Rainfall waters our lawns and fills our lakes and streams, but it can also carry pollution from paved areas and construction sites. Any pollutant exposed to rainfall is at risk of being washed into storm drains and carried to local waters that we use for drinking water or recreation. Fertilizers, pesticides, sediment and automotive fluids in storm water runoff can be harmful to human health and our environment.
The City's storm drains deposit this untreated runoff directly into local streams and rivers. It is called "non-point source" pollution because it comes from many different sources. It is also difficult to control.
The City of Norman is required by the Phase II of the NPDES Storm Water Program to obtain a permit for storm water discharges from its municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) by March 2003. Additionally a storm water management program is to be developed and implemented. The intent of the program is to protect water quality by reducing the discharge of pollutants from the MS4 into local streams, rivers and lakes. The Phase II Rule outlines six minimum control measures that the city must implement in its storm water management program. These six measures, implemented together are expected to significantly reduce pollutants discharged from the storm sewers system.
THE SIX MEASURES ARE:
- Public Education and Outreach - Educational materials to inform citizens about the impact of polluted storm water runoff on water quality.
- Public Participation/Involvement - Provide opportunity for citizens to participate in the development and implementation of the program.
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination - Detecting and eliminating illegal discharges to the municipal storm sewer system.
- Construction Site Runoff Control - Development and implementation of a program to control erosion from construction sites.
- Post-Construction Runoff Control - Development and implementation of controls to control storm water discharges from development and re-development areas.
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping - Prevent or reducing pollutant runoff from municipal operations.