Rain Garden 7

A rain garden in Lancaster city.

Floating wetlands, rain gardens, floodplain restoration.

All these urban stormwater controls and more will be funded in four Lancaster County communities and a housing development, thanks to grants totaling $730,000 from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Lancaster city is getting $200,000 for a water-quality improvement project at Long’s Park that will include vegetative swales and floating wetlands to control runoff of rain after heavy rains.

Lititz Borough will use $180,000 to continue its restoration of Lititz Run and surrounding floodplain from New Street Park to Oak Street.

East Lampeter Township will receive $170,842 for green infrastructure improvements at its municipal office.

East Hempfield Township will get  $117,636 for a rain garden, swales and an oil grit seperator at its maintenance facility.

The Village Grande housing development off of Harrisburg Pike in East Hempfield Township will get $61,467 to build an outfall bioretention basin. These devices are small landscaped basins intended to provide water quality management by filtering stormwater runoff before release into stormdrain systems.

Some $2.2 million in grants to control stormwater runoff were made by DEP for 19 projects in the Susquehanna River watershed.

“Reducing stormwater runoff is a key component of improving local water quality,” said acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “These grants help to improve and clean up Pennsylvania’s streams and rivers.”

Another aim of the program is to help Pennsylvania reach its commitment to substantially reduce sediment and nutrient runoff into the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay.

In addition to runoff on farms, urban stormwater control is a key strategy for the state to meet its goal by 2025.  To date, the state is behind schedule and has been scolded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.