Storm water is the discharge of water due to runoff from precipitation. Storm water runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over impervious surfaces. Impervious surfaces are areas that impede the infiltration of water into the soil. Concrete, asphalt, rooftops and even severely compacted areas of soil are considered impervious. Storm water can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants. These substances are then carried into storm sewer systems or directly to a waterway. This discharge can destroy aquatic habitat, lessen aesthetic value, and threaten public health with contaminated food, drinking water supplies, and recreational waterways.
What is the City Required to do
With Storm Water?
The Federal EPA has designated Parkersburg as a “MS4” (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) storm water community. This means that the City must actively manage storm water to the new EPA and DEP standards. Parkersburg is subject to significant penalties for failure to comply with the Federal requirements.
The City is required to submit a storm water management plan to the WV EPA during the first term of the permit cycle. The report outlines the City’s compliance status with permit regulations, an evaluation of management procedures, and analysis of progress goals. The 2011 Storm Water Management Plan can be found by clicking here.
Tips for Preventing
Storm Water Pollution
- Compost or mulch yard waste. Don’t leave it in the street or sweep into storm drains or streams.
- Use lawn care products (ie: fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides) sparingly.
- Plant trees and vegetation. The root system stabilized the ground and thus slowing runoff and erosion.
- Properly dispose of household hazardous waste (ie: engine oils, paints, pesticides, etc), yard waste, pet waste, and kitchen grease.
- Never dump anything into storm drains and sewers (it is illegal).
- Keep drainage ditch and swales free of debris, litter, and obstructions.
- Wash cars at a commercial wash or over areas of gravel or grass.
- Sweep debris from sidewalks and driveways rather than washing debris away.
- Report hazardous spills, illegal dumping, blockages, and unusual odors.
For Questions, comments or to report Unlawful Storm Water Discharges, contact the Engineering Department at (304) 424-8568 or email Stormwater@Parkersburg-WV.com