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Storm Water Department
Storm Water and why it’s a Concern:
Anytime it rains, water falls onto many different surfaces, and depending on the surface, it either enters the ground, or runs off to another location. For instance, if rain falls on grass, a portion soaks into the ground, but if it lands on a paved parking lot, it runs off the lot to another location. Within Webb City, much of the stormwater runs off of driveways, parking lots, and streets, where it picks up oil, grease, sediments, and many other pollutants that are harmful to the environment.
What many people do not realize is this stormwater that washes down our streets, flows into storm drains and then flows directly to Center Creek. When this stormwater flow becomes polluted with eroded soils, automotive fluids, trash and lawn chemicals, it affects our ability to use our water bodies for drinking and recreational purposes. It also degrades fish and other aquatic habitats.
The only way to lessen this pollution is to reduce the amount of pollutants washed away by stormwater.
The City of Webb City is required to have and comply with a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for its stormwater drainage system, known as a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). This permit requires the City to administer a stormwater management program to address the potential for discharges from the MS4 to negatively impact area waterways by reducing both pollutants in stormwater runoff and dumping of pollutants directly into the MS4.
There are 6 primary areas that this NPDES permit requires Webb City to pay particular attention. They are…
1. Public Education: (Let’s tell our citizens of our water quality challenges.)
2. Public Participation and Involvement: (Let’s get our citizens involved in helping us solve the problem.)
3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination: (Let’s find the source of any problems and eliminate those problems.)
4. Construction Site Runoff Controls: (Let’s make sure that as Webb City grows that we are protecting the area with safe, environmentally friendly building practices.)
5. Post-Construction Site Runoff Controls: (Let’s make sure that after the construction is complete that items implemented to protect the environment are still working as time passes.)
6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping: (Let’s make sure that all activities performed by our City crews are being done in a safe manner that protects the environment.)
Did You Know…
The City’s stormwater drainage system is separate from the sanitary sewer system (indoor sinks, toilets, etc). The sanitary sewer system drains to the wastewater treatment plant while the stormwater system drains directly (untreated) to area streams.
What Is Stormwater Pollution?
Any toxic discharge that enters into the stormwater system, as stormwater flows (or snow melts), it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, cigarette butts and other pollutants. These discharges enter the storm sewer system and are discharged directly to Center Creek.
Improving Stormwater Quality:
Residents can help alleviate stormwater pollution in several ways:
*Practice dry cleanup methods when cleaning your driveway or sidewalk. By using a broom instead of a hose, debris will be prevented from entering storm drain inlets and eventually Center Creek. Use cat litter to soak up leaked oil, which can then be thrown away in the trash once dry.
*Have your soil tested. A soil test is an inexpensive and informative way to determine the quality of your soil. The laboratory will test soil pH, nutrient content, and percentage of organic matter. From these results, you can determine exactly what nutrients your lawn and garden need, which will help minimize the use of chemicals which can runoff into streams.
*Use Phosphorus-Free Lawn Fertilizers. Phosphorus runoff from lawns is washed into lakes and streams, where it encourages algae growth. But only newly-seeded lawns or phosphorus-deficient soils (as indicated by testing) requires phosphorus. When buying lawn fertilizer, look for the three numbers on the bag and choose products where the middle number is zero. This indicates that the fertilizer does not contain phosphorus (the other numbers indicate the amount of nitrogen and potassium, respectively.)
*When Painting, do not rinse brushes off in the lawn or dump extras into storm drains. Instead, rinse brushes and rollers off in a sink or tub, and drop off your extra paint at our annual City Wide Clean Up event (held every May).
*Clean Up Immediately after your Pets and throw the waste into the trash or in the toilet. Otherwise, disease causing pathogens in the waste can be transferred directly into streams.
*Dispose of Lawn Waste in Compost piles and use a mulching mower. Never place leaves or lawn debris in waterways because it will cause a decrease in oxygen in waterways, killing fish.
*Reduce the amount of paved area and increase the amount of vegetated area in your yard. Use native plants in your landscaping to reduce the need for watering during dry periods. Consider directing downspouts away from paved surfaces onto lawns and other measures to increase infiltration and reduce polluted runoff.
*Do not wash cars, RVs or Boats at Home because the detergent laden water runs into storm drains and then into creeks. Remember, soap destroys dirt and organisms. It will do the same in Center Creek. Instead, go to a commercial car wash because the water used there is cleaned at the wastewater treatment plant. If you still want to wash your car at home, pull into the yard so the soap doesn’t flow into the street and then into the storm drain.
*Report any Illegal Dumping into storm drain inlets, such as soil running off construction sites into drains, or failing septic systems.
*Adopt a storm drain in your neighborhood by yourself or with neighbors, and take turns cleaning away debris from it after storm events.
*Do not drain your swimming pool, spa water, or filter backflush water directly into a storm drain. Direct this water into the sanitary sewer or allow it to overland flow to a storm inlet after it has been dechlorinated.
Spilling, dumping, or discharging chemicals, dirt, debris, oil or other non-stormwater substances into ditches, creeks, streams, curb drains, storm drains or the Creek is a violation of federal, state, and local regulations. Allowing sediment or chemicals to wash off a construction site is also a violation. If you have witnessed an act that you feel is a violation of clean water regulations, anywhere within the city limits, please report the activity to the Public Works Department at 417-673-6297. If calling after regular business hours and the problem requires immediate attention, please call 911.
Webb City, Missouri