Delaware Soil & Water Newsletter: Only Rain Down the Drain

In 1987, the Clean Water Act (CWA) was amended to require the US EPA to establish a program to address stormwater discharges.  In response, US EPA promulgated the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) storm water permit program.  The NPDES permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the streams, rivers, lakes and coastal waters of the United States.  The primary intent of the stormwater program is to eliminate illicit discharges from the waters of the United States.

The City of Powell is required by the US EPA to prepare and implement a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) to fulfill the requirements of the Clean Water Act.  As indicated in the City’s of Powell’s SWMP, “The overall goal of the plan is to protect water quality by reducing or preventing pollutants from mixing with storm water runoff and flowing in the City’s owned and operated small municipal storm sewer system and into waterways.”

“Only Rain Down the Drain” serves as a message that the City wishes to share with its residents, regarding our collective responsibility to protect water quality.  The storm drain in your street carries rain water and snow melt as well as trash, grass clippings, fertilizer, oil and other wastes directly to our streams.  Pick up or soak up all spills from vehicles or household activities off your sidewalk and driveway.   Fertilizer pellets and grass clippings should be swept back on to your lawn.   Do not wash or dump any yard waste or spills out into the roadway and down into our storm drains.  Keeping storm drains free of trash and debris also prevents flooding.

If you see someone putting anything down a storm drain or directly into any body of water or ditch, obtain a license plate number or address and contact the Powell Police Department at 614.885.3374 or the City’s office at 614.885.5380.  Additionally, report the release of any material that impacts public health or the environment, including chemicals and petroleum products, to the Ohio EPA 24-hour hotline (800/282-9378).   Together, we can “be the solution for water pollution.”

-Submitted by the Kim Marshall, Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District