Adopt an Inlet Program

Adopt-an-Inlet Registration Form | Inlet Inspection Form

Lancaster Township inspects, maintains and services what is known as a “Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System” (MS4). The MS4 is a connected collection of conveyances. These conveyances—curbs, gutters, ditches, naturally occurring and man-made channels, pipes, tunnels, catch basins, or storm drains—carry storm water and storm water runoff which ultimately discharges into rivers, streams and creeks of the waters of the United States.

Storm water arriving as rain, snow, sleet, and hail falls upon the ground and is often absorbed. However when the rate of precipitation is such that the ground cannot absorb it all, or the surface is impervious such as parking lots, patios, sidewalks, and streets, the precipitation becomes storm water runoff and travels through the MS4 and ultimately into our waters.


The United States EPA has determined that polluted storm water runoff is a leading contributor to impaired water quality in over 40% of the United States waters which do not meet water quality standards.


The inlet shown below is in need of attention. The trash allowed to collect at the opening of this inlet restricts the ability of the inlet to adequately handle the flow of storm water runoff attempting to enter the inlet. As the floatable trash and other litter is forced into the inlet, it too can be ultimately discharged into our waters. There are literally thousands of street and backyard inlets in the township.


The Lancaster Township Public Works Department routinely inspects, cleans, and maintains all of the conveyances making up the MS4, but as you can imagine, litter, leaves, and other debris can collect very quickly.

Lancaster Township is engaged in a public education program regarding the potential for reducing the amount and concentration of polluted storm water runoff being discharged into waterways flowing into any United States waters. As part of Lancaster Township’s storm water management education program, an offer is being made to all residents to participate in a very active and meaningful manner by joining the “Adopt-an-Inlet” program. 

When you “Adopt-an-Inlet” you enter into an agreement with Lancaster Township to regularly check your adopted inlet for the following conditions:

Check the inlet regularly for trash, debris, litter, and leaves:

Note the condition of the Inlet:

Broken curb or adjacent roadway surfaces
A dislodged or damaged grate or cover
Sinking of the manhole or inlet

Notice if the interior of the inlet seems to be full:

When conditions are dry (no rain for the last 2 days or more)

Note if there is any flow occurring in the inlet
If so does the flow have an odor
If flow is present does it have a visible color
If flow is present does it have a “sheen” or oily appearance

During and after a rain and/or snow storm:

Notice if there is any ponding or standing water
How long does the ponding last
How big was the pond which formed

Report the above conditions using the “Inlet Inspection Form,” or call the Public Works office at (717) 293-1733.


  • Call the Public Works Department with any concerns regarding potential pollutants.
  • Call the Public Works Department anytime you notice blocked inlets or standing water of unusual amount or that does not subside.

Residents should:

  • Avoid using pesticides and fertilizer near the systems entry points or where runoff is likely
  • Limit the amount of pesticides and fertilizers used
  • Repair any oil and hydraulic leaks in automobiles, trucks, and equipment
  • Avoid allowing pet wastes to remain in streets or gutters
  • Report any sighting or suspicion of the pouring a hazardous substance into the inlet or any conveyance, such as: Oil, Paint, Fuel, Chemicals, or Cleaners