluted runoff. Eventually this runoff makes its way into our lakes, rivers, streams and estuaries, and since it is often contaminated with pollutants, stormwater is one of the major contributors to water pollution in the United States, and of special concern to waters such as the Long Island Sound and the South Shore Estuary Reserve which surround the Town of Brookhaven.

Results of Runoff

Polluted stormwater runoff, also known as non-point source pollution, often results in:

  • Declining shoreline aesthetics
  • Degraded wetlands and wildlife habitats
  • Impaired recreational opportunities
  • Poor water quality
  • Reduced navigability
  • Restricted bathing beach access
  • Shellfish bed closures
  1. Clean Water Act
  2. Annual Report
  3. SWPPP
  4. What We're Doing

The Clean Water Act

In 1972, the Federal Clean Water Act was adopted to improve the quality of our Nation’s waters. The Act sought to accomplish this by minimizing and eliminating what are commonly referred to as “point sources” of pollution, sources of pollution that originate from a pipe or other specific points of discharge. Though there were significant improvements in water quality since the inception of this Act, water pollution remained a problem in our local waterways.

The Clean Water Act was subsequently amended to address non-point sources of pollution, and beginning in 1990, any municipality with a population greater than 100,000 was required to implement programs and practices targeted at reducing non-point sources of pollution. This was referred to as Phase I. In 2003 Phase II was implemented which required all municipalities, including the Town of Brookhaven, to implement programs and practices which combat non-point source pollution.

In 2003, Phase II was implemented which required all municipalities, including the Town of Brookhaven, to implement programs and practices which combat non-point source pollution.  The goal of the Phase II program is to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff thereby improving water quality, enhancing recreational enjoyment of our waterways, preventing beach closures, and ensuring that seafood is safe for human consumption. 

In New York, the Phase II program requires all regulated municipalities to maintain a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) for the discharge of stormwater runoff into surface waters. This permit is commonly referred to as the SPDES (State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). The Town of Brookhaven operates under SPDES permit # NYR20A411.  As a condition of this permit, the Town of Brookhaven must develop and implement a comprehensive stormwater management program that includes mandated programs and practices in the following six categories:

  • Public Education and Outreach (MCM1)
  • Public Involvement / Participation (MCM2)
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (MCM 3)
  • Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control (MCM 4)
  • Post-construction Stormwater Management (MCM 5)
  • Pollution Prevention / Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations (MCM 6)

Get Involved

Looking for a community project for your group or event? For more information, contact the Town’s Stormwater Management Program Office.

Storm Drain Marking

No Dumping sticker

Storm drains are not waste drains! Storm drain marking is an excellent way to educate your fellow neighbors on the connections between our neighborhoods and surface waters. The Town will provide your group with a map and a series of storm drain medallions to adhere to select drains in your neighborhood with a direct connection to surface water. This is an excellent community service project for scout groups or environmental clubs.

Pooch Bag Distribution

Pooch bag container

Pet waste is a significant contributor to water pollution. Encourage your neighborhood dog walkers to clean up after their pets by offering them tools to make the job easier. The Town will provide your group with a box of pooch bags and brochures for distribution at your community event or community center. This is an excellent community awareness project for civic groups or other community organizers.