Help Protect Our Local Waterways
Stormwater is the discharge of water due to runoff from precipitation. Stormwater 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. Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants. These substances are then carried directly to a waterway or into a storm drain/inlet. Storm drains are connected to a series of underground pipes that lead to waterways (streams or rivers). Stormwater systems are not designed to capture debris or treat the water as in a sanitary sewer system that leads to a wastewater treatment plant. They carry stormwater directly, without treatment, to local waterways. This discharge can destroy aquatic habitat, lessen aesthetic value and threaten public health by contaminating water supplies and recreational waterways.
How can you improve the quality of stormwater around your community?
- Most homes in New Albany do not have an individual septic system. However, if you do, make sure that it is functioning properly.
- If you fertilize your lawn, read the labels and do your research to ensure proper application and timing. Sweep up any fertilizer from sidewalks, driveways, streets and other hard surfaces so that it doesn’t wash into storm drains.
- If you use a lawn maintenance company, ask them about integrated pest management (IPM) and organic alternatives which reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers on your lawn which can be harmful to people and the environment.
- Keep lawn and yard waste (raked leaves, yard clippings, etc.) out of the street and backyard streams. Remember, storm drains discharge directly into our streams.
- Pick up pet waste and dispose of it properly.
- Wash your car in an area where the wash and rinse water drains to a grassy area and not the street, or wash it at a commercial car wash.
- Consider installing a rain barrel or rain garden on your property.
- Consider planting more trees on your property (before doing so, consult with an arborist to ensure the right tree is planted in the right place.
- Check out this “Community Backyards” information about available rebate opportunities for conservation items, as well as registration information for a number of Spring and Summer conservation classes.
- Consider installing a permeable patio or driveway.
- Maintain your vehicle properly. Car leaks eventually flow into our stormwater systems.
The New Albany Public Service Department works closely with environmental agencies to implement policies and strategies to properly deal with illicit discharge detection and elimination, concrete washout, post-construction, smart growth, low impact development, green roofs, municipal operations, and many other stormwater issues.
Army Corp of Engineers & Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) are directed by the U.S. Congress under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC 1344) to regulate and discharge of dredged and fill material into all waters of the United States, including wetlands. The intent of this law is to protect the nation’s waters from the indiscriminate discharge of material capable of causing pollution, and to restore and maintain the water’s chemical, physical and biological integrity.
NPDES Phase II Program
The NPDES Phase II program is an example of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s continuing effort to preserve, protect and improve the nation’s water sources from polluted storm water runoff. It covers all small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4’s) located in urbanized area as delineated by the Census Bureau, and is comprised of six minimum control measures which are as follows:
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Participation Involvement
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Runoff Control
- Post-Construction Runoff Control
- Pollution Prevention
- Good Housekeeping
Storm Water Committee
The purpose of this committee is to discuss current and proposed storm water and sedimentation & erosion control policies and procedures within the Village of New Albany. The committee will allow local residents, businesses, developers, contractors, environmental groups, governmental agencies, schools, etc. to discuss their roles within the community regarding storm water and sedimentation & erosion control, their past experiences, current and future trends within the field, as well as the most current BMP’s (Best Management Practices) and BAT’s (Best Available Technologies).
Sump Pump – Wye Installation
The purpose of installing a “wye” is to re-direct the sump pump underground to a French (gravel) Drain so water does not pond in the roadway. The water filters through the gravel bed to an existing perforated pipe located under the curb and eventually to the New Albany storm sewer system.
Water Pollution & Its Effect on Stormwater
According to a study from the National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF), 78 percent of the American public does not understand that runoff from agricultural land, roads, and lawns, is now the most common source of water pollution. Because stormwater runoff is generated from dispersed land surfaces—pavements, yards, driveways, and roofs, residents and businesses have to play a key role in controlling stormwater pollution. Among the daily activities that pose a pollution risk are:
- Improper disposal of pet waste
- applying lawn-chemicals
- washing cars
- changing motor-oil on impervious driveways
- improper disposal of paint and household chemicals