- Public Works
- Stormwater Q&A
My pond has a green film on it - what do I do?
Chances are your pond is experiencing an algae bloom. This occurs frequently in ponds that receive excess nutrients in runoff from surrounding areas. Nutrients are washed into the waterbody and the algae bloom occurs. These blooms can also cause strong odors to emanate from ponds and creeks.
Why are there all these dead fish in my pond?
Fish kills are common occurrences in the winter and during particularly hot days during the summer. The most common cause is low dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in the pond. Cold weather also causes kills of fish with little tolerance for drops in temperature (e.g. tilapia).
What is stormwater?
Stormwater is rainwater that falls into a watershed. Stormwater may carry excess nutrients and other pollutants from the watershed into waterbodies.
What is a watershed?
A watershed is a defined area of land from which all precipitation collects and drains to a common stream, bay, marsh, or lake.
What causes poor water quality?
A number of factors may contribute to poor water quality. Some of the main culprits are runoff of fertilizers and pesticides from yards, oil and grease from cars, and sediment from construction sites. Trash, run off of hazardous materials, dumping of waste, and spills are other pollutants that degrade water quality. Natural occurrences such as algae blooms, although often triggered by pollution, may also contribute to a decline in water quality.
Why can’t I dump grass clippings into the stormdrain or onto the roads?
Dumping of any material into the stormdrain or onto the roads is a direct violation of the County NPDES Stormwater ordinance. A Notice of Violation (NOV) may be issued and could be followed by a fine of up to $500. It is especially important to remember that many stormdrains and gutters lead directly into the bay or to other County water bodies
What is storm water?
Storm water is responsible for funding the operation, management, construction and maintenance of Storm water facilities. This generates its revenue through user fees. The Storm water fee is a service fee and not a tax. The fees are used to maintain and upgrade drainage facilities within the City as well as funding state and federal mandates regarding storm Water facility reviews, inspections, and the erosion and sediment control program that relates to new construction.
What is Storm water runoff?
Storm water runoff results from rainfall. Typically, the more rainfall we get the less likely that the rainwater will be absorbed into the soils resulting in more storm water reaching our storm drains, ditches, streams, lakes and reservoirs.
Where are storm drains?
For the most part, storm drains are located within the limits of the streets. Water typically flows across the land onto the road and gutters and into storm water inlets that are connected to the storm water drainage pipes. In the more rural areas, storm water is conveyed along roadside ditches.
Does this storm water get treated at the wastewater plant?
No, storm water collected in the drainage system drains into our ditches and canals which discharge into lakes and oceans.
What kind of pollution is in the rainfall runoff?
The pollution depends on what the rainfall runoff is running off from. Nearly all runoff contains silt and soil as a result of erosion. Runoff from agricultural lands and our lawns often contain fertilizer and herbicides. Runoff from streets and highways may contain oil and grease plus heavy metals such as lead from gasoline exhaust emissions, selenium from tires, phosphorus and several others from a variety of sources.
Is trash and debris floating in the water considered pollution?
Yes, the floating debris in the water is pollution and often termed floatables. Floatables are one of the simplest pollution to control – stop litter!
What about Bacteria?
Another pollutant which gets into the storm water is bacteria. Bacteria originates from illicit sanitary sewer connections or overflows, pet and wild animal waste, and birds. The City has a program to eliminate illicit sanitary sewer connections and overflows. Picking up pet waste and properly disposing of it also eliminates bacteria.
Why is the Storm Water fee necessary?
The Storm Water Fee is a result of the Federal Clean Water Act of 1972 and amendments thereafter. The regulations require cities to make improvements to reduce the amount of pollution from storm water runoff. These improvements include public education as well as removing pollution at the source. There are no federal or state dollars provided to implement water quality measures so the Storm Water fee has been adopted. Storm water is responsible for funding the operation, management, construction and maintenance of Storm water facilities. This generates its revenue through user fees. The Storm water fee is a service fee and not a tax. The fees are used to maintain and upgrade drainage facilities within the City as well as funding state and federal mandates regarding storm Water facility reviews, inspections, and the erosion and sediment control program that relates to new construction.
My utility bill includes a charge for "stormwater." What is this?
The stormwater fee on your bill helps to offset costs related to maintaining drainage systems throughout the City. These systems include roadways, drainage culverts, pumping stations and canals.