How Do Localities Typically Manage Stormwater?
In most New Jersey communities, stormwater is managed through a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). However, 21 New Jersey municipalities have a combined sewer system (CSS) covering part or all of the town. Public works departments at the municipal and county levels, as well as various highway agencies, are the entities that are typically tasked with managing stormwater. These entities may address stormwater problems through gray infrastructure projects, green infrastructure projects, and best management maintenance activities, such as street sweeping, catch-basin cleaning, and other road maintenance.
For more information on green infrastructure projects, gray infrastructure, and best management maintenance activities, see the slider below, and our page here.
Without a stormwater utility, the price of managing stormwater is included in other local government costs. Typically, these costs are included in sewer fees or are paid for through property taxes. This system can lead to under-investment in managing stormwater, lending itself to a strategy of deferred maintenance to focus on higher-profile needs (schools, etc.). Unfortunately, this common strategy results in residents bearing the brunt of flooding, traffic congestion, water pollution, and property damage.