What is Storm Water Runoff?
When water falls to earth as rain or snow, most of it seeps into the ground. However, if the ground is saturated, frozen, or covered with impervious surfaces, precipitation flows over the land, creating storm water runoff. It occurs everywhere and includes flows from storm drains and natural drainage courses serving industrial, commercial, residential, undeveloped, recreational, and agricultural lands. It can cause flooding, erosion, and pollution problems.
What is Storm Water Management?
Storm Water Management is the process of controlling runoff so it does not harm the environment or human health. The fundamental goals of Storm Water Management are to mimic the way runoff left the site before development and to prevent water pollution.
What is a Storm Water Management System?
A storm water management system is made up of roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, or storm drains. This system is owned and/or operated by a public entity such as a city, state, town, county, district or association. The City of Washington owns and operates its storm water management system.
Who Controls the Washington Storm Water Management System?
The Common Council of the City of Washington has created a Department of Storm Water Management and has placed responsibility under the control of the newly created Storm Water Management Board.
How is the Washington Department of Storm Water Management Funded.
As part of its responsibilities, the Storm Water Management Board must operate and maintain the storm water management system. This includes repairing, replacing, cleaning, and monitoring the system; and, budgeting for these functions. Of course these functions cannot be performed without funding. Two alternatives were considered as funding sources:
Taxes. Taxation is a funding option; however, not all property contributing to the problem of storm water runoff is taxed; i.e. governmental and religious facilities.
User Fees. Monthly fees assessed on those properties whose storm water runoff enters the storm water management system is a funding option.
In an effort to fairly allocate the cost of operating and maintaining the storm water management system to all those who use the system, the Common Council of the City of Washington has elected the User Fees option; and, has charged the Storm Water Management Board with the responsibility to fairly and equitably develop this monthly fee. The Storm Water Management Board will use aerial mapping and professional analysis of all impervious areas in the development of the User Fee.
You Can Help Keep Maintenance and Your User Fee at a Minimum
Illegal dumping in the streets and into the storm water system is one of the largest contributors to water pollution in the country. The exposed open flood control channels and ditches are often easy targets for illegal dumping and convenient trash disposal.
Soiled diapers, shopping carts, yard waste and used oil containers are just some of the many items tossed into open channels and ditches. When it rains, storm water runoff will carry these items through the storm water system.
The Department of Storm Water Management is charged with the responsibility of keeping the storm water system clean and free of debris. This is a costly endeavor and contributes to increased User Fees. Do your part! Report illegal dumping to the Storm Water Operator at the Washington Wastewater Department.
Telephone number (812) 254-2792.