Stormwater runoff can be a big problem for home owners. Unless it is properly managed, runoff from a heavy rainstorm can flood your home and cause a lot of costly damage. It can also pollute our drinking water supplies, adding to the cost of our municipal water bills.
Marais des Cygnes River depending on where you live in the county).
point source and is regulated under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Permits are issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) under authority delegated to it by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate water quality of stormwater discharges. Cities in Johnson County are required by the Stormwater Management Plan to obtain NPDES permits and regulate the amount of runoff (water quantity) and the amount of pollutants in runoff (water quality) that is discharged from their storm sewers into the Kansas River and its tributaries. These permits specify things like how much sediment, nutrients from fertilizers, bacteria, pesticides, and other pollutants can be in the water when it is finally discharged to the river.
During a 1" rainstorm, a house with a 2000 square foot roof will have over 1000 gallons of water running off of it! That's a lot of water, especially if it comes shooting out of a neighbor's downspout aimed at your property.
But there are other important reasons as well. Like drinking water. Stormwater runoff entering storm drains makes its way to streams, reservoirs and eventually the Kansas River itself. Many communities obtain their drinking water directly from these sources. This means that pollutants carried by runoff into surface waters will have to be removed by municipal water treatment plants, potentially increasing your water bill.Clinton, Perry and Tuttle Creek Reservoirs. The big federal reservoirs on the Kansas River are rapidly filling in with sediment, which reduces their storage capacity. When this happens they are not able to hold back flood waters.
They are also unable to store sufficient amounts of drinking water for our growing communities.
These two problems are an important concern, and the Kansas Water Office funds many projects to reduce sedimentation in Kansas streams and rivers, and hence in the reservoirs. These projects attempt to cut off the problem at the source-- stormwater runoff. This is one of the reasons why the Johnson County Stormwater Management Programhas adopted a series of Best Management Practices for Home Builders.
nutrients in reservoirs, leading to algal blooms and "skunky" tasting water and expensive water treatment problems for municipalities.
Incorrect or excessive use of pesticides and herbicides by home owners leads to pollution in the Kansas River and has caused the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to issue health warnings. A good example of this was the fish consumption advisory that was in place for many years between Lawrence and Eudora because of contamination by Chlordane, a pesticide used in homes to prevent termites. The Chlordane advisory has recently been lifted, although a PCB advisory is still in place. (Click here for more information about current fish advisories in the Kansas River.)
quality of water running off of your homes and yards. We also discuss requirements for managing stormwater in housing developments under Johnson County's Stormwater Management Plan. Working together we can protect our homes from flooding and make sure that we always have good, clean and abundant drinking water supplies.
View Kansas River Watershed in a larger map