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§ 13-603. Storm Water Sewers. 60
(1) Findings of Fact. The City Council finds that the uncontrolled discharge of pollutants to the storm sewer system can have an adverse impact upon the water quality of the receiving waters. More specifically:
(a) The water quality of discharges from separate storm sewers draining residential, commercial and industrial sits was characterized by the Nationwide Urban Runoff Program (NURP), which conducted sampling programs from 1978 through 1983. NURP concluded that the quality of urban runoff can be adversely impacted by several sources of pollutants, including illicit connections, industrial site runoff and illegal dumping. Other studies have shown that storm sewers contain illicit discharges of substances other than storm water and that large amounts of waste, particularly used oils, are improperly disposed of in storm sewers.
(b) The 1972 amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly known as the Clean Water Act, prohibited the discharge of any pollutant from a point source into the waters of the United States unless the discharge was authorized by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. In 1987, the Clean Water Act was amended to require large and medium sized municipalities to obtain a NPDES permit for their storm water discharges through their municipal separate storm sewer systems. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has now promulgated regulations implementing the NPDES permit requirements for municipal storm water discharges.
(c) EPA's regulations for storm water discharges require certain municipalities, including the City of Philadelphia, to:
(.1) Control through ordinance, permit, contract, order or similar means, the contribution of pollutants to municipal storm sewers by storm water discharges associated with industrial activity, including construction activity, and the quality of storm water discharged from sites of industrial activity;
(.2) Prohibit through ordinance, order or similar means, illicit discharges to municipal storm sewers;
(.3) Control through ordinance, order or similar means, discharges to municipal storm sewers of spills, dumping or disposal of materials other than storm water;
(.4) Require compliance with conditions in ordinances, permits, contracts or orders;
(.5) Carry out all inspection, surveillance and monitoring procedures necessary to determine compliance and non-compliance with permit conditions, including the prohibition of illicit discharges to the municipal storm sewer system;
(.6) Develop management plans to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the storm sewers.
(2) Definitions. In this Section, the following definitions apply:
(a) Construction Runoff. Soil, and any other material from a construction site, transported from a construction site to the storm sewer system.
(b) Discharge. Dispose, deposit, spill, pour, inject, dump, leak or place by any means, or that which is disposed, deposited, spilled, poured, injected, dumped, leaked or placed by any means.
(c) Industrial Wastes. Liquid or other wastes resulting from any process of industry, manufacture, trade or business, the storage of materials or from the development of any natural resources.
(d) Other Wastes. Decayed wood, sawdust, shavings, bark, leaves, lawn clippings, lime, garbage, bottles, cans, refuse, ashes, offal, tar, paint, solvents, petroleum products, antifreeze, chemicals of any nature and pesticides.
(e) Person. Any individual, association, public or private corporation for profit or not for profit, partnership, firm, authority, trust, estate, or any department, board, bureau or agency of the Commonwealth or Federal government.
(f) Pollutant. Any contaminant which in any manner affects or alters the physical, chemical or biological properties of storm water. The term pollutant includes, but is not limited to, those substances defined as Construction Runoff, Industrial Wastes, Other Wastes and Sewage.
(g) Premises. Any property, including all residential, commercial and industrial properties and including all improvements, buildings and structures located on or under such properties.
(h) Sanitary Sewer. A system of conduits that collect and deliver sewage to water pollution control plants.
(i) Sewage. Any substance that contains any of the waste products or excrement or other discharge from the bodies of human beings or animals and any noxious or deleterious substances being harmful or inimical to the public health, or to animals or aquatic life, or to the use of water for domestic water supply or for recreation, or which constitutes pollution under the laws and regulations of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(j) Storm Sewer System. The system of roads, streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, pipes, lakes, ponds, channels, storm drains and other facilities located within the City of Philadelphia which are designed or used for collecting or conveying storm water.
(k) Storm Water. Runoff from rain, snow or other forms of precipitation, and surface runoff and drainage.
(a) No person shall discharge pollutants to the storm sewer system, either by placing pollutants directly into the storm sewer system, by placing pollutants in areas which drain into the storm sewer system, or by allowing storm water from premises owned by such person to transport pollutants to the storm sewer system, unless specifically authorized by this Section or any regulation promulgated pursuant to this Section.
(b) No person shall connect or cause or allow to be connected, or remain to be connected, any sanitary sewer to the storm sewer system, including any sanitary sewer connected to the storm sewer system as of the date this Section became effective. No person shall allow sewage to enter the storm sewer system as the result of a cracked or damaged sanitary sewer.
(c) Unless prohibited by regulations of the Water Department the following discharges to the storm sewer system shall be permitted:
(.1) Firefighting activities;
(.2) Water line flushing;
(.3) Landscape irrigation;
(.4) Diverting stream flows or rising groundwater;
(.5) Filtration of uncontaminated groundwater;
(.6) Pumping of groundwater from potable water sources, foundation drains, irrigation waters, springs, or water from crawl spaces or footing drains;
(.7) Lawn watering;
(.8) Individual car washing on residential properties;
(.9) Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges;
(.10) Street washing; and
(.11) Any activity authorized by a valid Pennsylvania permit for the discharge to the waters of the Commonwealth.
(4) Compliance, Inspections and Monitoring.
(a) The Water Department and the Department of Licenses and Inspections shall have the authority to require compliance with this Section, issue regulations, investigate, inspect and monitor all premises, wherever situate, as may be necessary or appropriate to ensure compliance with this Section. Persons occupying such premises shall allow an authorized representative of such Departments ready access at all reasonable times to all parts of the premises for the purpose of investigating, inspecting and monitoring compliance with this Section.
(5) Penalties and Abatement.
(a) Any person who violates any of the provisions of this Section shall be subject to a penalty of three hundred dollars ($300). Each discrete violation shall be a separate and distinct offense subject to a three hundred dollar ($300) fine. Each day that a discrete violation of this Section occurs or continues to occur shall be a separate and distinct offense subject to a three hundred dollar ($300) fine.
(b) Any person who violates any of the provisions of this Section shall be responsible for containment, clean up, abatement, removal and disposal of any pollutant discharged into the storm sewer system. The City shall give notice to such person that a violation has occurred and shall requires such person to immediately contain, clean up, abate, remove and dispose of the discharge. Such notice shall be sufficient if mailed or hand delivered to a business owner, property owner or resident at his last known address.
(c) If a person notified under subsection 13-603(5)(b) fails to comply with the notice, the City may perform the containment, clean up, abatement, removal and disposal of the discharge. Costs incurred by the City in such activities shall be charged to the person notified.
(d) When the City determines that a discharge to the storm sewer system in violation of this Section has caused an imminent threat to human health or the environment, the City may contain, clean up, abate, remove and dispose of any such discharge without prior notice. Costs incurred in such activities shall be charged to the person who has violated this Section.
(e) When the City charges its costs to a person pursuant to subsection 13-603(5)(c) or subsection 13-603(5)(d) such charges shall be due within thirty (30) days of the date the bill is rendered. Where notice was given under subsection 13-603(5)(c) and the amount due the City is not paid within thirty (30) days after a bill is rendered, a lien shall be recorded against the property causing the discharge.
(f) The Law Department, on behalf of the City, may bring legal action to collect fines and to enjoin the continuing violation of this Section, and the existence of any other remedy, at law or in equity, shall be no defense to any such action.
(g) The penalties and remedies contained in this Section shall be cumulative, not exclusive. Further, the penalties and remedies contained herein shall be in addition to any other penalties or remedies available under federal, state or local laws or regulations.
Added, 1993 Ordinances, p. 1017.