Stormwater

Directory of Services

Clerk’s Office

(607) 739–5691

  • Copy of a law/proposed law
  • Foil Requests
  • Property Tax Information
  • Water Billing & Collection

Code Enforcement

(607) 739–5691

  • Building Permits
  • Zoning Information
  • Swimming Pools
  • Village Codes

Police Department

EMERGENCY: DIAL 911

(607) 739–5668

(607) 735–8600

  • Report a Crime
  • File a Complaint
  • Request Assistance

(607) 739–5669

  • Administrative Calls

Horseheads Town Hall

(607) 739–8783

  • Tax Assessment
  • Animal Control
  • Marriage Licenses
  • Hunting Licenses
  • Dog Licenses

Village Hall

Horseheads Village Hall
202 South Main Street
Horseheads, New York 14845
(607) 739–5691

Local Weather Conditions

NYSDEC MS4 Stormwater Coalition Annual Report

New York State Department of Environmental Conservations Stormwater MS4 Program Overview

Small municipal stormwater sewer systems (MS4s) that are located within the boundaries of a Census Bureau defined “urbanized area” are regulated under EPA’s Phase II Stormwater Rule. This requires MS4s to develop a stormwater management program that will reduce the amount of pollutants carried by stormwater during storm events to waterbodies to the “maximum extent practicable”. The goal of the program is to improve water quality and recreational use of waterways.

MS4 stormwater programs have six elements called minimum control measures (MCM) that when implemented together, are expected to result in a reduction of pollutants discharged into waterbodies.

Every year the MS4 communities must report to NYS DEC on progress and activities for each of the 6 Minimum Control Measures. Click below to view the Annual Report.

>2016-17 MS4 Report - Chemung County Stormwater Coalition - Part 1

>2016-17 MS4 Report - Chemung County Stormwater Coalition - Part 2

If you have any comments or questions regarding the information within the annual report you may submit them in writing to:

Chemung County Stormwater Coalition, RE: Annual Report Public Comment, 851 Chemung Street, Horseheads, NY 14845

Or you may submit comments electronically, by email to: jbverrigni@stny.rr.com

Local Laws on Stormwater

Local Law #1 of 2008: Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

Local Law #2 of 2008: Stormwater Management and Erosion and Sediment Control

Stormwater Q & A

What is stormwater?

Stormwater is the rainfall or snowmelt that flows over our yards, streets, parking lots, and buildings and either enters the storm drain system or runs directly into a lake or stream.

What is a storm drain?

Storm drains are the openings you see along curbs and in streets and parking lots. They carry away rainwater and snowmelt and transport it through the system to nearby lakes and streams. Water and other debris that enter storm drains do not go to a treatment facility.

What is a sanitary sewer?

A sanitary sewer takes household water and waste from toilets, sinks and showers, and transports it to a wastewater treatment facility. There, the water is treated and then discharged back to a lake or stream.

How does stormwater get polluted?

As stormwater flows over our lawns and driveways, it picks up fertilizers, oil, chemicals, grass clippings, litter, pet waste, and anything else in its path. The storm drain system then transports these pollutants, now in the water, to local lakes and streams. Anything that goes into a storm drain eventually ends up in a lake or stream.


Seven Simple Steps to Clean Water

Did you know we all live on a lake or stream? It’s true — we might not be able to see it from our window, but it’s there. It might be a small stream or ditch or even the storm drain in the street. All of these lead to a river or lake. So it’s important to remember that what we do at home affects our rivers and lakes!

Here are some simple steps you can take to help keep our water clean. Give them a try. A few simple changes can make a big difference! Plus, you’ll save time and money in the process.

1. Help keep pollution out of storm drains

Remember, it ALL drains to our lakes and rivers What’s the issue? Storm drains lead to our lakes and streams. So, any oil, pet waste, leaves, or dirty water from washing your car that enters a storm drain gets into our lakes and streams. We all need to be aware of what goes into our storm drains. Remember, only rain in the drain!

What are some helpful tips? Here are some simple steps you can take to help keep pollutants out of storm drains and keep our water clean. Give them a try. A few simple changes can make a big difference!

Sweep it. Do you have extra fertilizer, grass clippings, or dirt on your driveway? Sweep it back onto your lawn. Hosing your driveway sends these pollutants into storm drains that lead to our lakes and streams.

Keep it clean. Whether in the street or in your yard, remember to keep leaves, grass clippings, trash, and fertilizers out of storm drains.

Only rain in the drain. Never dump motor oil, chemicals, pet waste, dirty or soapy water, or anything else down the storm drain. All of these materials pollute our lakes and streams!

Label it. Volunteer to label storm drains in your neighborhood to inform residents that storm drains flow directly to our lakes and streams. Encourage citizens to contact their local community for more information on storm drain stenciling programs.


2. Fertilize sparingly and caringly

What’s the issue? Storm drains found in our streets and our yards empty into our lakes and streams. So, when we fertilize our lawn we could also be fertilizing our lakes and streams. While fertilizer is good for our lawn, unfortunately it’s bad for our water. Fertilizer in our lakes and streams causes algae to grow. This can form large algae blooms and uses up oxygen that fish need to survive. With many homes in the Village fertilizing their lawn, all of us need to be aware of the affects of our lawn care practices.

What can you do? Here are some simple steps you can take to help keep our water clean. Give them a try. A few simple changes can make a big difference! Plus, you’ll save time and money in the process.

Go slow. Select an organic or slow-release fertilizer. Check the label. A slow release fertilizer has at least half of the nitrogen in water insoluble form. These fertilizers gradually release nitrogen to plant roots. This provides a steady supply of plant nutrients over an extended period of time. Because you need less fertilizer, you will save time and money.

Buy low. Select a fertilizer with low or no phosphorus. Most lawns already contain enough phosphorus. Excess phosphorus is the primary culprit of algae blooms in our lakes!

Mow high. Make your lawn cheaper and easier to maintain by mowing high – three inches is the rule! Tall grass promotes root growth and shades out weeds. Let short clips fall back on the lawn. Clippings recycle nitrogen back into the soil, so fertilizer can be reduced by 25% or more!

Sweep it. Fertilizer left on sidewalks and driveways will easily wash into storm drains. So, save money and our lakes and streams by sweeping fertilizer back onto the lawn.

Don’t guess . . . soil test. A soil test will tell you what, if any, fertilizer is needed in your yard. Contact your local Cooperative Extension office for more information.

Make fertilizer-free zones. Keep fertilizer applications at least 20 feet away from the edge of lakes, streams, or storm drains.

Hire smart. Select a lawn service that uses organic fertilizers or offers a slow-release nitrogen, low phosphorus option.


3. Carefully store and dispose of household cleaners, chemicals, and oil

What’s the issue? Antifreeze, household cleaners, gasoline, pesticides, oil paints, solvents, and motor oil are just some of the common household products that can enter our storm drains. Help keep these out of our lakes and streams. Instead of putting these items in the trash, down the storm drain, or on the ground, take them to a local hazardous waste center on collection day. Contact Chemung County Cooperative Extension for information about the next hazardous material collection day.

What are some helpful tips? Here are some simple steps you can take to carefully dispose of household wastes and help keep our water clean. Give them a try. A few simple changes can make a big difference!

Identify it. Be aware of household products that can harm children, pets, and the environment. The words “danger,” “caution,” “warning,” or “toxic” indicate that you need to be careful in how you use and dispose of the product.

Less is better. Reduce waste and save money by purchasing only the materials you need. When possible, choose less toxic alternatives. For example, try cleaning your windows with vinegar and water.

Store properly. Keep unused products in their original containers with labels intact. Select cool, dry storage areas that are away from children, pets, and wildlife. Disposal is key. Never dump motor oil, chemicals, and other toxic materials down storm drains, sinks, or on the ground. Contact your local community for disposal locations, guidelines, and dates.

Don’t forget the RV. Dispose of recreational vehicle sanitary waste at a nearby drop-off location. Never put it down a storm drain or roadside ditch.


4. Clean up after your pet

What’s the issue? Most of us pick up after our pets to be a good neighbor and to keep our yard clean. But there’s another important reason. Pet waste contains bacteria that are harmful to us and our water. Leaving it on the sidewalk or lawn means harmful bacteria will be transported into the storm drains and then into our lakes and streams.

What are some helpful tips? Here are some simple steps you can take to carefully dispose of pet waste and help keep our water clean. Give them a try. A few simple changes can make a big difference!

Dispose of it promptly and properly. Whether in your yard or on a walk, promptly dispose of your pet’s waste in the trash or down the toilet where it will be properly treated. When pet waste is left behind, it washes into storm drains and ditches. From there it heads straight to your local lakes and streams taking harmful bacteria with it.

Watch instead of feeding. Feeding ducks and geese may seem harmless but, in fact, can be a nuisance to people and harmful to our water. Feeding waterfowl causes them to become dependent on humans. This, in turn, creates unnaturally high populations and problems in our parks and lakes. Waterfowl waste can pollute our water with harmful bacteria.


5. Practice good car care

What’s the issue? Storm drains found in our streets and roadside ditches lead to our lakes and streams. So, if dirty water from washing our cars or motor fluids are dumped or washed into the storm drain, it pollutes our local waterways.

What are some helpful tips? Here are some simple steps you can take to care for your car and help keep our water clean. Give them a try. A few simple changes can make a big difference!

Make a date. Car-wash facilities treat their dirty water before discharging it to our lakes and streams. So, make a date to take your car to a car wash.

Wash it - on the grass. If you wash your car at home, consider washing it on the lawn. Or, if you can’t use the lawn, try to direct the dirty water towards the lawn and away from the storm drain.

Minimize it. Reduce the amount of soap you use or wash your car with plain water.

Maintain it. Keep your vehicle properly tuned and use the owner’s manual to guide decisions about how often it is necessary to change fluids such as oil and antifreeze. Take advantage of business expertise. Consider taking your vehicle to the shop to have the oil and other fluids changed. These businesses have the ability to recycle the used materials and clean up accidental spills.

Recycle. If you choose to change your oil and other fluids yourself, label the waste containers. Then, take them to your community’s household hazardous waste collection day or to a business that accepts used oil. Never dump used oil, antifreeze, or other fluids on the ground or down the storm drain.

Soak it up. Use kitty litter promptly to absorb small amounts of spilled vehicle fluids. Then sweep it into a bag and throw it in the trash.

Do it under cover. Whenever possible, perform vehicle maintenance in a well-ventilated, but covered location (e.g., garage). This minimizes the potential for rainfall to wash those inevitable spills and drips into our lakes and streams.


6. Choose earth friendly landscaping

What’s the issue? When landscaping your yard you can protect your kids, pets, and the environment from harm. By choosing plants that are native to New York and by practicing good lawn-care practices, you can help prevent pollution of our lakes and streams.

What are some helpful tips? Here are some simple steps you can take to landscape and maintain a healthy yard and help keep our water clean. Give them a try. A few simple changes can make a big difference!

Mow high. Make your lawn cheaper and easier to maintain by mowing high (three inches is recommended). Taller grass requires less water, promotes root growth, and shades out weeds.

Use mulch. Place a thick layer of mulch (e.g., four inches) around trees and plants. This helps retain water, reduce weeds, and minimize the need for pesticides.

Go native. Select plants native to New York. Native plants are better equipped to tolerate New York’s climate, require less fertilizing, and are more disease resistant.


7. Save water

What’s the issue? Did you know that individually we use about 77 gallons of water each day? When we overwater our lawns, that process can easily carry pollution to the storm drains and then to our lakes and streams. By using less water on our lawns we can help prevent some of this pollution. And remember, saving water also saves money!

What are some helpful tips? Here are some simple steps you can take use less water to maintain a healthy lawn and help keep our water clean. Give them a try. A few simple changes can make a big difference!

Water wisely. Generally, your lawn needs about an inch of water a week. Overwatering lawns results in shallow-rooted plants that are less tolerant of heat and drought, and more prone to disease. Avoid overwatering by using a rain gauge and watering only when necessary, instead of on a fixed schedule.

Improve your aim. Adjust your sprinklers to water only your lawn and plants — not your driveway, sidewalk, or street.

Use mulch. Place a thick layer of mulch (e.g., four inches) around trees and plants. This helps retain water, reduce weeds, and minimize the need for pesticides.

Sweep it. Clean sidewalks and driveways with a broom, instead of a hose. You’ll save water and keep unwanted pollutants out of the storm drain.

Put rainwater to work. Use rainwater to water your plants. Direct downspouts toward your plants and green areas or collect water with rain barrels for use later.

Mow high. Make your lawn cheaper and easier to maintain by mowing high (three inches is recommended). Longer grass has deeper roots and requires less water.

We might not be able to see it from our window, but it’s there. It might be a small stream or ditch, or even the storm drain in the street. All of these lead to a river or lake. So what we do at home affects our rivers and lakes!

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