Stormwater can pose a risk to our water resources due to the fact that pollutants in Stormwater can impact lakes, streams and rivers. The City is working together with neighboring communities on new programs to control Stormwater pollution.
What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is water from precipitation that flows across the ground and pavement due to rain or snow melt (also called Stormwater runoff). Water may seep into the ground, flow in ditches or streams, or enter the storm drain system. The storm drains are what you see at street corners or at low points on the sides of streets. Storm drains lead to a discharge point such as open channels or directly into natural rivers or creeks within the community.
Natural creeks have a small amount of base flow, which is caused by groundwater recharge and high water tables that are relatively clean. When it rains, the base flow is supplemented by Stormwater runoff from parking lots and city streets. Stormwater runoff tends to pickup garbage, debris, sediment, chemicals, automotive fluids and other pollutants. Stormwater runoff is relatively dirty.
Why is it important to control Stormwater?
Stormwater runoff is a major problem when it picks up garbage, debris, sediment, chemicals, automotive fluids, fertilizers, leaves and other pollutants from parking lots, yards, city streets, shopping malls, house roofs, etc. This type of pollution is called non-point source (NPS) pollution and is more of a problem than direct discharges from commercial industries and plants, which have NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) permits as mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A common result of unclean Stormwater runoff is the loss of fish and aquatic wildlife from the community's streams and creeks. The City must comply with the new State and Federal regulations related to Stormwater runoff.
Stormwater regulations in our City
To comply with new State and Federal regulations, Urbandale is required to implement a new Stormwater management program. The requirements include:
1. Public Education and Outreach
2. Public Involvement
3. Illicit Discharge and Elimination
4. Construction Site Stormwater Runoff and Control
5. Post-construction Stormwater Management
6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
How you can protect Stormwater quality
The best way to protect Stormwater runoff quality is to avoid polluting in the first place. Conserve and recycle resources such as newspapers, plastic containers, glass jars, and metal cans. Don't dump hazardous substances such as used oil, household chemicals, yard fertilizer, or other wastes onto pavement or into storm drains. Practice picking up litter and disposing of leaves and yard waste properly.
Prevent excess runoff of pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides by using them properly and efficiently.
Participate in local garbage and debris pickup days, and recycle household hazardous waste materials to prevent storm drain contamination. Encourage active citizen participation in Stormwater protection and public group education on Stormwater quality.
To report a Stormwater problem or concerns, please call the Stormwater Hotline at (515) 278.3950 or use the online form.