Stormwater Background and Resource Guide

What is Stormwater?

Human activity is largely responsible for the Stormwater pollution. Everything that we put on the ground or into the storm drain can end up in our water. Each of us has a responsibility to make sure these contaminants stay out of our water. Whether we have clean water is up to you. The official definition of stormwater under the N.J.A.C. 7:14A rules is as follows:

‘Stormwater’ means water resulting from precipitation (including rain and snow) that runs off the land’s surface, is transmitted to the subsurface, or is captured by separate storm sewers or other sewage or drainage facilities, or conveyed by snow removal equipment.

How does New Jersey’s regulation of stormwater impact Stockton?

In 2004, NJDEP issued Stormwater Discharge General Permits to all municipalities in New Jersey operating a small municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). Municipalities were identified as either “Tier A” or “Tier B.” While Stockton Borough had been designated as a Tier B municipality, on July 1, 2022, DEP reassigned all Tier B municipalities, including Stockton, to Tier A.  Stockton’s Tier B permit program expired on December 31, 2022.

Stockton’s reassignment to Tier A resulted in it being required to meet new regulations and standards,  including adopting several model DEP Tier A ordinance by the end of 2023. Background on these ordinances may be found in the minutes from the November and December 2023 meetings under the Borough Council tab of this website or using this link: Stockton Tier A Stormwater Ordinances 2023

How does stormwater impact clean water and the environment?

Rainfall and stormwater runoff collects debris, pet waste, pesticide, chemicals, fertilizers, dirt, and other pollutants as it is carried over pavements, lawns, sidewalks, and other impervious and pervious surfaces.  Stormwater  then flows into a municipal storm sewer system or directly into a stream, river, wetland, or other water course. Anything that enters a municipal separate storm sewer system is discharged untreated into water bodies that are used for swimming, fishing, and drinking water, including the Delaware River and the Delaware and Raritan Canal.

The imprinted fish and labels on our storm drains are reminders that our storm drains lead directly to our river and degrade important sources of drinking water. Nothing should be dumped or disposed of in a street or a storm drain.  Environmental responsibility helps protect critical natural resources – our streams, rivers,  and wetlands.


Runoff from construction sites, spills at fueling areas, and chemicals applied to outdoor areas, can also be carried into the municipal storm sewer system. By practicing care, property owners, tenants, business owners and employees can help keep pollutants, like pesticides, pet waste, automotive fluids, off the ground and from being carried into our stormwater system. We can all exercise environmental responsibility by not placing motor oil, anti-freeze, cleaning fluid, pesticides, litter, garbage leaves, or any other waste into or near storm sewer inlets or drains in order to protect water quality and avoid clogging the flow of stormwater.

Pet Waste 

Use newspaper, bags or pooper-scoopers to pick up wastes. Dispose of the wrapped pet waste at home, in the trash or unwrapped in a toilet. Never discard pet waste in or near a storm drain.


Heavy rains carry pesticides to our water supplies. For this reason, you are encouraged to use alternative or pesticides whenever possible. Many household products made to exterminate pests are also toxic to humans, animals, aquatic organisms and plants. If you do use a pesticide, follow the directions carefully.


Avoid overuse of fertilizers or applying fertilizers before a heavy storm. Stormwater carries fertilizers into the State’s streams, rivers, and water supplies. Fertilizers contain nitrates and phosphates that, in abundance, cause blooms of algae and reduced oxygen levels that can lead to fish kills. The accumulation of chemicals that can come from different residents treating their lawns and outdoor spaces can directly impact the quality of our rivers, streams and drinking water.

For more information about fertilizers, see the NJDEP Fertilizer Brochure linked below:

Wash your car only when necessary

Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles its wash water. Many car detergents contain phosphate that can be carried into drinking water supplies. If you wash your car at home, use a non-phosphate detergent.

Additional Resources

Please see the tabs below for information about Stormwater, requirements, and how you can make a difference in protecting the environment.

Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension

NJ Green Infrastructure

NJDEP Clean Water FAQs New Jersey

NJDEP Stormwater & Permitting

NJ DEP Training materials –

NJ DEP educational resources and tips –

Stockton Pet Waste Flyer

Stormwater Tips Brochure

Stockton Stormwater Tips Brochure

NJ DEP Stormwater Website Guide (Use the tabs at the left)

Contact Information

Stockton Borough
2 S. Main St.
P.O. Box M
Stockton NJ 08559
(609) 397-0070
(609) 397-4067 (fax)