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Storm Water Utility
It’s simple really, but a fact that most of our community is either unaware of or hasn’t thought of. The Storm Drains you see in our streets, go directly into our creeks and then flow into the Russian River.
If you take a moment to think that through you’ll understand the implications. That small piece of trash that has been sitting in the gutter, the remaining fertilizer lingering in the flower beds, the bacteria and pathogens from forgotten pet waste, with the addition of water all of these contaminants will travel directly into our creeks. The good news is there’s a lot we can do, with some simple changes, that will have great impact.
Streets to Creeks. Ours to Protect — Area Sponsors
Storm Water Management
The City of Ukiah has adopted the Low Impact Development (LID) Manual that is utilized by Santa Rosa and Sonoma County (see City of Ukiah Resolution No. 2014-27). This Manual provides the technical design guidelines for development projects in the implementation of permanent storm water quality features.
For more information or to report issues with downloading the documents, please contact Jason Benson, Senior Civil Engineer via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-463-6284.
As storm water flows over driveways, lawns, and sidewalks, it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants. Storm water 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 water bodies 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. water bodies 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 storm water 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 storm water runoff carries to our creeks and rivers.
CITY OF UKIAH STORM WATER MANAGEMENT PLAN
1. Public Education and Outreach
2. Public Involvement and Participation
3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
4. Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control
5. Post-Construction Storm Water Management
6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipalities
Preventable Causes of Storm Water Pollution
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.
To report illegal dumping into gutters or storm drains, please call:
IF STORM WATER POLLUTION REMAINS UNCHECKED
From the EPA’s After the Storm: A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding Storm Water. Read the whole document here
Polluted storm water 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 water bodies 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 storm Water often affects drinking water sources. This, in turn, can affect human health and increase drinking water treatment costs.