Projects in LMT

  1. Brandywine Swale Improvements
  2. Gehman Road Bridge Replacement
  3. Sauerkraut Lane Extension
  4. Maulfair Drive Stormwater
  5. Brookfield Park Stormwater

BRANDYWINE VILLAGE SWALE PROJECT

In the coming months the Township will initiate the construction of its first pollutant reduction project, which for design purposes, is being referred to as the Brandywine Village Swale.  The swale can be seen from Mill Creek Road and Sauerkraut Lane; it is located directly in front of the Brandywine Fire Station.  Pollutant reduction projects are a requirement of the latest National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.  Municipalities, like Lower Macungie Township, are required, by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, to maintain an NPDES permit as the owner and operator of a small MS4 (municipal separate storm sewer system).  In short, the purpose of an NPDES permit is to address water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States.

Aerial of the current Brandywine Swale (PNG)

For this current permit term, which expires on April 30, 2025, Lower Macungie Township is expected to address a minimum of a 10% sediment reduction of its current sediment loading volumes.  Without going into too much detail, the sediment lCurrent view of the Brandywine Swale with grass and small wet area (PNG)oading volumes were calculated using a program called Wiki Watershed, which analyzes geospatial data (i.e., land use).  Each land use is associated with a unique loading rate or volume.  In total, the Township is expected to remove 581,295 lbs/yr of sediment loading.  In order to accomplish these goals, the Township must construct new BMPs (best management practices) or renovate existing BMPs.  BMPs are managerial, structural, or vegetative practices used to treat, prevent, or reduce water pollution.  The Brandywine Village Swale project has been selected as the first pollutant reduction project as it is expected to address the removal of 321,414 lbs/yr of the required 581,2Sample vegetation for the Brandywine Swale Project (PNG)95 lbs/yr of total sediment loading.

The Brandywine Village Swale currently functions as a mowed vegetative BMP with the sole purpose of conveying stormwater flows to the Little Lehigh Creek.  In its present form, the swale offers very little in the way of water quality improvements.  By vegetating the swale with a more appropriate seed mix, the swale will provide a number of benefits.  The proposed rain garden meadow mix will slow runoff, promote infiltration, while also filtering pollutants and sediment.

It is worth noting that the project proposes the removal of the existing fencing, for aesthetic purposes.  However, for safety reasons, portions of fencing will remain at either end of the swale.  The side slopes will be leveled out to the extent possible in order to mitigate safety concerns.  The idea is to create a more natural landscape, akin to that of a creek bed. For this reason, the concept plan goes beyond the swale and also addresses the surrounding area.

Adjacent to the swale, on the western side, will be a large meadow area.  The meadow area will be planted with warm season grasses, native shrubs and deciduous trees, with various showy perennial plantings mixed-in around higher traffic areas. Sample native planting in a meadow for the Brandywine Swale Project (PNG) Eventually, the Township would also like to incorporate wild flowers into the meadow area, but it is best to solidify these areas first before attempting to propagate wild flowers, which can prove difficult to establish.  Please keep in mind that these vegetated areas will not be indicative of the final result for some time.  Township staff is adamant on constructing something that residents will want to see and/or pass by on a regular basis.  A good established local example of this type of project can be viewed at DeSales University; the naturalized area is located at the intersection of DeSales Drive and Landis Mill Road.  In the end, the Township strives for this area to be pleasing to the eye, mitigate maintenance costs, establish habitat for native wildlife species, while also achieving our pollutant reduction goals.

Anticipated Dates

  • The project bid award and contract is expected to occur in May, or at the very latest, June of this year.
  • You may start seeing some earth disturbance activities sometime between July and September.  The intention is to have the area graded and the soil prepared for seeding and planting sometime in late September and/or early October – this will allow the seeds and plantings to establish next year.  
  • The project will take two to three years to fully establish.

For More Information

We appreciate your patience during this project. For additional details about this project or Lower Macungie Township’s MS4 Program, please email Zach Graves, Water Resource Specialist, or call him at 610-966-4343 extension 121.

See full size Landscape Concept Plan
Proposed landscaping plan for the Brandywine Swale showing additional trees and shrubs (PNG) Opens in new window