As Town Clerk for Elsmere, DE, Diana Reed wears many hats. She’s one of just three members of the Administration Department, who handle day-to-day town operations, enact policy determined by the mayor and council, and proudly provide quality services to town citizens. Diana is also the person responsible for Elsmere’s stormwater management and compliance, and this is no small task.
Elsmere doesn’t have its own MS4 permit. Instead, it is a co-permittee with New Castle County and DelDOT, along with other nearby towns. That doesn’t change the compliance requirements the town has to meet. “We’re a small town with the same responsibilities of any large town or city,” Diana says. The densely populated suburb of Wilmington, DE doesn’t have a ton of new construction — there’s no space for it — but that density creates a lot of opportunities for trash and other pollutants to get caught up in urban runoff and swept into already impaired waterways.
With limited time and resources, Diana wanted a modern digital approach to stormwater management to ensure the town’s compliance. When she started out as Town Clerk, “Stormwater was at the top of my list for a long while.” Now, she uses 2NFORM, a robust software platform that provides intelligent stormwater management and compliance, purpose-built by stormwater scientists and experts to meet the needs of busy MS4 permit holders. “With 2NFORM, we’ve gotten our procedures in place, and I don’t have to spend as much time focussing on stormwater.”
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Diana can actually do more now in less time. Field inspectors enter data directly using the mobile interface, which is much faster and more accurate than jotting down notes and then manually entering them into a spreadsheet — the old process. Those mobile forms ensure that inspectors enter exactly the data that is needed, so 2NFORM’s built-in analytics can provide useful insights. Before, Diana could have told you the tonnage of street sweeping waste that Elsmere was collecting. Now she can connect that data to the amount of pollution going into the waterways. The centralized data, stored in the cloud, is secure as well as much more accessible than a binder in the office (although they still keep a binder in the office). Diana can evaluate and report on how effective their program is at actually reducing water pollution.
Diana also sees big time savings around annual reporting: “Compared to a few years ago, when I took over, pulling together the data for our annual report is now a lot less time consuming.” Not only is the data all in one place, ready to show to a water regulator at the push of a button, but 2NFORM inserts Elsmere’s data into required executive summaries. “Historically, we got our biggest comments on the narrative portion of the report,” Diana says. “Now our report looks better than it ever has. Not that it looked awful before.”
Diana is always working to do her best for Elsmere. “Big cities can afford a fancy stormwater program,” Diana says. “But for small towns with smaller budgets and fewer resources, affordable software like 2NFORM is huge.” With 2NFORM, Diana knows that she’s using town resources wisely to achieve compliance and improve water quality. And she’s saving her own time, so that she can do even more for Elsmere.