Director of Public Works,
Thomas N. Odenigbo, P.E., CFM
Public Works Office: 610-270-0437
Streets/Parks Department: 610-270-0437 or 610-270-0458
Emergency- Night or Weekends: 610-270-0977
Vehicle Maintenance: 610-270-0456
Norristown’s Public Works Department is responsible for:
Snow removal in Norristown is a challenge. Our community’s many small streets and abundance of on-street parking can make plowing difficult even during smaller snow storms.
Here is how we can work together to get through the winter months:
1. Obey the street maintenance route schedule. Most streets in Norristown are posted with signs that prohibit parking during certain days of the week and certain hours. These prohibitions allow snow plows to more effectively push snow to the curb because there are no cars to get in the way of the plows. The result is that the streets are cleaner, safer and the town is better prepared for the next storm.
2. Don’t throw snow into the street. Sometimes, particularly in neighborhoods without front lawns, it can be difficult to find a spot to place the snow once it is removed from cars and sidewalks. Often residents will simply shovel the snow into the street. Please don’t. Snow shoveled back into the street can create dangerous ice patches. Accidents can happen. Moreover, if the snow plow comes through for another pass, the snow will simply be pushed back against your car.
A better approach is to find a spot on the sidewalk for the snow. Norristown requires that each resident clear only a 30-inch wide path on sidewalk. In most cases, this leaves room for you to pile the snow you removed from your car.
Throwing snow into the street may result in a $10 fine, so please find an alternative.
3. Don’t place chairs, cones or other objects in the street to reserve your parking space. Shoveling snow is difficult. And it is frustrating to dig out your car, create a neat parking space, only to have someone else park there and benefit from all the hard work you did.
For this reason many residents place chairs or other objects in the street to save their parking space. Please don’t do this. These objects create an obstacle which impedes the ability of the public works crews to effectively clear the snow.
Starting in 2012, if objects are placed in the street, the public works departments is authorized to remove and dispose of them.
So please help us get the streets clear of snow. Don’t place chairs and other objects in the street.
4. Clear the snow from your sidewalk. Norristown residents have 24 hours after the end of the snowfall to remove snow or ice from the sidewalk. Please clear a path at least 30 inches wide.
Norristown’s street maintenance program combines road paving and repair regular patching of potholes.
Depending on funds available, each year Norristown receives bids for repairing and paving streets in the Municipality. Streets in the worst condition usually get paved before those in better condition.
In 2007 each street in Norristown was evaluated and ranked by condition, the better the condition of the street, the higher the score. Generally, streets receiving the lowest scores were scheduled for paving and repair ahead of those receiving higher scores. You can view Norristown’s 15-year Pavement Management System by clicking here. Of course the plan is subject to change based on the changing condition of each street and funding available each year to pave, but it does provide a “snap-shot” as of 2007 of the condition of Norristown’s streets and a plan for addressing each one.
In addition to paving, Norristown’s public works employees regularly patch potholes and perform other maintenance activities. To report a pothole or some other street maintenance need call 610-270-0437 or submit a request HERE.
Street Maintenance Routes
Most streets in Norristown are part of a maintenance route. Signs prohibiting parking on certain days of the week and at certain times are located on most streets. Maintenance routes are most commonly associated with street sweeping. Each week the street sweeper will work through the entire community based on the schedule posted on the signs. You need to move your car during the times posted on the sign to allow the sweeper to do its job. Failure to do so could result in a ticket.
But maintenance routes are for much more than just sweeping. After a snow storm, when cars are removed from the street during a scheduled maintenance route day, plows are able to do a much more effective job. Use of the maintenance routes also allows police to identify abandoned vehicles. When the only vehicle left on the street is the abandoned, the police can quickly identify it and take steps to have it removed.
Following the street maintenance schedule and moving your car at the required time helps municipal employees better maintain your street and neighborhood. Thank you for your cooperation.
Montgomery County is now recruiting for its third Master Watershed Steward class, to be held April 5 through June 21. You can link to the Penn State website at http://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/water/watershed-education/watershed-stewards for more info.
An important part of the Norristown Public Works Department’s job is to clean and maintain 54 miles of municipal storm sewers. The municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) is a series of inlets and pipes that carry storm water into the Stony Creek, the Saw Mill Run and the Schuylkill River.
When it rains (or snows) storm water is collected at hundreds of inlets located throughout Norristown. Inlets are usually located at street corners and can be recognized by the large steel plates or grates that cover them. Each inlet is connected to an underground pipe that carries the water through Norristown before it eventually empties into the Schuylkill River.
The next time it rains take a moment to watch the water run down the street along the curb. All of that water is headed for an inlet. This pattern is repeated over and over all through Norristown during a storm, gathering thousands of gallons of storm water that will eventually reach the Schuylkill River.
The problem is that more than just water reaches the river. Different forms of pollution are carried with the storm water. In Norristown pollution often takes the form of trash. Too many residents throw trash and debris on the sidewalk or in the street. The trash is then washed into the MS4 system when it rains. After a rainstorm how many times have you seen inlets piled up with soda bottles, candy wrappers, and food containers? You can be sure that an even larger quantity of trash found its way into the storm water pipe and then to the Schuylkill River.
Storm water pollution damages the environment. Not only does it have a direct impact on plants, fish, birds, and other animals that rely on clean water, but it harms people as well. Norristown, like much of the region, relies on the Schuylkill River for drinking water. Everyone needs to do their part to reduce the amount of pollution that enters our MS4 system.
Here are some typical examples of what you can do to reduce storm water pollution:
• DO NOT THROW TRASH of any kind on the sidewalk or in the street. Find a trash can or recycle container and dispose of these items properly.
• After you mow your lawn, don’t blow the grass clippings into the street. Rain water can wash them into the MS4 system. Instead, bag them and place them out on the curb for collection by J.P Mascaro on your next yard waste pick-up day. Please use a biodegradable bag, not plastic.
• Fertilizers and Pesticides should be used sparingly. When applied in excess, these chemicals are washed off by rainwater and enter the MS4 system.
• If you spill a hazardous chemical such as antifreeze, don’t wash it into the street. Use an absorbent material like kitty litter or rags to clean it up.
• If you are doing concrete work on your sidewalk, don’t wash the excess material into the street or pour it directly into the inlet. Don’t clean up paint spills by washing it into the street.
• If you are power washing your home, don’t use detergents that might enter the MS4 system.
• If you are washing your car, try using a non-toxic detergent and wash the car on the lawn if you have one.
• Clean up after your pets. When your dog or cat does his “business” outside pick it up and dispose of it in the toilet or in the trash.
• Direct all downspouts away from pervious surfaces and onto lawns. Rain barrels can be used to collect the rainwater from downspouts. This water can be used later on the lawn and garden.
Making small changes to the things we do every day can make a big difference in the health of our streams and rivers. Thank you for your cooperation!
If you see pollution entering the MS4 system, please contact the Norristown Public Works Department at 610-270-0437 or email us.
Additional information about storm water pollution can be found at the US Department of Environmental Protection and the PA Department of Environmental Protection. Follow these links:
Municipality of Norristown