Storm Water Management
Polluted storm water runoff is often transported to municipal storm water drainage systems (MS4s) and ultimately discharged into local streams and rivers without treatment. EPA’s Storm Water Phase II Rule establishes a MS4 storm water management program that is intended to improve the nation’s waterways by reducing the quantity of pollutants that storm water picks and carries into storm water systems during storm events. Common pollutants include oil and grease from roadways, pesticides from lawns, sediment from construction sites, and the careless discard of trash, such as cigarette butts, paper wrappers and plastic bottles. When deposited into nearby waterways through MS4 discharges, these pollutants can impair the waterways thereby, discouraging recreational use of the resource, contaminating drinking water supplies, and interfere with the habitat of fish, aquatic organisms, and other wildlife.
What are the requirements for the City of Nichols Hills?
Operators of regulated small MS4s are required to:
- Apply for NPDES permit coverage. This will shift program control to ODEQ.
- Nichols Hills received our permit on August 15, 2005.
- Develop a program that includes six minimum control measures.
- Implement a program using “best management practices” (BMPs).
- Develop measurable controls for the program.
- Periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
- The ultimate objective is to protect our water supply.
What are the six minimum control measures?
The phase II rule outlines a small MS4 storm water management program comprising of six program elements that, when implemented in concert, are expected to result in significant reductions of pollutants being discharged into receiving water bodies.
- Public Education and Outreach: Distributing educational materials and perform outreach to inform citizens about the impacts polluted storm water runoff discharges have on water quality.
- Public Participations/Involvement: Providing opportunities for citizens to participate in program development and implementation, including effectively organizing public hearings and/or encouraging citizen representation on a storm water management panel.
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination: Develop and implement a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the storm sewer system (includes developing a system map and informing the community about hazards associated with illicit discharges and improper waste disposal.)
Construction Site Runoff Control: Developing, implementing and enforcing an erosion and sedimentation control program for construction activities that disturb 1 acre or more acres of land. Controls could include silt fencing or temporary storm water detention ponds.
- Post Construction Runoff Control: Developing, implementing and enforcing a program to address discharges of post construction storm water runoff from new development and re-development areas. Applicable controls could include preventative actions such as protecting sensitive areas (e.g. wetlands) or the use of structural BMPs such as grassed swales or porous concrete.
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping: Developing and implementing a program with the goal preventing or reducing pollutant runoff from municipal operations. The program must include municipal staff training on pollution prevention measures and techniques. This could include regular street sweeping, reductions in the use of pesticides and street salts, or frequent catch-basin cleaning.
Allowable and Occasional Incidental discharges:
- Water line flushing
- Landscape irrigation
- Diverted stream flows
- Rising ground waters
- Residential building wash water
- Uncontaminated pumped ground water
- Uncontaminated ground water infiltration
- Discharges from public water sources
- Foundation drains
- Air conditioning condensate
- Water from crawl space pumps
- Footing drains
- Lawn watering
- Residential car washing
- De-chlorinated swimming pool discharges
- Street wash water
- Fire hydrant flushing
- Charity car washes
- Discharges from riparian areas and wetlands
- Discharges in compliance OPDES or NPDES
- Discharges or flows from emergency fire fighting
How do we fund and manage this unfunded mandate?
- Cities in Oklahoma have started or proposed to start charging a set fee, up to $3.00 per household.
- Oklahoma City uses a system that sets fees according to the size of water meter in use. The minimum being $2.75 per meter.
- Tulsa, Oklahoma, uses a fee that is assessed off the sq.ft. of impervious surface per service unit. Their minimum fee is $2.95.
- Currently, the City of Nichols Hills is bearing the burden with existing O&M funds. As the rule gets more stringent, we may have to approach the City Council for assistance.
The entire Storm Water Management Plan can be viewed at the Public Works office. Brochures and educational materials can be picked up at City Hall or the Public Works office. If you would like to participate or would like additional information contact a member of the Public Works Staff Or visit the EPA website at www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater.