Stormwater F.A.Q.

Rain is very important to everyone. It is necessary to grow the food that we eat. It provides water to the wells and reservoirs that supply water that we use for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. It keeps our streams and rivers flowing. It fills our ponds and lakes. It is important to maintaining a healthy natural environment. In many ways, it affects all that we do.

 


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Some of the rain is absorbed by the ground where it falls. This portion of the rain provides water to the roots of plants and adds to our ground water supply. The rest of the rain becomes storm water, which flows across the ground, and from roofs and parking lots to swales, gutters, streams, storm sewers, rivers, lakes and ponds. For every stream, river, lake and pond there is a territory from which the storm water flows. This territory is called its watershed.

Rain falls on every part of the watershed. Storm water flows from the higher portions of the watershed to the lower portions of the watershed and to the streams, rivers, lakes and ponds. How much, how fast and how clean the water is when it reaches the lower levels of the watershed and the streams, rivers, lakes and ponds depends on the conditions of the ground that it flows across. Every part of the watershed affects another part of the watershed.

There are ways to control how much, how fast and how clean the storm water is as it flows across the watershed. Since every part of a watershed affects other parts of the watershed, these controls are most effective if they are coordinated throughout the watershed. Watershed boundaries cross community boundaries, such as cities, counties, villages and townships. Watershed-based storm water management requires cooperation between neighboring communities.

On March 10, 2003, the Summit County Engineer's Office filed the Summit County Countywide SWMP on behalf of these Co-Permittees. The Co-Permittees of the SWMP have begun to implement the storm water Best Management Practices (BMPs) chosen for their jurisdiction area as described in the SWMP. The Co-Permittees have initiated public information, education, and outreach BMPs and have also begun to organize efforts to begin mapping the municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), MS4 outfalls, home sewage treatment systems, and illicit (non-storm water) discharges throughout the county.

Some highlights of the progress of Countywide SWMP program are:

  • The group has formed more than 15 sub-committees to address the implementation of public education and public involvement BMPs (Control Measures 1 and 2). The sub-committees make recommendations to the group at the monthly meetings.
  • The Summit County Engineer's (SCE) office has been assisting the Co-Permittees with storm sewer mapping. Co-Permittees have begun to use a combination of 1"=100' orthophotos of their entire MS4, GIS software, hand-held GPS units, and other field survey techniques to begin to locate and map storm sewer outfalls and home sewage treatment systems (HSTS) throughout the county. Outfall and HSTS mapping have been completed for the county highway right of way in Copley Township, Bath Township, Boston Township, Richfield Township, and Twinsburg Township.
  • A draft of a Construction Site Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance has been written and is under preliminary review.
  • Summit County and the 9 townships have a Riparian Setback Ordinance in place. Several village or city Co-Permittees have also enacted their own Riparian Setback Ordinance. Several others are in the process of preparing a Riparian Setback Ordinance within their own jurisdiction.
  • The Co-Permittees developed a Phase II storm water patch and criteria for local scout troops. Local scout troops now have a guidebook that describes storm water activities and the criteria each troop can complete to obtain the new Phase II storm water patch. Contact your local government to inquire about the patch program.
  • The Co-Permittees provided training for teachers during 2005.
  • Seven Phase II storm water displays have been shown at 45 different community events, community building departments, and libraries.
  • Records of meetings, events, and activities are being kept for use in preparing the second annual report for the Countywide SWMP due to be submitted to the Ohio EPA.