Storm Water Management in Northfield Township

Northfield Township is a participant in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Storm Water Phase II Rule, which establishes a storm water management program for small Municipal Separated Storm Sewer Systems (MS4). The program requirements are designed to improve the receiving waterways' quality by reducing the quantity of pollutants that storm water runoff carries into storm sewer systems during storm events. Common pollutants include oil and grease from roadways, pesticides from lawns, sediment from construction sites, and debris, such as cigarette butts, paper wrappers, and plastic bottles. These pollutants, when left untreated, can harm the waterways, discouraging recreational use of the resource, contaminating drinking water supplies, and interfering with the habitat for fish, other aquatic organisms, and wildlife.

The Phase II requirements consist of six minimum control measures, namely:

  • Public Education and Outreach
  • Public Participation and Involvement
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Construction-site Runoff Control
  • Post-construction Runoff Control
  • Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping


Below are some links that provide useful resources for our residents.




Many events and volunteer opportunities are also posted on our home page under Recent Township News, and/or are posted to our Township Calendar.


Tips for a Safer Lawn:

  1. Test Soil Compaction - Compacted soils are unhealthy for plants and can generate as much runoff as pavement. Try sinking a screwdriver into the ground. If it doesn’t penetrate easily, consider aerating your lawn.
  2. Leave Grass Clippings on the Lawn - Clippings left on the lawn provide important moisture and nutrients. Up to half the nitrogen needed by your lawn can actually be provided by these clippings. If your lawn grows quickly, consider collecting some of the clippings to use as mulch or in compost.
  3. Compost Yard Waste - Composting keeps yard waste and other decomposable materials out of landfills.  Composting also creates a rich material that can be used in flowerbeds or on the lawn to aid in growth.
  4. Fertilizers and Pesticides:  
    • Before applying any fertilizer to your lawn, have your soil tested by Washtenaw County MSU Extension or your landscape contractor. Based on the results, you will know the exact type and amount of fertilizer your soil needs. Knowing the size of your lawn will help in correctly applying the recommended amount of fertilizer.
    • One Fall application of low phosphorus fertilizer is adequate to promote a green flush next spring.
    • Slow release fertilizers will last longer and reduce polluted runoff. Look for Water Insoluble Nitrates (WIN) in the list of ingredients.
    • Buy only what you need. Time and freezing garage temperatures can render stored products less effective without reducing their hazardous qualities. As yard care chemicals pile up, proper storage and disposal can be difficult. Curious children and pets may also be at risk.
    • Chemicals spilled on pavement during mixing and loading will wash off into local waterways with the next rainstorm. Mixing and loading away from pavement greatly reduces this risk.
    • Many of the rates recommended on labels are generous and designed so that products remain effective under less optimal conditions. Do not exceed recommended application rates.
    • Under-application of yard care chemicals can also create problems. Remember that pest populations subjected to non-lethal doses may begin to develop resistance to the chemicals designed to kill them.
    • Do not apply chemicals within the last few feet of grass along a driveway, sidewalk or swale. The next rainfall will wash a good portion of these pellets into the nearest creek.