Storm water runoff is created when rain or snow melt flows over surfaces that do not allow water to flow into the ground. Such surfaces are called impervious. Impervious surfaces include rooftops, roadways, parking lots, driveways and sidewalks. The amount of runoff during a rainfall event increases as the imperviousness of the landscape increases. This runoff eventually flows into our nearby wetlands, lakes, streams and rivers.
Storm water runoff becomes contaminated when it flows across these impervious areas picking up liquid and solid pollutants that accumulate there. Common pollutants found in runoff can include motor oil, grease, metals, salt and deicing chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, septic system waste, pet waste, yard clippings, cigarette butts, and excess sediment. Some of the liquid contaminants break down into nutrients including forms of nitrogen and phosphorous.
These contaminants are called nonpoint source (NPS) pollution as it is difficult to identify exactly where each pollutant came from once it enters our waterways. Over time, these pollutants can accumulate in unsafe levels in our waterways – posing a danger to plant and animal life. If the pollutant levels become too high our lakes, streams and rivers may become unsafe for fishing, drinking or swimming – violating state and federal regulations.
Federal – Storm water discharges are regulated nationwide under the Clean Water Act and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II program which is administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The regulations include specific requirements that must be met by regulated communities and the construction industry.
Regulated communities are those that are identified as a municipality with separate storm sewer systems (MS4).
State of Ohio – Legal requirements for MS4 communities in Ohio are found in the Ohio NPDES Phase II MS4 Permit and the Construction General Permit. The storm water program is regulated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
City of Middletown – The City of Middletown must comply with the Phase II storm water regulation requirements as it has been officially identified as an MS4 community.
Under its storm water program, the City has developed a Storm Water Management Plan which is approved by the Ohio EPA. These documents outline the city’s regulatory compliance goals and identifies specific activities to meet those goals.
Every year, the City submits a summary of its storm water compliance activities in an Annual Report to Ohio EPA.
The construction industry has its own set of requirements related to storm water control at construction sites greater than one (1) acre in size. There are best management practices (BMPs) that can by put in place before, during and after construction activities to address storm water runoff and pollutants.
For the City of Middletown storm water management requirements contact the Engineering Division at (513) 425-7913.