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MBM Partner Adam Matlawski published in the Legal Intelligencer.Posted Thursday, April 17th, 2014 under Press Release

In the world of water and sewage, there are three general types of systems.

A water system is for drinking water. Raw water is taken from a collection point (for example, a river, a lake or an underground aquifer) and is transferred using aqueducts, covered tunnels or water pipes to a water purification facility where the raw water is treated. The treated water may be stored for a time in reservoirs, water tanks or water towers. The treated water is transported as needed through pipes to homes, businesses and fire hydrants.

A sewer system or sanitary sewer system takes wastewater from homes (such as water from sinks, toilets and washers) and from businesses and transports it through sewer pipes to a treatment plant, where it is treated. The treated water is released into a river or other body of water.

A third type of system is a stormwater system, which collects rainwater and snow runoff from streets, roads, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, farms and other properties. The stormwater travels through a drainage system, which can include public streets, gutters, catch basins, storm pipes, retention basins and channels, and is released into a river or other body of water.

The old method of dealing with stormwater was to direct it into the sewer system and have it run through the sewage treatment plant. This is obviously not the optimal way to deal with stormwater. The modern method is to create a separate stormwater system, and not just direct the stormwater into a river, but to try to get as much of the stormwater as possible to be absorbed into the ground. This decreases both the chances of flooding and the flushing of chemicals or other pollutants into the river. The key is to encourage the development of permeable surfaces, even in developed areas, so that most of the stormwater is absorbed into the soil.

Many water systems and sewer systems in Pennsylvania are operated by municipal authorities organized by municipalities under the Municipality Authorities Act, 53 Pa.Cons.Stat. Ch. 56. The act and its predecessor statutes have been around for more than 70 years. Because the language of the act referred only to water systems and sewer systems, there was some confusion about whether stormwater systems could be operated by municipal authorities under the act. As a result, the General Assembly enacted Act 68 of 2013 to specifically provide that………….

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McNichol, Byrne & Matlawski, P.C. is a general practice law firm located in Media, Pennsylvania. Our attorneys have expertise in many areas of law, from land use and zoning, to personal injury, employment, civil and criminal litigation, to corporate/commercial and business transactions.

Whatever your legal services need, we have the qualified and talented professionals who can help you. Our current clients range from governmental bodies, townships, zoning hearing boards, corporations, home builders and developers, private business owners, public and private employers, to individuals with various legal needs.

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