Why Who What Where When and How ?
Why is it called Storm Water?
Because Storm Water begins its life as precipitation, the rain falling from a storm.
However, even if it never rained, we would still have to worry about the issues associated with Storm Water. Watering your lawn can cause any chemicals applied to the lawn, or in the gutters of the street, to flow down into the storm drain systems. That is why it important to NOT place potentially harmful substances down storm drains. Those substances will travel straight to a lake or stream
The fact that Storm Water enters our lakes and streams directly, without being treated, is why it is such an issue. Denton County is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation, which makes storm water pollution a priority in our area. The total population for Denton County is projected to exceed 1 million by 2030, that is only 25 years to more than double the current population of people living inside the county boundary. This means that more storm sewer systems will be installed. Urban Storm Water runoff is now seen as one of the primary sources of water pollution across the United States. While Storm Water does enter our lakes and streams untreated, it does not have to enter them polluted. It is up to each of us to do our part to keep our water clean. If we take it personally, and keep harmful substances out of our storm drains, street gutters, ditches, fields and lawns, the water that enters our lakes and streams will be no more polluted than the rain that fell from the clouds.
Who is responsible for Storm Water?
Within Denton County there are several groups, companies, and governmental agencies responsible for keeping our waters clean. However, the individual is the person who can have the greatest influence on keeping our water clean.
Denton County is held responsible for contaminated Storm Water once it enters a County owned MS4. However, the County is working hard with other organizations, governments, and companies to keep pollutants out of water. The County is also committed to working with individuals and others to get the message out to the general public. Lawn chemicals, soaps, discarded appliances and other electronics, paints, oil, antifreeze, and many other substances can enter our waterways and affect the quality of our water. The primary source of these pollutants are households. They enter our waterways when individual citizens dispose of these substances improperly, or do not follow the application recommendations.
What is the Storm Water Management Program?
Denton County has been identified by the EPA and TCEQ as a regulated small MS4. The Denton County Storm Water Management Program is the document presented to TCEQ that shows how Denton County plans to improve the quality of Storm Water entering our waterways.
Different departments within Denton County are working together to reduce the potential for Storm Water pollution. Some employees will be looking for problems while driving through the County. Other employees will be keeping track of training events that help spread the message about Storm Water. Other employees are responsible for making sure the County is in compliance with State Regulations. Included in the Storm Water Management Program is an effort to raise individual awareness about everyone can take to reduce pollution.
Where is the Storm Water Management Program being implemented?
Across the entire unincorporated County area.
While there will be focus areas within the unincorporated areas, it is important that the County begin implementing the program over as broad an area as possible, particularly in the area of raising awareness. With the speed development is occurring, it benefits the citizens and the County if the adjacent residents understand the impacts of Storm Water runoff, as well as the families moving into new homes in the more densely populated areas. It should also be noted that other cities within the County have programs similar to those the County has created. These cities are responsible for the Storm Water Programs within their municipal boundaries, but have limited influence on the areas surrounding them. The County will work with these cities to reduce duplicate efforts and to maximize the effectiveness of all programs.
When will all of this happen?
Many of the measures were in place before the EPA regulations were passed. The EPA has since passed administration of the program on to TCEQ. The County is still waiting for the State to release the final regulation, and once that occurs, Denton County will have three months to submit its permit application to TCEQ.
Even though the County is waiting for the final regulation to be released by TCEQ, we are moving forward with implementing even more of components of the program than were in place beforehand. Denton County is participating in many programs with the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The NCTCOG is able to approach Storm Water issues on a more regional scale, and brings together people from different organizations to share ideas.
How is the program going to be implemented?
The buttons across the top of the page contain information how the County is going to implement the program using 6 different Minimum Control Measures.
There are different actions, or Best Management Practices, under each of the control measures. The TCEQ requires the County to address each of the control measures, but leaves the actual actions to be taken up to the County. By working with others in the area who have been doing this for a while, the County is able to gain information on what has worked and what hasn't, and how best to implement the different actions to maximize effectiveness. By creating partnerships and coordinating efforts, the County is also able to maximize effectiveness and reduce cost.