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Maintaining Stream Flow in and Near Infrastructure

The term stream maintenance can be a misleading term as streams do not require maintenance in their natural condition, and they maintain their stability and adapt and change slowly over time. However, most streams in Pennsylvania do not resemble a natural condition or state due to legacy historic impacts and existing modern impacts and infrastructure. These include historic relocations, straightening, dredging, dams, sediment deposits, and the current built and maintained infrastructure and environment in and around streams such as culverts, retaining walls, floodplain infrastructure, etc.

Streams are vital to the environment and the citizens of Pennsylvania, but much of the state’s infrastructure intersects or impacts stream resources. It is imperative that some maintenance be performed, when necessary, in and around this infrastructure to ensure its continued operation, but in a way that preserves and protects the environment and the functions of the stream.

Bridge & Culvert Maintenance & Repair Tool

Need help determining if permits or other regulatory requirements from DEP are required for bridge and culvert maintenance and repair? DEP’s Bridge and Culvert Maintenance & Repair Tool is an online interactive tool designed to assist bridge and culvert owners in determining what, if any, permit and notification requirements are needed for bridge and culvert maintenance and repair. By answering questions about the bridge and culvert, the nature of the proposed work, and to avoid delays the tool will direct you on how to move forward with your project.


Guidelines for Maintaining Streams in Your Community

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DEP strives to assist Pennsylvania communities experiencing the damage and disruption that flooding can cause. This webpage contains resources to help municipal officials, property owners, and others affected by flooding of local streams to better understand the regulatory requirements that apply to working in streams. When stream maintenance work is performed in a well-planned, environmentally responsible manner, the likelihood of future problems is reduced.

Contact your DEP regional office or other appropriate DEP office.

Guidelines for Maintaining Streams in Your Community – Booklet (PDF)

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