Stormwater Management Program
About Stormwater Management
Stormwater runoff is rain or snowmelt that flows over land and does not percolate into the soil. Storm water runoff occurs naturally, in small amounts, from almost any type of land surface, especially during larger storm events.
Impervious surfaces, such as buildings, homes, roads, sidewalks, and parking lots, can significantly alter the natural hydrology of the land by increasing the volume, velocity, and temperature of runoff and by decreasing its infiltration capacity. Increasing the volume and velocity of stormwater runoff can cause severe stream bank erosion, flooding, and degrade the biological habitat of these streams. Reducing infiltration can lower ground water levels and affect drinking water supplies.
In addition, as storm water runoff moves across surfaces, it picks up trash, debris, and pollutants such as sediment, oil and grease, pesticides, and other toxins. In most cases, polluted storm water runs into storm sewers and ditches or directly into streams, rivers, and lakes without treatment. Polluted storm water runoff can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.
- Sediment caused by soil erosion can cloud the water and damage aquatic habitats.
- Excess nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen can promote the overgrowth of algae and deplete oxygen. Fish and other aquatic organisms can't exist in water with low dissolved oxygen levels.
- Bacteria and other pathogens carried into lakes and rivers can contaminate drinking water supplies and beaches, making drinking water advisories, and beach closures necessary.
- Debris – plastic bags, six-pack rings, and cigarette butts – washed into bodies of water can choke, suffocate, entangle, or disable aquatic life like ducks, fish, turtles, and birds.
- Household hazardous wastes like pesticides, paint, solvents, used motor oil, and other auto fluids can poison aquatic life.
Portions of Ontario County have been designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) that requires the preparation and implementation of a Storm Water Management Plan.
In accordance with the EPA Storm Water Phase II Final Rule, the Ontario County Department of Public Works is developing a Storm Water Management Plan aimed at reducing the amount of pollutants discharged into receiving waters from its storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable.
|Click Image Above to See Ontario County's MS4 Boundary Map (Updated 3/2016)|
Ontario County MS4 Annual Reports
2015-2016 Ontario County MS4 Annual Report | View Archived Reports