Storm Water Quality

Storm Water QualityWater quality in U.S. lakes, rivers and streams has improved in the last thirty years, thanks to the efforts of the Clean Water Act (CWA) to control point sources of pollution, but many water bodies are still impaired. One major reason for this is polluted runoff from urbanized areas. Developed land, with roads, parking lots, roof tops, and sidewalks, prevents or hinders natural percolation of rainwater into the soil. These nonporous, or impervious areas, create runoff and force communities to construct and maintain storm water collection systems. The storm water runoff in these collection systems carries pollutants such as oil, chemicals, lawn fertilizers and dirt from construction sites directly to streams and rivers, where the can impair water quality.

Jones & Henry has assisted many communities with their storm water management programs, from design of new conveyance and storage systems, to compliance with recent federal and state storm water quality standards and regulations.

Phase I of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) storm water program was initiated in the 1990’s, and relied on National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage to address storm water runoff from:

  • Medium and large municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) serving populations of 100,000 or greater
  • Construction activity disturbing five acres of land or more
  • Ten categories of industrial activity

The Storm Water Phase II Program expanded the Phase I Program by requiring operators of small MS4s in urbanized areas to implement programs and practices to control polluted storm water runoff. Operators of regulated small MS4s are required to:

  • Develop a storm water management program which includes the six minimum control measures
  • Implement the storm water management program using appropriate storm water management controls, or best management practices (BMP)
  • Develop measurable goals for the program
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the program

The six minimum control measures that operators of regulated MS4s must incorporate into their storm water management programs are listed below. These measures are expected to result in significant reductions of pollutants discharged into receiving waterbodies.

  • Public Education and Outreach
  • Public Participation/Involvement
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Construction Site Runoff Control
  • Post-Construction Runoff Control
  • Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping

Jones & Henry can help a community develop and implement a storm water management program. We can:

  • Develop a plan with measurable goals
  • Map the storm water system, including outfalls, catch basins, pipes and culverts
  • Develop a public education and participation program
  • Participate in public meetings to discuss the technical aspects of the program and requirements
  • Prepare handouts or brochures describing federal and state regulations and requirements
  • Identify storm water sampling sites
  • Identify funding sources for programs, including storm water utilities
  • Locate illicit discharges
  • Provide language to a community’s legal counsel for the development of a storm sewer use ordinance
  • Assist in preparing reports
  • Develop strategies to achieve compliance that include both structural and non-structural approaches
  • Design required structural BMPs
  • Develop a Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan
  • Develop procedures for construction site inspection of storm water control measures
Jones & Henry
Engineers, Ltd.