Storm sewers collect and convey water from rain, melting snow and other natural sources. Stormwater flows downward through gutters, drains and surface sources. Some of the stormwater is absorbed into the soil or flows into streams. What is not absorbed into natural drainage basins is directed into storm sewers by direct pipe connections or through catch basins in streets and yards. Storm sewers are underground pipe which is used to carry water to a natural discharge point (usually a stream). Some homes may have connections directly into a public storm system to help manage water runoff.
Storm sewer pipes are typically a minimum of 15" in diamter, however they can be as large at 60" in diameter. In Shaler Township, storm water is directed into two watersheds: Girty's Run and Pine Creek. A watershed is a ridge of land separating water which flows into various basins.
Generally, all storm sewers are constructed within a right of way. These rights of ways are either established by developers as a plan of homes is constructed or as an agreement between the township and a property owner.
It is important that nothing is placed, planted or constructed within any storm sewer right of way. Items located within the right of way are at risk of being removed at any time if the Township or other entity has need of accessing such rights of way. Those items will not be replaced and the property owner may be invoiced for the cost of their removal.
The Township maintains over 80 miles of storm sewer pipe, 3,800 storm sewer catch basins and other manhole and junctions. Portions of this system are in excess of 45 years of age. The older pipe in the system is constructed of corrugated metal and has been found to be severely deteriorated. The Township has identified the areas of the system that are in need of replacment and budgets $250,000 each year to address these problem areas either utilizing in house personnel or awarding private contractor larger projects thru a competitive bidding process.