Storm Water Policy


Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program

A sewer system and a storm drain system are not the same. These two systems are different. The water that goes down a sink or toilet flows to a wastewater treatment plant where it is treated and filtered. Water that flows down driveways and streets into a gutter goes into a storm drain that flows directly to a lake, river or the ocean. This water may pick up pollutants along the way and is not treated.

Rain takes oil and grit left by cars; sprinklers wash pesticides, fertilizers and weed killers from our gardens and lawns; detergents, oils and grease from washing the car all make runoff dirty.

Storm water drains collect runoff from many different surfaces including roofs, gardens, and roads. After a dry season, the first flush of storm water can have the same pollutant load as raw sewage. When leaves enter our waterways via the storm water system they begin to break down, reducing the amount of oxygen in the water and consequently suffocate aquatic life.

The effects of pollutants on our water can be harmful. This polluted runoff can have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreational use, and wildlife. Beaches, lakes and creeks have been closed because of contaminated storm water. It is important to keep runoff clean. Water is essential for life on earth. It can be found as saltwater in our oceans and seas, or as fresh water in our lakes, rivers, and streams.

There are ways to prevent storm water pollution.

  • Do not pour cooking oils or grease down the sink. Dispose of them in the garbage. Fats, oils, and grease poured down the sink can damage local sewers. In coastal areas there is an increased chance they will end up in the ocean. 
  • The detergents we use to wash cars and clean clothes contain phosphate which is a nutrient that encourages algal growth in both fresh and sea water. Do not wash cars on driveways or streets. Wash cars on the lawn or gravel and use very little soap. When you are finished, empty the soapy water down the sink. The best way to prevent from polluting water is to wash cars at a car wash that permits water to be treated and recycled. 

Prevention

  • Educating yourself on what causes storm water pollution 
  • Sharing this knowledge with others 
  • Never dumping waste in storm drains 
  • Keeping yard clippings out of the street 
  • Disposing household chemicals properly (follow the directions on the package or call your local public works 
  • department for proper disposal guidelines) 
  • Cleaning up oil spills and fixing leaky vehicles 
  • Sweeping driveways clean (do not hose them down) 
  • Always put trash in the trash cans-never in the street 
  • Ride the bus or carpool with a friend because when it rains, air pollution turns into water pollution 
  • Use water-based paints and wash up inside the classroom 
  • Start a recycling center for paper, glass, and cans

The District Storm Water Program Coordinator duties include the following:

  • Create a storm water program prevention plan (SWPPP) for industrial activities 
  • Create a Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP) for all district locations 
  • Implement the plan 
  • Oversee practices identified as Best Management Practices (BMPs) 
  • Implement and oversee employees training 
  • Conduct or provide for inspection or monitoring activities 
  • Identify other potential pollutant sources and make sure they are added to the plan 
  • Identify any deficiencies in the plan and make sure they are corrected 
  • Prepare and submit reports 
  • Ensure that any changes in facility operation are addressed in the plan 

Types of Pollutants

Household oils/grease/motor oil
  • It only takes one liter of oil to pollute 250,000 liters of water 
  • Inspect and maintain your car regularly to prevent oil and antifreeze leaks. 
  • Take motor oil, antifreeze and other fluids to a recycling station. Use kitty litter to clean up leaks and spills. 
  • Never hose spills in the gutter. Sweep driveways clean 

Household chemicals that are poured down the drain can be transferred through the food chain by marine life being contaminated and ultimately consumed by humans.
  • Buy household and products that are environmentally safe and try to buy only the amount you need. 
  • Apply all products sparingly and follow instructions. 
  • Take unused chemicals to a recycling station. 
  • Take unused oil-based paint, paint thinner, varnishes and solvents to a recycling center. 
  • Wash water-based paint brushes in the sink. 

Detergents
  • Run the dishwasher and washing machine when there is a full load. This reduces the amount of detergents entering the sewer system. 
  • Wash cars on the lawn or gravel and use minimal detergents. Eempty he soapy water down the sink or take the car to a carwash where water is treated and recycled. 
  • Detergents contain phosphate, which is a nutrient that encourages algal growth in both fresh and seawater. 

Pesticide Use
  • Buy household and garden products that are environmentally safe and try to buy only the amount you need. 
  • Apply all garden products sparingly and follow instructions. 
  • Do not apply lawn or garden products when rain is forecast. 
  • Take unused pesticides, fertilizers, and weed killers to a recycling station.

Pet Wastes
  • Clean up after your pet and dispose of droppings in the garbage. 
  • High levels of nutrients from animal droppings can cause toxic blue-green algae in our waterways. Blue-green algae are harmful to aquatic plants and animals. 
  • When you walk your dog, take a doggy bag with you to clean up after your dog. 

Drinking Water
  • Pollutants can have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreational use, and wildlife. Some very popular beaches have even been closed due to contaminated storm water. 


Background Information 

In 1972, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (also referred to as the Clean Water Act [CWA]) was amended to provide that the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States from any point source is effectively prohibited unless the discharge is in compliance with an National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

The 1987 amendments to the CWA added Section 402 (p) that establishes a framework for regulating municipal and industrial storm water discharge under the NPDES Program. On November 16, 1990, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) published final regulations that establish application requirements for storm water permits. The regulations require that storm water associated with industrial activity (storm water) that discharges either directly to surface waters or indirectly through municipal separate storm sewers must be regulated by an NPDES permit.


Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan

The development, implementation, and maintenance of the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) will provide school districts with the tools to reduce pollutants contained in storm water discharge and comply with the requirements of the General Storm Water Permit. The primary goals of the SWPPP will be to: 


Identify potential sources of pollutants that affect storm water discharge from the site;
Describe the practices that will be implemented to prevent or control the release of pollutants in storm water discharges; and
Create an implementation schedule to ensure that the practices described in this SWPPP are in fact implemented and to evaluate the plan's effectiveness in reducing the pollutant levels in storm water discharges.

This SWPPP includes all of the following:
  • Identification of the SWPPP coordinator with a description of this person's duties; 
  • Identification of the SWPPP implementation team members; 
  • Description of the facility, including information regarding the facility's location and activities as well as a site description and site map; 
  • Identification of potential storm water contaminants; 
  • Description of storm water management control and various Best Management Practices (BMPs) necessary to reduce pollutants in storm water discharge; 
  • Description of the facility monitoring plan; and a 
  • Description of the implementation schedule and provisions for amendment of the plan. 

Storm Water Hotline

To report a storm water concern, illegal dumping, or other hazards to humans or the environment, please call the storm water hotline at (805) 460-0280 extension 104. You may anonymously report a crime by calling (800) 78-CRIME or go to www.wetip.com
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