Storm Water Information

Bethlehem Township Bethlehem Township is working to protect our local streams from being impacted by stormwater pollution, and want our residents to know that we take this seriously. In order to raise public awareness, we are adding these informative pages about the NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Permit which the PA Department of Environmental Protection issued to the Township. The Township is considered an MS4, or "Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System", and must submit annual reports to the DEP that meet certain requirements.

In decades past, it was customary for only polluting industries to have "discharge" permits, however there was a growing realization that even common land uses impact the environment.

For example, such things as driving cars (oil and antifreeze dripping onto roads, brake lining dust and rubber from tires); maintaining lawns (chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers), pet waste, litter, and soil erosion from construction activities also pollute water running into streams.

When it rains, these pollutants are washed over the land and down storms drains (storm drains are the catch basins with a metal grid alongside the roadway, and the underground piping connecting them). The storm drains ultimately converge, thus concentrating pollutant levels.
Storm drains are not connected to a treatment system, so no pollutants are removed from the water.

By far the largest percentage of storm water in Bethlehem Township ends up in the Lehigh River, coming from the Monocacy Creek, Nancy Run and Lehigh River sub-basin #5. The Lehigh converges with the Delaware River in Easton. The northeast corner of the Township is in the Bushkill Creek watershed, which drains directly to the Delaware River. To determine which watershed you live in, see the map below:




You can make a difference and help us keep our local waters clean. As a visitor to this site, you’ve already taken the first step: getting informed. Step two: adopt a couple of clean water habits, such as:

  • Picking up after your pets and disposing of their waste properly
  • Applying fertilizer and pesticides in the proper amounts. Besides costing more, excess fertilizers just run off your lawn and into streams, where they cause nutrient-loading which in turn deprives aquatic species of proper oxygen levels
  • Maintaining your vehicle properly, and most importantly, not dumping oil or any type of fluid down storm drains*
  • Washing your vehicle on grassed areas so that water with pollutants filter down through the ground and do not run directly into the storm drain system
  • Not littering, as litter often washes away along with storm water and can be ingested by fish, birds, or other wildlife
*Please note that most vehicle repair businesses accept used motor oil. The Township Municipal Building also has a list of vendors that accept motor oil, batteries, AC fluids, and construction waste.

Our stormwater program is federally-mandated and operated though the PA DEP. While this is a "mandated" program, it is beneficial for humans and wildlife because it lessens—and makes us more aware of—our impact on the environment.

In Pennsylvania and nationwide, almost all municipalities the size and population of Bethlehem Township must meet six Minimum Control Measures (MCMs).

The six MCMs are as follows:
1. Public Education and Outreach
2. Public Participation and Involvement
3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
4. Construction Site Runoff Control
5. Post-Construction Stormwater Management in New Development and Redevelopment
6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations and Maintenance

Bethlehem Township Each municipality subject to the regulation must implement a stormwater management program that contains every one of these elements. Each municipality must meet all requirements by the end of their 5-year permit term. The Township is in substantial compliance with the BMP requirements of this program.

If you see problems with the stormwater inlet or piping system, please call Public Works at 610-814-6442.




Links & Downloads
For more information regarding healthy household habits (lawn and garden/pet care/car washing), please feel free to download these informational brochures.



FEMA Flood Zone Map

This map will create an overlay of the FEMA Flood Zones. Simply input your Bethlehem Township address below. This map includes Address Search, Printing, Measures, and a sharing feature. The National Flood Hazard Layer is taken directly from FEMA.

Click HERE for the Bethlehem Township FEMA Ordinance Resolution.



Disclaimer: Bethlehem Township created nether the parcel boundaries or the FEMA flood Zone mapping layers. We can not guarantee the accuracy of the mapping due to overlay deviations from multiple data sources, or geographic and digital distortion that can occur. The map is to be used only as a general tool for determining proximity and should you desire an official determination of any potential conflict, contact your property owners insurance provider, or the US Department of Home Land Security, One Independence Mall, 6th Floor, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19106 or visit them online at http://www.fema.gov/ for specific details.


Bethlehem Township
4225 Easton Avenue
Bethlehem, Pa. 18020
Phone: 610-814-6400
Fax: 610-814-6408
return to top