From the City of Ukiah Storm Water Management Plan - February 2006
and the EPA's "Solution to Pollution"
As stormwater flows over driveways, lawns, and sidewalks, it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants. Stormwater can flow into a storm sewer system or directly to a lake, stream, river, wetland, or coastal water. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water. Polluted runoff is the nation’s greatest threat to clean water.
Since the passage of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the quality of our Nation's waters has improved dramatically. Despite this progress, however, degraded water bodies still exist. According to the 1996 National Water Quality Inventory, approximately 40 percent of surveyed U.S. waterbodies are still impaired by pollution and do not meet water quality standards. A leading source of this impairment is polluted storm water runoff. In fact, according to the Inventory, 13 percent of impaired rivers, 21 percent of impaired lake acres, and 45 percent of impaired estuaries are affected by urban/suburban storm water runoff. Six percent of impaired rivers, 11 percent of impaired lake acres, and 11 percent of impaired estuaries are affected by construction site discharges.
The City of Ukiah recognizes that contaminants and impurities in stormwater runoff are a major threat to the quality of our environment and our water supply. A five year management plan has been drafted and is in the process of being implemented. Posted below are the six areas in which the city is taking measures to reduce and protect against pollutants that stormwater runoff carries to our creeks and rivers.
City of Ukiah Stormwater Management Plan
The 2006 Stormwater Managemenet Implementation Report is available as a pdf here.
Preventable Causes of Stormwater Pollution
Click images for more information
How You Can Help
Helping your local waterways comes in many different forms, and we here at the city have provided easy, free outlets for you to do your part. Click below for the Hazmobile schedule, to learn about proper disposal of household toxic wastes.
Also, if you notice any illicit discharges or illegal dumping, please do your part as a friendly citizen and call the neighborhood hotline below, or e-mail us.
Click for schedule
Click for contact information
to report illicit dumping
If Stormwater Pollution Remains Unchecked
From the EPA's After the Storm: A Citizen's Guide to Understanding Stormwater. Read the whole document here
Polluted stormwater runoff can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.
- Sediment can cloud the water and make it difficult or impossible for aquatic plants to grow. Sediment can also destroy aquatic habitats.
- Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms. When algae die, they sink to the bottom and decompose in a process that removes oxygen from the water. Fish and other aquatic organisms can’t exist in water with low dissolved oxygen levels.
- Bacteria and other pathogens can wash into swimming areas and create health hazards, often making beach closures necessary.
- Debris – plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles, and cigarette butts – washed into waterbodies can choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life like ducks, fish, turtles and birds.
- Household hazardous wastes like insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, used motor oil, and other auto fluids can poison aquatic life. Land animals and people can become sick or die from eating diseased fish and shellfish or ingesting polluted water.
- Polluted stormwater often affects drinking water sources. This, in turn, can affect human health and increase drinking water treatment costs.
How to Learn More About Stormwater Runoff