Why the concern
for storm water runoff?
The answer is pollution.
Although many people think of point source pollution (pollution that
can be easily identified through an outlet pipe, such as an
industrial plant or sewage treatment plant) as the primary source of
water pollution, nonpoint source pollution (NPS) in reality is the
NPS comes from sources all over the watershed, and its points of
origin can be very difficult to
When it rains or when snow melts, the water washes away pollutants
that have accumulated on roads, highways, sidewalks, and parking
lots. These pollutants are carried away by water and washed directly
into local streams and rivers through ditches and storm sewers. When
left uncontrolled, these pollutants can cause stream habitat
degradation, a loss of aesthetic value, and contamination of
drinking water supplies.
DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM
for wastewater have been required through the Clean Water Act since 1972. The USEPA began to regulate stormwater with the inception of
the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program.
In 1990, NPDES Phase I was established to regulate Municipal Separate
Storm Sewer Systems, Industrial Storm
Water, and Construction Sites disturbing 5 acres or greater.
More recently, NPDES Phase II was established in 1999.
This phase added small municipalities (in urbanized areas as defined
by census data) and construction activities disturbing 1 acre or greater to
the list of permitted entities.
communities within Medina County, the Cities of Brunswick, Medina,
and Wadsworth along with portions of Brunswick Hills, Hinckley,
Granger, Sharon, and Wadsworth
Townships have been designated as NPDES Phase II communities by Ohio
Phase II, permitted entities were required to develop a Municipal Storm Water Program (MSWP)
aimed at reducing the discharge of pollutants and protecting or improving existing water quality by implementing
six minimum control measures. The
six minimum measures are:
Education and Outreach
Involvement and Participation
of Illicit Discharges
Prevention for Municipal Operations
Construction Site Runoff Control
What is a Watershed?
watershed is an area of land that drains to a common location
(e.g. a lake or river). As rainwater and melting snow run
downhill, they gather sediment and other materials and may carry
them into our streams, lakes and groundwater.
aerial view, watersheds have the appearance of a large tree with
branches extending across the landscape. The largest or
principle stream of the watershed is the tree's trunk, while the
larger branches are primary streams, the smaller branches are
secondary streams all feeding into each other as they make their
journey through the watershed.
We All Live in a Watershed
We all live in a
watershed. Homes, farms, forests, small towns, big
cities, and more make up a watershed. Watersheds
cross county, state, and even international borders.
In some areas watersheds are called drainage basins.
Watersheds come in
all shapes and sizes. Some in compass hundreds of
square miles; others just a few acres. Just as a
creek drians into rivers, watersheds are nearly always
part of a larger watershed. Fore example, Ohio
contains 44 principle watersheds, but all of them drain
to either Lake Erie or the Ohio River.
Take a Watershed
Getting to Know Your Local Watershed
Medina County is
spilt by the Continental Divide which separates the
waters that flow north into Lake Erie (East and West
Branches of the Rocky River, East Branch of the Black
River, and Yellow Creek) from those that work their way
south to the Ohio River (Muddy Fork, Killbuck Creek,
Chippewa Creek, River Styx, Wolf Creek, and Hudson Run).
More about the Watershed You Live In!
Getting to Know Your
Local Watershed! (This link
provides you with information on watershed features,
management considerations, and planning opportunities.)
GET INVOLVED! These links provide you with
water related activities within your watershed.
Tuscarawas (Chippewa & Wolf Creeks)
Surf Your Watershed
(Find out all types of
information about the watershed you live in).
How Are You as an Individual Effecting the Health of Our
many people think of point source pollution (pollution that can
be easily identified through an outlet pipe, such as an
industrial plant or sewage treatment plant) as the primary
source of water pollution, non-point source pollution (NPS) in
reality is the larger problem. NPS comes from sources all over
the watershed, and its points of origin can be very difficult to
above, when it rains or when snow melts, the water washes away
pollutants that have accumulated on roads, highways, sidewalks,
and parking lots. These pollutants are carried away by
water and washed directly into local streams and rivers through
ditches and storm sewers.
right, water entering storm
sewers does not go to a water treatment plant
like the water in the sanitary sewer system.
The water in storm sewers goes
directly to a stream!
we do around our home or at work can and will directly affect
the water around us!
Steps You Can Take to Minimize Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS)
Water plants and/or grass early in the morning or after sunset
to reduce evaporation.
Redirect rooftop runoff onto your lawn or collect in rain
Apply pesticides and fertilizers only when needed - at the
proper time, in the proper amounts, and according to
Plant native vegetation.
Properly maintain vehicles and recycle used motor oil at a local
garage or the Central Processing Facility.
Buy cleaners that are: biodegradable, recyclable, and/or multi
Inspect your septic tank annually, and have the system cleaned
out every 3 to 5 years.
When washing your car, use a bucket instead of a hose,
phosphate-free soap, and direct water runoff to the lawn.
Dispose of pet waste property - in the trash, bury, or flush
down the toilet.
Join a watershed organization!
15 things you can do to make a difference in your watershed
Around Your Home
Water: Where Does it Come From
About half of the
United States population received its water from surface water
sources, such as rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs. The
other half gets its water from the ground, where water is stored
in aquifers. This groundwater is stored in the cracks and
crevices of rocks.
of the earth's surface is covered in water; however, appearance
can be deceiving. The amount of drinking water available for
human consumption is quite small,
than 1% of the total water on earth!
running water, an average family consumed around 50 to 60 gallons
of water per day; today the average family consumes around 300
gallons per day! How much do you use?
Water Use (gallons)
Toilet 1.5 to 7
Taking a Shower (10
min) 25 to
Clothes 35 to 60
Washing Dishes by
Brushing Teeth (water
Law 5 to 10 per min
day) 25 to 30
Car (hose running) 180
billion gallons of water are used daily in the United States!
Science in your watershed
Bridging the Watershed
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
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