What is stormwater?
Stormwater runoff is generated when rain or melted snow flows over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground. As the runoff flows over the surfaces, it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality if the runoff is untreated.
In natural areas, stormwater runoff is absorbed by the ground. It is filtered and ultimately replenishes underground water deposits or flows into waterways. In developed areas, impervious surfaces prevent stormwater runoff from naturally soaking into the ground. Instead, the stormwater runoff rapidly enters storm drains, sewer systems and drainage ditches. This can cause:
- Downstream flooding
- Contaminated waterways
- Stream bank erosion
- Increased sediment in the waterways from erosion
- Habitat destruction
- Changes in the stream flow
- Infrastructure damage
The City owns and maintains a system of inlets, ditches, pipes and ponds that are designed to carry stormwater runoff away from streets and buildings to the waterways. Unlike sanitary sewer systems, the storm sewer system does not lead to a treatment plant. It carries stormwater runoff directly to local waterways.
Why is stormwater management important to the City of Dublin?
Dublin is well known for its parks and open spaces, which also include our many waterways. The City’s Community Plan calls for providing for safe and efficient collection of stormwater and continuing to maintain and improve the water quality of the Scioto River and its tributaries.
Dublin is also required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to comply with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase II municipal separate storm sewer system program. This program requires local governments with fewer than 100,000 people to develop a plan to reduce stormwater pollution in order to protect and improve waterways. The Ohio EPA manages the compliance of the local jurisdictions with their NPDES Phase II MS4 permits.
The program is comprised of six control measures that when implemented should result in a significant reduction of pollutants discharged into receiving waters. The control measures are:
- Public Education and Outreach: distribution of materials and performing outreach to inform citizens about the impacts of polluted stormwater runoff
- Public Participation and Involvement: programs and events that involve people in stormwater management
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination: detection and elimination of illegal discharges to the storm sewer system and improper disposal of waste
- Construction Site Runoff Control: management of sediment, excessive runoff and pollution from construction sites
- Post-Construction Runoff Control: management of stormwater runoff and pollution from development projects that are permanent facilities
- Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping: management of municipal facilities and operations to reduce pollution
The City has developed an updated Stormwater Management Program Plan that outlines how the City will meet the minimum control measures during the current permit term.
The City is required to submit an annual report that demonstrates how the City addressed each of these minimum control measures. Click here to review Dublin’s 2013 NPDES report.
What can you do to help protect Dublin’s waterways?
Residents can do the following:
- Fertilize Properly
- Rake Right
- Smart Watering
- Pick up after your pet and properly dispose of waste in a trash receptacle
- Wash vehicles on lawn or other pervious surface away from storm drains
- Keep chemicals and paints away from storm drains and dispose of them properly
- Incorporate stream buffers into your backyard conservation
- Install rain barrels
Commercial properties and managers can learn more about:
- Stormwater Pollution Prevention for Small Businesses
- Water Quality Partner Program Letter | Pledge
- Golf Courses
- Mobile Power Washing
What is the City doing to protect the waterways from changes that occur with development?
The City has developed both the current stormwater code and the Stormwater Management Design Manual. The purpose of these is to set the City’s standards for stormwater management and to maintain uniformity in the design standards used for stormwater management. The Manual enables the City to provide effective and efficient review of design data and to provide designers with clear guidance in preparing stormwater management plans. These plans and designs are routinely reviewed for each development project and are contained in the applications that are reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Through the standards and practices incorporated in the Manual, the City encourages the use of stormwater treatment and engineering methods that allow for groundwater recharge and that manage stormwater as close to its source as possible. Specifications for stormwater control measures that use vegetation and soil media to filter, treat or infiltrate stormwater, often referred to as “Low Impact Development” or “LID BMPs,” have been incorporated into this Manual. These practices are encouraged to be used in Dublin where suited to the site and development conditions.