Unlike sewage, which goes to treatment plants, urban runoff flows UNTREATED through the storm drain system. Anything thrown, swept or poured into the street, gutter of a catch basin can flow directly into our streams, lakes and rivers. Recent studies have found that urban storm water rivals and in some cases exceeds sewage plants and large factories as a source of damaging pollutants.
Ohio EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) General Permit and the Construction General Permit were created to preserve, protect, and improve the Nation's water resources from polluted storm water runoff. These regulations have evolved to require the control of pollutants from MS4s, construction sites, and industrial activities through a Storm Water Management Program. The overall goal of the Storm Water Management Program is to integrate appropriate storm water control activities into ongoing activities, thus making control of storm water pollution a part of the City's normal business practices. The City of Pickerington is a regulated MS4 community and is therefore required to develop, implement, and enforce a storm water management program designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants into our streams, rivers, and lakes to the "maximum extent practicable".
A public education program is one aspect of a Storm Water Management Program. Since our quality of life is greatly dependent upon the quality of our water supplies, prevention of water pollution through responsible storm water management is of critical importance. Please read the following guidelines for preventing water pollution:
- Never dump anything into storm drains and sewers. Not only does it threaten our environment, it is illegal.
- Dispose of household hazardous wastes such as engine oils, paint and paint thinners, pesticides and other chemicals and hazardous materials properly. Dumping household hazardous waste into a storm drain, open waterway or ditch is illegal. For additional information regarding proper household hazardous waste disposal, call the Service Department at 614-833-2292.
- Use lawn care products such as fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides sparingly. The chemicals in the runoff from these products are a major cause of non-point source pollution. Follow the instructions carefully, apply only the recommended amount and use these products only when necessary.
- Plant trees and shrubs. The roots hold water in the ground, slowing runoff and soil erosion. Pave less; landscape more.
- If your home has a drainage ditch or swale, keep it free of litter. Do not fill it in or build in it.
- Dispose of yard waste properly. Dumping yard waste into storm drains or waterways is harmful to the rivers and is illegal. For more information on proper yard waste disposal, call the Service Department at 614-833-2292.
- Remove pet waste from your yard and place it in the trash, bagged. If you take your pet out to a park or away from home, clean up after your pet. Animal waste contributes to surface and groundwater bacteria levels.
- Don't dump household kitchen grease into any indoor or outdoor drain. Either recycle it or place it in a container such as a coffee can and place in your trash, sealed. Grease is a frequent cause of sewer blockages and is harmful to the environment.
- Maintain your car. Leaking fluids are washed into storm water. Clean up car fluids with an absorbent material such as cat litter, sweep up and place in the trash - do not hose into gutters or storm drain inlets.
- Wash cars at a commercial car wash or over gravel or grass if possible to avoid the soapy runoff from entering the storm drains. Car was businesses are required to dispose of the water through the sanitary sewer system.
- Sweep debris from sidewalks and driveways instead of washing it away with water.
- Report hazardous spills or dumping. If an accident occurs or you notice an illegal discharge, immediately call the Service Department at 614-833-2292, or if after normal business hours, please dial the local authorities (614-575-6911 or 911) for help. Also notify the Ohio EPA at 1-800-282-9378.
- Report all sewer maintenance needs such as blockages, unusual odors or suspected overflows to the Service Department at 614-833-2292.
- Practice rain conservation through the use of rain barrels and rain gardens.
The City has a Storm Water Protection Ordinance (Part Twelve, Title Six, Chapter 1258.22) which follows our Ohio EPA MS4 permit.