Pennington residents could face fines, imprisonment for illicit stormwater connections

Pennington Borough Hall (center) contains both the police department and municipal court.

Borough residents who have drains connected to Pennington’s storm sewer system or public rights-of-way could soon face fines.

The Borough Council will determine at an Oct. 2 meeting whether to adopt an ordinance prohibiting physical connections from drains, downspouts or roof leaders that have stormwater go directly into the storm sewer system or a borough right-of-way without approval.

A resident can have a drain or pipe to the storm sewer system and borough right-of-way if they receive prior approval from the borough engineer before its placed.

The approval from the borough engineer has to be in writing.

Under the ordinance, the borough engineer may have the water go to a seepage pit with only the overflow being allowed in the right-of-way or storm sewer system.

The ordinance was introduced at the Sept. 5 Council meeting and seeks to address stormwater discharge from property drains and pipes, illicit connections, and improper disposal of substances into the sewer system, according to officials.

In the ordinance the borough states that discharging stormwater directly or indirectly into the storm sewer system and borough right-of-way “increases flooding, creates hazards on sidewalks and roadways, and deteriorates roadways.”

Anyone who has made an illicit connection or a prohibited discharge would face a maximum fine of $1,000 fined, according to the proposed ordinance. A person could also face imprisonment that would not go past 90 days; community service or a combination.

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