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USEPA Requirements

The 1972 Clean Water Act established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program to regulate the discharge of pollutants from point sources to waters of the United States (US). Since then, considerable strides have been made in reducing conventional forms of pollution, such as from sewage treatment plants and industrial facilities, through the implementation of the NPDES program and other federal, state, and local programs. The adverse effects of some of the persistent toxic pollutants were addressed through manufacturing and use restrictions and through cleanup of contaminated sites. On the other hand, pollution from land runoff (including atmospheric deposition, urban, suburban, and agricultural) was largely unabated until 1987 Clean Water Act amendments, which established a framework for regulating urban storm water runoff. Diffuse sources, including urban storm water runoff, now contribute a larger portion of many kinds of pollutants than the more thoroughly regulated sewage treatment plans and industrial facilities.

Non-point source pollution, the diffuse pollution not traceable to a specific source, causes public health risk and safety concerns. Urban runoff potentially contain a host of pollutants like trash and debris, bacteria and viruses, oil and grease, sediments, nutrients, metals, and toxic chemicals. These contaminants can adversely affect receiving waters, associated biology, and public health. While the impact of urban runoff pollution may not be immediately realized, the eventual effect can be dramatic. Urban runoff pollution is not only problem during rainy seasons, but also year-round due to urban water use.

Storm water pollution affects human life and aquatic plant and animal life. Potentially harmful viruses and bacteria are now found in our coastal waters along with soil particles, solids/ debris, litter, oil, and chemical compounds. Oil and grease from parking lots and roads, leaking petroleum storage tanks, pesticides, cleaning solvents, and other toxic chemicals can contaminate storm water and this contamination can be transported into water bodies and receiving waters. Fertilizer from lawns and golf courses can cause algal blooms and encourage microbial growth. Disturbances of the soil from construction can allow silt to wash into storm channels and receiving waters making them muddy, turbid, and inhospitable to natural aquatic organisms. Many artificial surfaces of the urban environment such as galvanized metal, paint, or preserved wood containing metals, contribute to pollution by run on or leaching by storm water as the surfaces corrode, flake dissolve, or decay. Heavy metals are toxic to aquatic organisms and may bio-accumulate.

Because of the intermittent, variable and unpredictable nature of storm water discharges, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which administers the Clean Water Act, reasoned that the problems caused by storm water discharges were better managed at the local level through non-point source controls such as the use of specific management practices to prevent the pollutants from entering storm water and urban runoff. These practices are called Best Management Practices (BMPs). The US EPA has delegated its authority to the State of Ohio. The State exercises its delegated authority through its agency, the Ohio EPA, which issues NPDES permits to local jurisdictions including the City of Akron. These permits require the implementation of programs to reduce pollutants in storm water and urban runoff.

Storm Water Program

Storm Water Program

The City of Akron's Storm Water Program is managed out of the

Sewer Maintenance Facility
2460 Akron-Peninsula Road
Akron, OH 44313
(330) 375-2776 f (330) 375-2399

email Storm Water Program



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