BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR: Manage runoff to reduce flooding, erosion damage, and water pollution.



STC provides technical support for improved management of stormwater runoff in order to prevent local drainage problems, avoid escalating flood risks, and protect water quality. This includes support for the Chemung County Stormwater Coalition and other assistance.

Technical assistance includes the creation of the Stormwater Toolbox, public information on rain barrels and rain gardens and Better Site Design, training, roadbank/road ditch erosion assessment, highway management practices, driveway standards and stream crossings, and internet access to map data. We have also created a series of maps for small lake watersheds which show watershed boundaries, contours and steep slopes.

NYSDEC generated the 2015 New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual. It provides designers with a general overview on how to size, design, select, and locate stormwater management practices at a development site to comply with State stormwater performance standards. This manual is a key component of the Phase II State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) general permit for stormwater runoff from construction activities from all sizes of disturbance. The manual now includes Green infrastructure Practices as key elements to address stormwater.

Stormwater Toolbox

The Stormwater Toolbox is just that – a black, heavy plastic toolbox filled with good information for use by the local code enforcement officer as he or she talks with residents and developers about construction projects. They were developed by the Rural Stormwater Coalition and distributed to each municipality in Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben Counties in 2008.

Toolbox content topics are listed below, with links to these resources in the STC document library. Some material is for reference. Other items are intended for distribution to developers or the general public.

If you have difficulties accessing the information or would like hardcopies, please contact Janet Thigpen:

The toolbox includes:

Stormwater Packet for Small Construction Sites – The Toolbox includes packets of information for distribution to developers of small construction sites for which a state stormwater permit is required. Each packet contains materials found here in STC’s document library.

Better Site Design & Low-Impact Development (LID)

Better Site Design is an approach to reducing the effect of stormwater runoff from new and redevelopment projects by incorporating non-structural on-site treatment into the project design. The purpose is to improve development projects and communities by:

  • Preserving undisturbed areas, natural drainage systems and green space;
  • Reducing impervious cover (pavement and other hard surfaces); and
  • Using pervious areas for stormwater treatment so that water absorbs into the ground and stays on the land.

The STC Low Impact Development LID Sampler was published in August 2007. This booklet highlights techniques, built in the Upper Susquehanna River watershed, that increase groundwater recharge, expand greenery in our urban spaces and reduce the amount of water that becomes damaging “runoff.”

Steep Slopes

Intense storms can send water rushing down steep hillsides, causing washouts, flash flooding, and polluted waterways. Although some amount of flooding and erosion is natural, development on steep slopes can increase the potential for costly damage to property and roads.

Development on slopes with a grade of 15% or greater should be avoided, if possible. On slopes greater than 25%, no development, re-grading, or stripping of vegetation should even be considered.

Effective management of drainage on  steep slopes requires careful project planning to maintain healthy soils, protective vegetation, and stable runoff patterns.

Water Runs Downhill: Managing Runoff on Steep Slopes

Guidance document for managing development on steep slopes
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Guidance for Determining the Slope

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Areas with Special Requirements

The NYS SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity (GP-0-20-001) cannot be used for construction activities in areas that:

  • are tributary to drinking water sources (classified as AA or AA-s); and
  • disturb land with no existing impervious cover and soils indicative of steep slopes (Soil Slope Phase of D with slopes greater than 25%, E, or F on the USDA Soil Survey).

Construction activities in these areas must instead be covered by an individual SPDES permit from NYS. In the STC region, this special requirement applies to watersheds draining into the following drinking water sources:

  • Keuka Lake
  • Seneca Lake
  • Lime Kiln Creek (Towns of Fremont and Dansville)
  • Reservoir Creek (Towns of Cohocton and Prattsburgh)
  • unnamed tributaries to Waverly Reservoirs (Town of Chemung)

USDA Soil Survey

Soil Survey information is available from the County Soil and Water Conservation District or at the NRCS Web Soil Survey site.
Go to Website

Small Lake Resources

Small lakes are very sensitive to land disturbance because their watersheds are generally small and the impacts can be felt relatively quickly.

Small lake associations located in the Southern Tier Central Region include:

  • Cayuta Lake
  • Lake Demmon
  • Lamoka and Waneta Lakes
  • Loon Lake
  • Lake Salubria
  • Smith Pond
  • Tanglewood Lake

STC has created a series of maps for each of the small lake associations. These maps show watershed boundaries, lot lines, roads, municipal boundaries, contours and areas of steep slopes.

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