East Cocalico proposes MS4 water collection study

By on April 17, 2019

East Cocalico’s new MS4 technician updated township supervisors on his progress in getting the municipality compliant with the federal stormwater management program.

Ken McCrea, who was hired as East Cocalico’s MS4 technician earlier this year, offered his second report which are now a standing meeting agenda item.
He explained his grant proposal to collect water samples in the township and test them for turbidity —the cloudier the water the more polluted it is.

McCrea said many state data numbers in stormwater studies are generated from mathematical models, not actual collection data.

One application example for McCrea’s water turbidity study would be in Reamstown Park.
“We’d test the water from the outfalls to see what it’s like currently. When the streambank restoration project concludes, we can test again to see actual improvement, and tell if there are areas which still have problems to address,” McCrea said.

Lancaster County’s Watershed information explains that Lancaster County is the biggest contributor of nitrogen and phosphorous pollutants to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

“East Cocalico will spend a half-million dollars for MS4 projects over the next five years. We’ll get about a one percent improvement. We could spend less on agricultural improvement projects and get bigger improvements percentage wise,” said Russell.

Currently municipalities receive no funding to help agricultural stormwater management projects. Russell said he could foresee more of McCrea’s time being spent helping farmers with plans and securing grant money in the future.

The stormwater requirements of the federal Clean Water Act are administered under the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) program.
In other business, It’s a long story with a happy ending. Supervisors announced at their April 4 meeting that all residents who purchased woody waste site cards to open the newly gated area will receive brand new cards.

The gate will remain up for residents use until re-distribution is completed.
Manager Scott Russell said the initial batch of cards received contained cards which were not “live” and needed replaced. The replacement cards, plus others received to sell, did not allow the entrance gate to go up and down.

A technician checked the software, made revisions and the cards still didn’t work. Another technician analyzed the problem, found the programming issue and said the township got incorrect cards.
New gate cards, after testing to make sure they work, will be issued to residents who purchased the old cards.

“We’ll restart the calendar clock for the one-year period for which the card is valid using the new card’s date,” said Supervisor Doug Mackley.

For other residents who don’t have cards and plan on purchasing them in the future, the expiration date will be one year from the date of purchase.

Alice Hummer is a correspondent for The Ephrata Review.
Patrick Burns contributed to this article.

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