"HOW TO" GUIDE FOR
STORMWATER AND URBAN
Considerations for Stormwater and Urban
Watershed Management: Developing a Program for
Complying with Stormwater Phase II MS4 Permit
Requirements and Beyond
Center for Environmental Research and Service
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Troy State University
Troy, Alabama 36082
"... Storm water is water from rain or snow that runs
off of city streets, parking lots, construction sites and
residential yards. It can carry sediment, oil, grease,
toxics, pesticides, pathogens and other pollutants into
nearby storm drains. Once this polluted runoff enters
the sewer system, it is discharged -- usually untreated
-- into local streams and waterways.
A leading public health and environmental threat,
storm water runoff can contaminate drinking and
recreational waters. It also remains a major source of
beach and shellfish bed closures. Storm water runoff
washes sediment from construction sites at a rate of 20
to 150 tons per acre each year. Sediment has been
identified as the single largest cause of impaired water
quality in rivers and the third largest cause of
impaired water quality in lakes.
The new storm water Phase II rule is expected to
make approximately 3,000 more river miles safe for
boating and protect up to 500,000 people a year from
illness due to swimming in contaminated waters. It will
prevent beach closures, make fish and seafood safer to
eat, and reduce costs of drinking water treatment.
Under the expanded program, sediment discharges
from approximately 97.5 percent of the acreage under
development across the country will be controlled
through permits. ... "
Source: U.S. EPA Press Release, December 8, 1999
PURPOSE OF THIS DOCUMENT
The purpose of this document is to serve as a roadmap for individuals and communities that are
in the process of developing plans and programs for urban watershed management. Although
funding for this project specifically targeted Phase II stormwater communities or areas, this
manual is designed to assist any community that seeks to develop planning strategies, education
or other tools or local programs for urban watershed management. Hopefully more and more
communities will recognize that urban watershed management addresses much more than just
the water quality concerns that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Alabama
Department of Environmental Management are required to address by implementing the Phase
II MS4 program. Proactive urban watershed management that employs planning, design and
best management practices will simultaneously address many quality of life issues in a commu-
This document is not meant to be an encyclopedia of urban watershed and stormwater
management information. Rather, as a roadmap, it is designed to present an outline and
suggestions on how to address the subject and at the same time reference some of the better
sources of information, training and assistance.
Michael William Mullen, Director
Center for Environmental Research and Service
Troy State University
The opinions and suggestions presented in this manual are those of the author and are thus not
necessarily endorsed or supported by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or Troy State University..
Creation of this manual was supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management which
in turn contracted with the Center for Environmental Research and Service at Troy State
University for a project that included production of this manual.
WHY STORMWATER MANAGEMENT?
Even for communities where there is no Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) Phase II
Stormwater Permit requirement pending, stormwater management makes sense. In recent
locally-led water resource and nonpoint source water quality assessments conducted in all sixty-
seven Alabama counties, flooding in and downstream of urban and urbanizing areas was one of
the most frequently noted problems. Municipal engineers and public works departments spend a
significant part of their time dealing with the effects of stormwater. A proactive approach can
reduce problems and costs associated with stormwater management.
Also, one does not have to look very hard to see the impacts of urbanization upon both the
stream habitats and upon water quality. Just a visual inspection of smaller streams and some not
so small streams in urbanizing areas reveals problems with changes in stream morphology,
sedimentation, organic and nutrient enrichment and trash and debris. Field observations and
simple testing often reveals deficiencies in dissolved oxygen levels, elevated temperatures,
degraded habitats, degraded biological communities and dry season low-flow problems in
urban and urbanizing towns and cities.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many urban streams are significantly degraded and
on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA's) list of impaired streams (the 303d list).
Nor should it come as a surprise that EPA considers polluted stormwater runoff to be one of its
remaining pieces of unfinished business. The effects of stormwater runoff are serious enough
nationally to be regarded as the second largest water quality problem after agricultural runoff.
Most Communities Are Already Doing Some Aspects of Stormwater Management
Your community and most communities are doing and have been doing stormwater
management or at least some aspects of it for years. However, past stormwater management ef-
forts have usually been one-dimensional and have focused on getting the water to run off as fast
as possible so as to avoid flooding. This approach works fairly well to address its intended
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takes place when natural stream channels are cle
replaced with concrete conveyances. In addition t
temperature, concrete conveyances increase flo(
end. Clearly the approach used in the past as well
seriously flawed from an ecological viewpoi
management are available and will be discussed
sound approaches to managing stormwater flow z
later in this guide.
Stormwater Management Can Prevent Or At I
One goal of stormwater management is to avoid
events. Many communities are beginning to addre
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k runoff and are employing strategies
near the pre-development peak flow
Typically this is being done through ordinances that require detention or retention structures or
design features adequate to prevent any significant increase in peak flows. There are other meal
accomplishing this goal that give superior water quality results and which may cost less than re
almost totally on detention structures. These means involve rethinking a variety of design featui
our communities and are addressed in this document.
Good Stormwater Management Practices Can Save Money
The typical reaction to new federally mandated environmental programs usually is something
"What, another *@#!!!&*+ unfunded federal mandate?" That reaction may be warranted in
cases, but stormwater management probably should not in fairness receive such a reaction. To sa
there are not some costs associated with starting and operating a stormwater management prc
would be dishonest. However, the avoided costs or savings that can be gained from impleme
stormwater or urban watershed management may exceed the costs of the program. Pro,
stormwater management programs that employ a variety of techniques that begin with design al
all the way to stormwater pollution treatment practices can save substantial resources. A good s
water program can save resources in a number of ways. Costs can be reduced through the lower
for infrastructure for "green" subdivisions, lower costs for parking lot and street designs, reducing
incidence and losses associated with flooding as well as other cost reductions. Cost reductions
in two ways. One way is that "green" or environmental friendly subdivision designs often cost 1b
implement yet provide the same or even higher market prices than traditional design. Also, addre
the runoff problem proactively through design may save communities substantial costs by avo
the need for expense channel alterations including concrete water conveyances.
Some information on proactive measures for stormwater management, particularly design metho<
your neighborhood. Then visualize a large concrete ditch running through your neighborhood.
If you had a choice which would you prefer a traditional subdivision design with square lots
all on a rectangular street grid or a subdivision with smaller lots and shared open space for
walking trails or bike trails through the woods and along the creek and perhaps a neighborhood
park or picnic area? While it isn't for everyone, subdivision designs which allow for retention
of green spaces are preferred by an increasing number of people. Also, some people would wel-
come a return to the concept of community in which neighborhood markets and neighborhood
schools allow adults and children to walk or ride a bicycle for many if not most of their daily
trips. Believe it or not, the design of new subdivisions or redeveloping areas in your community
could address public interest in green space and a return to a neighborhood concept and at the
same time address the design elements needed to proactively manage urban watersheds and
For Some Communities Stormwater Management Is Mandated By Law or Soon Will Be
Some communities will be required by law to develop plans to reduce the impacts of
stormwater runoff under the U.S Environmental Protection Agency Phase II MS4 regulations.
These regulations, which were first published in the Federal Register on December 8, 1999, will
require communities with a population of 50,000 or more or that fall within certain additional
criteria to make application for a permit and meet the requirements of a Phase II permit on
March 10, 2003. Also, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) is
tasked with developing criteria and using those criteria to determine which communities of less
than 50,000 population will be required to obtain a stormwater phase II permit or operate a
stormwater program under the general permit. Small cities with as few as 10,000 population can
fall under the stormwater program as can even smaller areas so long as the population density is
1000 or more per square mile.
WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS OF
The impacts of stormwater runoff can be divided into two categories: hydrologic and hydraulic
impacts or changes and water quality impacts. In many situations the hydrologic and hydraulic
changes will be the main factor that results in environmental degradation. Although the U.S.
EPA regulations do not directly address the hydrologic impacts by requiring flow control, they
do require permit holders to show improvements or at least no further degradation in water
quality. It is unlikely that permit holders in areas with any significant growth rate will be able to
exhibit the degree of water quality protection or improvement sought by EPA without some
successful strategy for minimizing increased runoff. The other category of stormwater runoff
impact is the direct pollution of water via pollutants in the runoff This is probably in some
ways the easier of the two sets of stormwater impacts to deal with and in other ways the most
difficult because it requires changing public attitudes and individual behavior.
Hydrologic Impacts of Stormwater Runoff
As a watershed begins to undergo urbanization the hydrology or water movement in the water-
shed begins to change. Water which once pooled on the surface and then filtered into the
ground more and more often falls upon hard, im-
pervious surfaces like concrete and cannot
infiltrate into the groundwater. Where about
50% of precipitation typically infiltrates into the
soil and eventually into the groundwater system
prior to development, up to about 55% runs off
and only about 10% enters the groundwater sys-
tem after development. This means that with
standard patterns of development there is a lot
more runoff generated from the same size rain-
fall event than was generated prior to develop- Hydrologic Changes Caused By
ment in the watershed. This increased runoff Traditional Development Methods Often
creates a number of problems including: Lead To Stream Death
More runoff is produced and it flows faster over impervious surfaces creating increased
Due to the increased discharge rates streams attempt to increase their capacity (either by
widening downcutting or both)
Less precipitation infiltrates into the shallow groundwater and thus groundwater
discharge to streams is decreased resulting in smaller warm/dry season stream flows
These initial impacts produce a number of secondary impacts that often lead to a continuing
worsening of the impacts. The increased flooding puts pressure on public works officials to
concrete more runoff conveyances and thus worsens flooding and stream degradation some-
where downstream where the concrete ends. The stream morphology (shape or physical
structure) changes destroying streambank habitats and trees along the bank as they are undercut.
Loss of shading plus the widening of the stream results in more direct sunlight falling on the
stream and thus higher temperatures and lower dissolved oxygen in the stream. Low infiltration
rates mean lower flows and additional temperature increases and dissolved oxygen decreases in
the warm/dry seasons. The reduction of flow is particularly stressful in streams that receive
wastewater discharges or organic loading from other sources.
The changes in streams, widening and/or down cutting, degrades or destroys the habitat for the
benthic (bottom-dwelling) macroinvertebrates upon which fish feed as well as the fish them-
selves. Or the increased runoff may lead to flood control measures like that pictured which
Water Quality Impacts of Stormwater Runoff
Many of the worst water quality changes are caused by the hydrologic modifications addressed
in the last section. The changes in stream morphology and flow increase stream temperature by
removing trees from the streambank and widening the stream. The higher temperatures also
reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen that the water can hold. Other water quality stresses also
are related to the changing urban environment. Most if not all of the impervious surfaces that
runoff is generated by pavement, rooftops, and compacted earth surfaces such as ball fields
have surface temperatures higher than most surfaces that were found in the pre-development
watershed. Therefore, runoff can be very warm in comparison to the natural temperature of
runoff. The replacement of vegetated surfaces with impervious pavement, rooftops and other
manmade structures also reduces natural attenuation or treatment of pollutants in runoff through
contact of the pollutants with biological and physical phenomena in the soil.
While the hydrologic changes are a source of much of the impact from stormwater runoff,
pollutants in stormwater runoff can and do produce impacts upon water quality. The extent and
magnitude of these impacts depends upon land uses within each catchment or watershed within
the urban or suburban landscape, the presence or absence and condition of riparian buffers and
buffers around potential pollution sources and public awareness and action to prevent pollution.
trees and other vegetation, particularly in nparian areas (the areas bordering streams), can keep
temperature increases in streams within acceptable levels and thus reduce urban impacts.
Getting developers to employ "green-design" concepts will require a mix of education and
regulation. When developers see the benefits both for the environment and for their bottom-
lines many will adopt subdivision and commercial development strategies that reduce runoff
volume and pollutant loads.
Some of the pollutants in urban stormwater runoff will be more difficult to control. Substances
like copper from sources like the wear on automotive brake system components, zinc from
corrosion of galvanized roofs or automobile bodies, fuels and oil and grease from automotive
leaks and spills, organic products of combustion and bacteria from pets and other sources will
be more difficult to control. Fortunately, the U.S. EPA does not expect communities to address
all pollutants and all pollutant sources at the same time. Unless there are impaired 303d listed
streams to be addressed, the U.S. EPA and ADEM will probably be satisfied if there is overall
improvement or at least no decline in water quality and stream health.
Communities should manage stormwater impacts much like a physician would treat wounded
soldiers at a field hospital, by addressing those things that can make the most difference first.
Managing stormwater successfully without wasting scarce resources will require triage to
address the stormwater impacts so as to make the most improvement possible with the limited
resources that likely will be available. The remainder of this guide addresses the U.S. EPA
Phase II permit requirements and suggests possible strategies for successfully fulfilling those
requirements and more importantly developing an effective and efficient stormwater manage-
What Are The Minimum Stormwater Management
Requirements Under Phase II?
The Phase II Stormwater regulations specify six program elements that must be addressed b,
permit holders. The regulations also imply that additional things will need to be done but the
lack of specific requirements gives permit holders a great deal of flexibility if not a lot o
guidance about what to do about some aspects of stormwater management, chiefly monitoring.
The six required stormwater program elements include:
1. Public Education and Outreach
2. Public Involvement and Participation
3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
4. Construction Site Runoff Control
5. Post-Construction Runoff Management
6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping Practices for All Municipal Operations
1. Public Education and Outreach
Since a number of pollutants come in large part due to an uninformed or careless public, public
education is a critical component of any successful stormwater management effort. The bes
education efforts, those that make the most difference, target the entire community with
general message and specific components of the populace with the specific information an(
motivation that is most needed and appropriate.
The most effective education programs involve a good cross-section of the community,
throughout, from their inception to their conclusion. The most effective education programs ar
a mix of bottom-up and top-down initiatives. And, the most effective education program:
connect people with the resource through hands-on activities that allow education to lead t(
structured outcomes that turn education into action. If individuals see how changes in behavior
will make a difference and if that difference can be achieved fairly quickly people are morl
likely to take additional actions as success builds upon success.
In Alabama there are already quite a few existing organizations and programs that communities
can work with cooperatively to address urban watershed management and reduction o
stormwater runoff impacts from an educational approach. A few of these organizations include
the Alabama Extension System, the Alabama Water Watch Program and Alabama Water Watcl
Association, Legacy, Partners in Environmental Education, the PALS (People Against P
Littered State) and numerous others (see Appendix B) for a list.
Despite all of these valuable resources for cooperative partnerships, ultimately success will bc
determined by local planning and involvement. The local organization responsible for meeting
the requirements of the stormwater permit must place someone to be in charge of and ultimately
responsible for public education. It must also and provide that person and the education
program cooperators with the authority to develop and operate an education program. That
program will also require some level of financial support from the community or stormwater
Public education efforts usually target adults, school-aged children, and groups (such as
earthmoving activities associated with construction, developers etc.) whose activities either
contribute to or reduce the stormwater program. A mix of activities from purely informational
messages to hands-on activities to technical training may be required to meet all the education
needs in a community. The precise needs are different from community to community and can
best be determined only by the community.
2. Public Involvement and Participation
Public involvement is key to any successful effort to change how people act and how they
conduct their business from day-to-day. Public involvement is also critical to obtaining public
support for new initiatives. Explaining to citizens why it is necessary to change how they
conduct their private and business activities will work much better if key groups and individuals
in the community are involved in choosing the process for implementing and paying for the
needed changes in a fair and equitable manner.
Communities should form a working group or advisory committee and utilize a planning and
program development process in which the advisory group plays a major role. If the process
excludes any group from meaningful involvement in the process of creating a stormwater
management program it places the community at greater risk of legal action over program
funding, ordinances or other aspects of stormwater management program implementation.
Forming an advisory group or panel does not mean that community leaders are giving away the
responsibility for making decisions. The advisory group will simply add diversity to the
discussion, help the community arrive at a consensus decision and more likely than not develop
a more effective and efficient program. The advisory group should probably be an ongoing
group that will function both to periodically review progress and to help with education and
promotional activities. Membership of an advisory group should include key public employees
and anyone from the community with an interest and ability to work with the group in a
3. Detection and Elimination of Illicit Discharges
Another requirement for Phase II stormwater permit holders will be to implement a program for
detection and elimination of illicit or illegal stormwater sewer connections if no such program
already exists or if the permit holder feels that the existing effort is not getting the job done.
Some communities already have programs and procedures in place for detecting illicit connec-
tions. Other programs will start off far behind because they do not even have reliable maps of
their stormwater and sewer systems. One requirement for stormwater phase II permit holders is
that they develop and maintain maps of their stormwater and sewer systems. Some phase II
communities have the capacity to utilize geographic information systems to develop such maps.
Some communities will have to contract with private firms or develop agreements with other
governmental units in order to develop accurate system maps that can be easily maintained in
Detection of illicit connections requires dry-weather sampling of storm sewer systems to detect
contaminants that indicate a possible illegal connection and illicit discharge to the stormwater
system. A variety of parameters can be utilized to detect sewer flow into storm drain systems.
In many cases use of a simple parameter like conductivity and taking measurements at intervals
along a storm drain conveyance can detect illicit discharges. Other substances such as
detergents, optical brighteners used in detergents or even caffeine have been and are used to
detect illicit discharges. The essential point is that some organized program and methods will
need to be put into place to detect illicit discharges.
4. Construction Site Runoff Control
Perhaps one of the most damaging and preventable forms of pollution in rapidly growing urban
areas is the excessive sediment loads that can be contributed to streams due to erosion and
transport of sediments from construction sites. Communities must have in place measures to
control polluted runoff from construction sites. The Phase II rule requires permitting of
construction sites down to 1 acre. Even with the addition of new inspectors that ADEM is re-
portedly going to be able to add, there will likely be too few inspectors to routinely inspect con-
struction sites in Alabama. A robust and effective program for erosion and sediment control
from construction sites will require education and enforcement. ADEM is unlikely to have the
manpower needed for inspecting construction sites without significantly increased state support.
Since it is the permit holder that will be the most likely target of any clean water suits filed by
local citizens or by environmental groups representing citizens who feel that enforcement is in-
adequate, permit holders should have their own program for enforcement. This means that the
community or (in cases of a watershed authority with multiple jurisdictions), the authority, will
need to have an erosion and sediment control ordinance and have trained inspectors to enforce
the ordinance. Also, the community or authority will probably want to further address the
problem by helping to provide training for local developers and construction personnel. In some
communities it may be possible and desirable to cross-train building inspectors to do erosion
and sediment control inspections. In other cases, the community may decide to either hire a
service firm to perform inspections or decide to depend entirely upon ADEM for enforcement.
In this latter case the permit holder may still elect to train personnel to detect problems but elect
to report problems to ADEM rather than conduct local enforcement activities.
5. Post-Construction Runoff Management
The phase II minimum requirements also include management of runoff after the active
construction period. These requirements assure that a responsible party will take care of
maintaining BMPs until the site is stabilized for erosion control practices and that maintenance
of detention, retention basins and other structural BMPs will be funded and taken care of in the
If the permit holder can through incentives (fee structures etc.) induce developers to utilize
community will be lessened. Even then, it is desirable to have some sort of bonding mechanism
in place or some sort of recurring fee so that funds for maintenance will be available when
The permit holder or community should research the positive and negative aspects of different
mechanisms for post-construction maintenance before choosing an approach that it believes
best suits the needs of the community or area. This can be researched by contacting some
existing programs directly or via one or more discussion forums hosted by the U.S. EPA or
others on the Internet. Some program information and listserver and website information is
listed in Appendix B.
6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations
The final requirement for stormwater Phase II permit holders is for the municipality or
municipalities regulated under the permit to develop and implement pollution reduction and
good housekeeping procedures for prevention of pollution from stormwater runoff This means
that a program for prevention of stormwater impacts from city facilities and city operations will
have to be developed or perhaps strengthened if such a program already exists.
Elements of such a program might include structural components or such things as fuel and
materials storage and handling safeguard improvements, erosion and sediment control on mu-
nicipal projects, protection or restoration of riparian corridors on municipal property, use of
design elements to prevent stormwater runoff and pollution on new projects or redevelopment
projects, flow and pollution control BMPs for municipal parking areas and other actions for pre-
vention or reduction of polluted stormwater runoff. Since careless or thoughtless actions of
individuals often contribute to stormwater pollution a pollution prevention and housekeeping
improvement program should include an education component for appropriate city employees
This public sector pollution prevention and housekeeping component of the stormwater
management program can be important particularly so when a community or permit holder is
going to implement voluntary or even regulatory programs for reducing stormwater pollution.
The public pollution prevention and housekeeping improvements can be used to demonstrate
improvements and thus serve as education activities for private sector businesses and industries
in the community.
When Should a Community Do More Than the Minimum?
Clearly these six activities represent the minimum requirements for Phase II communities or
permit holders. Every community is different and every community may have issues, concerns
or problems a little different from those in other communities. For example, some communities
may have concerns about streams or water bodies that are special, very high quality resources
that the community places special value on or which have important economic value. A com-
munity may have a TMDL stream for which special additional actions are needed or required to
restore water quality in order to avoid growth restrictions or other possible sanctions. A com-
munity might have a specific problem like bacteriological contamination from waterfowl that
threatens a public beach, flooding problems
Communities should pursue everything that makes sense to do for which there is a public
consensus and adequate funding to complete. However, permit holders should not list anything
in their plan or permit (if they are applying for an individual permit) that they do not definitely
plan and know that they can and will complete. EPA will hold permit holders to those things
that they say they will do as part of the permit. It is safer for permit holders to do more than
they indicated they would do than to list \wiinhiwiiiig tenuous and not be able to accomplish it.
Is There A Preferred Approach To
Probably no two communities will create identical stormwater management programs although
many may be very similar. Each community may have a few local conditions or concerns that
can best be addressed with a customized solution. However, there are some elements which
probably will be common to successful, efficient and effective stormwater or urban watershed
management efforts. Some of these elements include:
early and continuous public involvement of citizen stakeholders
an effective community education program
a focus on stormwater quantity management
a flow control ordinance
pollutant reduction or elimination
monitoring of stream and watershed health
periodic reporting of watershed health and water quality trends (improvements) to
the public and taxpayers
It is absolutely vital to involve the public as early as possible in the design and implementation
of the stormwater or urban watershed management program. A diverse cross-section of the
community representing all the different stakeholder groups should be represented. This should
include the regulated community (developers, builders, business owners or managers etc.), the
taxpayers who will be paying the tab, the property owners who have been impacted by flooding
in the past, environmental groups and environmental activists, landowners, educators, volunteer
citizen monitors and others. These are the people who will pay the bills, work with you to
reduce pollution from their activities (or oppose you at every turn if they are not informed and
do not buy into the program), work with you to implement school and community education
programs, work on cleanup and assist with monitoring as citizen monitoring.
The Phase II U.S. EPA requirements include public involvement and there is probably no better
way to do this than to form a citizen advisory committee. This should not be a committee
appointed from political insiders. It should be composed of stakeholders who come to the table
and are interested enough to stay with the process and who are in basic agreement that the
community or stormwater management area organization is responsible for and must develop a
stormwater management program.
Truly open public involvement can avoid expensive and time-consuming controversies that of-
ten lead to legal actions. They can also reduce the potential of citizen lawsuits from groups or
individuals critical of the progress toward addressing stormwater management. As parties
involved from the beginning in designing, implementing and evaluating the program, it is likely
that the concerns of all groups will be addressed sufficiently to avoid serious controversy that
can be resolved only through legal remedies. Citizen groups and persons fully involved in a
meaningful way in the process will not probably not choose expensive legal action to resolve
Furthermore, most Phase II communities are not going to find it easy to fund stormwater
management efforts. Volunteer involvement will probably be a critical component of many
successful programs. Volunteers can contribute a lot, whether it is scout troops interested in
helping with neighborhood education through activities like storm drain stenciling, educators
willing to help design education materials, citizens interested in working to help via involve-
ment in volunteer water monitoring or businesses willing to contribute to the support of these
citizen efforts or other forms of volunteerism.
Awareness of stormwater related environmental issues and problems is generally low. A vari-
ety of surveys suggest that public awareness that storm drains are usually not connected to the
sewers or that individual actions around our homes causes significant environmental impact to
urban streams is not high! Many citizens do not know that our urban streams and watersheds
are being damaged by the effects of urbanization and by the pollutants found in urban environ-
Support for stormwater or urban watershed management will not be strong, particularly if new
resources are needed, unless citizens are aware of the condition of urban watersheds and
stream segments. In some Phase II communities the presence of 303d list streams (streams
listed by ADEM and the U.S. EPA as impaired streams) and the TMDL (Total Maximum
Daily Load) process for reducing pollution and restoring water quality in these streams may
help to increase awareness. Nonetheless, a strong, well-designed and ongoing or at least peri-
odic education program will be needed both to build support for the stormwater program and
make citizens aware of changes they can and need to make to reduce unnecessary stormwater
A strong, effective community education program will include general public awareness
education as well as more technical education that targets specific groups such as developers,
construction contractors, landscapers, lawn care services, and a variety of small businesses. It
is important to address specific sectors of the community due to special concerns about pollu-
tion or other impacts associated with that activity as well as general things that homeowners
and property owners can do to address needless or avoidable pollution.
In many communities there may already be an educator or educators involved in environ-
mental education in the classroom who would be happy to assist the community by develop-
ing a stormwater education unit for delivery at appropriate grade levels. Likewise, local scout-
ing organizations and or student conservation organization would probably be willing to
conduct education at the neighborhood using activities like the stream walk or storm drain
activities provided in Appendix D of this guide. Finally, many communities in Alabama
already have citizen volunteers in place monitoring water quality through the Alabama Water
Watch Program (see Appendix B for information). Hands-on activity and involvement is criti-
cal to learning at all ages. Stormwater programs should utilize these existing resources when-
Finally, a very good education program, Alabama NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal
Officials) is in place in Alabama. This program focuses on reducing stormwater impacts by
controlling the amount of impervious surfaces. Minimizing the amount of impervious surfaces
reduces both the increases in runoff volume that development produces and preserves the natu-
ral pollutant removal that occurs via infiltration. The program provides trained speakers who
can provide your community with a presentation designed for your need. See Appendix B for
information. To arrange a presentation for an audience in your community contact the Office of
Education and Outreach at the Alabama Department of Environmental Management by calling
Stormwater Quantity Management
In many if not most instances, the ecological impacts of the hydrologic changes due to urbani-
zation probably exceed the impacts of pollutants. Over time, increased flows alter or destroy
stream and stream bank habitats to the extent that the diversity of life in the stream and the
health of the stream is seriously degraded. When flooding is the result of urbanization without
management of runoff quantity streams are often destroyed by converting them into concrete-
lined water conveyances.
Control of these impacts requires development in such a way as to keep the runoff or discharge
produced by storm events at or near the pre-development discharge or requires retrofits in
already developed areas to attempt the same end. There are essentially two ways to accomplish
the goals of no net increase in flow. In newly developing areas or areas without significant
development, the NEMO approach, minimizing runoff by retaining natural surfaces that allow
infiltration and percolation as well as slow runoff and avoiding unnecessary impervious
surfaces works well and should be the preferred approach. In areas where there is already a
degree of urbanization that prevents the NEMO approach alone from being sufficient, detention
and retention ponds can be utilized to slow runoff and keep stormwater discharges to pre-
development levels. In areas with significant development neither approach may achieve the
desired goal without some innovative and probably very expensive approaches.
When choosing between the NEMO approach or reliance on detention or retention structures,
stormwater managers should be aware that the NEMO approach is more effective at reducing
stormwater impacts associated with both flow quantity and pollutants than extensive reliance
upon retention and detention structures. Detention and retention structures can produce impacts,
particularly increases in water temperature.
Flow Control Ordinances
Your community or your stormwater authority (if you create an authority) will need to develop
and put a stormwater ordinance into effect to be able to control runoff volume at pre-
development levels. A number of model ordinances exist. A source for model ordinances is ref-
erenced in Appendix B.
In order to enforce the ordinance you will have to have a process and procedures for reviewing
construction permits and your engineers will have to have the resources needed to be able to
evaluate construction permit applications and visit construction sites to verify that the approved
designs are implemented as indicated in the plan and stabilized when construction is complete.
Pollution/Contaminant Detection and Control
Control of runoff pollution in an urban environment can be very difficult and very expensive.
Implementing and conducting a sampling program for detection of runoff pollution can be very
expensive even to the extent that resources that might be better used for pollution control are
consumed. The issues of how much and what types of monitoring are appropriate are addressed
later. It is sufficient to note at this time that some level of monitoring will be required to detect
pollution hotspots and establish a water quality and stream health baseline and trends.
A reasonable approach for stormwater management is to
apply a sort of triage to stormwater or urban watershed.
management. Only those things which make the biggest ..
difference for watershed health should be done first and'
only those areas in which local action can really make a
difference should be given a high priority. For example,
increased runoff or discharge is very detrimental to
stream health as it destroys or drastically alters the natu-
ral stream structure or morphology and even degrades the
stream banks and riparian areas bordering the stream.
Worrying about pollutant loading when the stream is be-
ing altered to the extent that habitats are severely dam- Oversized Parking Lots Create A
Oversized Parking Lots Create A
aged or destroyed by hydrologic changes is probably not
justified unless the pollutants are toxic or persistent and Lo of ecessar
at concentrations that will influence water quality down- Impervious Surface
stream. Or at a different level, worrying too much about
metal pollutants coming from wear on brake linings (the
composition of which the community has no control) also
would seem to be of little use as national legislation or
regulation would be required to alter their composition.
Therefore, a reasonable approach to stormwater management is probably to deal first with the
hydrologic issues through a NEMO style design approach where possible and a retrofit
approach when NEMO will not do the job. After that, those pollutants and pollutant sources that
the community or management area can effectively reduce should be addressed. After imple-
mentation of NEMO strategies the pollution control measures specified by the Phase II regula-
tions are a good place to start!
* Reduction of Stormwater Impacts and Contamination Via Control of
Natural Resource Based Planning < NEMO APPROACH
Green Site Design
Structural Best Management Practices and Remediation
* Elimination of Illicit/Illegal Discharges
In some areas pollutants from illicit or illegal discharges may be a significant contribution to
pollutant loadings. These may be intentional or unintentional. In older areas they may be
discharges that were never rerouted to the sewer system as regulations for discharges were put
in place. They may also be things like floor drains that were never properly connected to the
The task facing permit holders is to develop strategies and
methods for detecting these illicit/illegal discharges so that
they can be eliminated. A strategy for addressing this
problem should first employ education of business owners "
and operators and homeowners and involve the public in
detecting and correcting these problems voluntarily.
Addressing the problem will also require a monitoring
strategy. Monitoring for illicit/illegal discharges should be
kept as simple as possible given resource realities and Which Pipes Are Storm
should progress from simpler, cheaper methods to more Drains And Which Are Il
complex and more expensive methods as needed. Some licit or Illegal Discharges?
techniques for detecting these discharges include:
- visual inspection along water courses for pipes and unusual discharges (at the same
time a check can be made for leaking or broken sewer pipes)
- visual inspections of business and industrial sites
- smoke or dye testing to detect or confirm suspected illicit/illegal connections
- dry weather sampling of suspicious discharges for substances indicative of domestic or
industrial wastewater (detergent, optical brighteners, caffeine or high conductivity)
- inspection, visual or remote camera, inside stormwater conveyances
- reconnaissance sampling upstream of where contamination hot spots are found
* Pollution Prevention Through Education Efforts
A substantial portion of the pollutants in stormwater runoff come from the inappropriate use,
storage or disposal of oil, fuels, chemicals or fertilizer. Educating businesses and homeowners
and other landusers within the urban and suburban environment about how their actions can
either be harmful or protective of the environment can reduce pollution.
Some of the more innovative and successful education programs have created guidelines or
suggestions for homeowners and different types of businesses. Some create incentives by
allowing businesses that voluntarily implement pollution prevention practices display bay
friendly or river friendly logos in their windows and on their promotional materials. An
example of an excellent pollution prevention education campaign is Bellevue, Washington's
"Business Partners for Clean Water" program.
It would be a good investment of any community that is designing a stormwater program to
visit the website for this program
mnual. The number is (425)- 452-5216.
ormwater Pollution Prevention Via Attention
Improvements in "Housekeeping"
se II permit requirement is for municipalities to
-p their own operations to reduce or prevent the
Ition of polluted runoff. All the activities of the
ipality (or municipalities) should be examined to An Orderly, Clean Transfc
line where improvements can be made to reduce or Yard at a Municipal Faci
+- ---Al- -4T 04- -~~+r~n r;+r I+;1;+- -A n"A~nr
patrol of Construction Site Runoff
important required stormwater management activity, perhaps equally as imp
)ntrol, involves controlling runoff from construction sites during the construction
auses serious impacts
capacity of stream char
diments. Stopping ero
time erosion and sed
la but in the region ai
quality, effective erosi
misused or, as it ofte
a BMP by EPA or by
doing erosion and sedi
or authorities respc
I to give erosion and
station is not only a s
vidual citizens interest
nations and the stormw
enough to have a prog
on and stream sedime
ve the right under the
actions are not suffici
1l resources and al
)re, many of the po
'ort of sediments ri
activities are gener,
ition. Designers sil
I, agronomy, geol
a result, outdated 1
looking at sites, sil
,eable designers) si
ever mind that it is
4 from construction
at, it is a very visib
lality protection ha
gram provides a ne
'the program is no
Insport of eroded n
some cases almost
vater quality. Even
their disDosal as t
ental Protection Agency segments put stream segme
I .J JU 11L. XI Cl aL1 l1I
)r actions that must be
very important for th
effective erosion and
IIaL IL VVIII 11V'
rt of the perm
r authority tha
)1 program. Sc
- adopt and implement a strong erosion and sediment control ordinance
- provide education and training for municipal personnel who are involved in municipc
construction projects from supervisors to equipment operators (see Appendix B for a
list of organizations that may be of assistance for training)
- encourage erosion and sediment control training for construction contractors an
homebuilders or if possible work with others to provide training locally
- require that at least one appropriate individual (an engineer, landscaper, engineering
technician etc.) become certified as a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sedimer
Control Specialist and assist that person with the costs associated with certification
the actions required to get measures in place promptly when needed on a probi
ving an effective erosion and sediment control ordinance and program is a critical part of
active stormwater management program. An effective erosion and sediment control progr
ipled with effective public involvement in the stormwater program provides insural
linst costly legal actions.
Devices for Runoff Pollution Control
arge and growing number of devices for controlling pollutant runoff in stormwater are be
signed and marketed. Without a doubt some of these devices do a reasonable or better
vided they are maintained as needed at the proper interval. The problem at the present ti
hat few of these devices have been independently evaluated for their effectiveness. World
lerway to do such evaluations and such information will likely be posted to the U.S. E
.rmwater site as it is reviewed and becomes available.
lile little independent information is available on the numerous commercial structural BI
prices, the U.S. EPA has published fact sheets describing a number of structural
structural BMPS. The URL for the page containing this information is:
Remember that while some of the commercial "package" devices may have appropriate
applications, that the most effective measures usually involve planning, design and vegetativ
approaches. Structural BMPs are not a substitute for design approaches that prevent or reduc
both excessive runoff volume.
The Phase II Stormwater Regulations do not specify requirements for monitoring. There is n
absolute requirement for monitoring but some level of monitoring will be required both t
attempt to detect and identify illicit or illegal discharges and to establish a water quality base
line and trends. Permit holders will have to have some data to show whether water quality an
habitats are getting better, worse or staying the same over each permit cycle.
Extensive sampling of storm events is not required by the Phase II regulations. The nature c
runoff from different urban and suburban landscapes is similar across the nation. Data collect
for storm events in Dothan (see Appendix E) is in line with what one would expect based upo
an examination of existing national data.
Monitoring for Phase II stormwater programs (at least during the first permit cycle) should
focus on monitoring required as part of efforts to detect and identify illicit or illegal discharge
and on monitoring to identify baseline or initial water quality and habitat conditions. A variety
of data might be collected but some suggestions are:
* Stream habitat conditions: this might be photographic or descriptive or both or it migl
include assessments of stream stability
* Basic stream quality parameters: this might include temperature, pH, conductivity
dissolved oxygen, turbidity, total suspended solids, nutrients, stream flow and perhaps
E. coli or fecal coliform at strategic sites in the permit area (a metal or metals such as
copper or zinc might be added to this list if some landuses are significant including large
parking lots or industrial areas with lots of galvanized buildings)
* Basic stream biological condition: stream bioassessments should probably be done at
small number of sites using at least the U.S. EPA family level protocol. In some case
where there are sensitive fisheries in the urban watershed or immediately downstream
more complete assessment may be appropriate utilizing the Index of Biotic Integrity or IB
* In situations where problems with specific contaminants and sources are known c
suspected or when rapid stream assessment methods suggest a possible problem wit
+-_-- ;+r -I4v-- n +rnri n r t\ r r'-t +- nAf; -1 n-rar ofor o +n -- ;+-r +n o+; r -; -Irt + I-, r f n no i orr
ent the professionally collected data and at the same
and public involvement programs that are required b
Watch program has established EPA approved 1
program and the AWW Association would be plea
nity either to link up existing monitors with local st(
of interested citizens. See Appendix B for details.
elp to assess stream conditions and possible illicit oi
insnections Tnstnictions for a "Streamwnlk" nati
Designated Stormwater Phase II
Communities/Areas in Alabama
Colbert County Hobson City
Dale County Hokes Bluff
Decatur Houston County
Etowah County Lauderdale Co.
Lee County Prattville
Madison County Priceville
Midland City Rainbow City
Montgomery County Russell County
Morgan County Sheffield
MriierlP qhnrle CnritheirI
Resources for Developing a
Stormwater Management Program:
Alabama Department of Environmental Management
* Stormwater Program: Contact: Dennis Harrison, 334-271-7700
* Alabama NEMO: Contact Gavin Adams, 334-394-4353
* Educational Materials: Contact Patti Hurley, 334-394-4350
* Contact Mike Mullen, 334-670-3624
Erosion and Sediment Control Training
* Ala. Chap. Soil and Water Conservation Committee: Contact Earl Norton, 334-821-0230
* Assoc. of Gen. Contractors of America, Ala. Chapter, Contact: T.W. Pugh, 205-252-8021
* Homebuilders Association of Alabama, Contact Sean Stricker, 334-834-3006
* Troy State University: Contact Mike Mullen, 334-670-3624
* International Erosion Control Association (Training Coursesand CPESC Program),
* Soil and Water Conservation Society (Publications, Training, CPESC Materials):
Stormwater Programs/Stormwater Program Websites
* SWMA (Jefferson County, Alabama) (Advice from Experiences, Perhaps Technical
Assistance): Contacts: Zhaleh McCullers, Fred Guarino, 205-325-1440-
* Bellevue, Washington, http://www.ci.bellevue.wa.us/ulities/surface/default.htm
* Ft. Worth Worth, Texas, http://www.ci.fort-worth.tx.us/dem/stormpg.htm
U.S. EPA and Related Websites/Pages
* http://www.epa.gov/OWM/mtbfact.htm (BMP Fact Sheets)
* http://www.bmpdatabase.org/ (SearchableBMP Database)
* http://www.epa.gov/owow/nps/ordinance/ (Model Ordinances)
* Http://www.epa.gov/owm/sw/phase2 (Phase II Rule and More)
* http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/storm/stoinx.asp (NRDC Report: Stormwater Strate
gies: Community Responses to
Runoff Pollution (Useful Case
Stream Habitat and Biological Assessments
* Fisheries Department, Auburn University, Contact Dr. Cliff Webber, 334-844-9124
* Geological Survey of Alabama, Contact Dr. Pat O'Neil, 205-349-2852
Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring
* Alabama Water Watch Program, Contact AWW Program Office, 1-888-844-4785
Other Volunteer Citizen Groups
* Legacy (Potential Funding Source for Education/Educational Materials), 800-240-5115
* PALS (Stream/Roadside Litter Cleanups), 334-263-7737
Protection, October 15-16, 1997. Birmingham, AL.
Georgia DNR, 1993. Protecting Community Streams: A Guidebook for Local Governments in
Georgia. Prepared by the Atlanta Regional Commission for the Environmental Protection Divi-
sion, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta, Georgia.
Georgia DNR, 1997. Land Development Provisions to Protect Georgia Water Quality. Prepared
by The School of Environmental Design, The University of Georgia, October 1997 for the En-
vironmental Protection Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
U.S. EPA, 1992. Storm Water Management For Construction Activities: Developing Pollution
Prevention Plans And Best Management Practices. EPA-832-R-92-005, September 1992.
U.S. EPA, 1999. Storm Water Phase II Rule. http://www.epa.gov/owm/sw/phase2
UCCES, 2000. Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO). U. Conn. Cooperative
Extension System Storm Water Management Education Program. http://www.lib.uconn.edu/
CAN R/ces/nemo/index. html
CWP, 1996. Environmental Indicators to Assess Stormwater Control Programs and Practices.
Claytor, R.A and W.E. Brown. Center for Watershed Protection. Silverspring, MD 1996.
City of Bellevue, 1993. Water Quality Protection for Bellevue Businesses, City of Bellevue
(WA) Utility Department. October 1993.
NCTCG, 1998. Model Storm Water Ordinance. North Central Texas Council of Governments,
NRDC, 1999. Stormwater Strategies: Community Responses to Runoff Pollution. Natural Re-
sources Defense Council, 1999.
U.S. EPA, 2000. Storm Water Phase II Compliance Assistance Guide. EPA-833-R-00-002.
Note: This is a partial bibliography. Other materials are listed in the resources section of
Hands-on Activities for Students and
Other Citizen Volunteers
WHAT IS THE STREAMWALK ACTIVITY?
StreamWalk is a simple, visual stream inspection activity.
WHY DO PEOPLE ORGANIZE STREAMWALK ACTIVITIES?
* To determine the condition of a stream and the surrounding riparian area
* To educate about watersheds, water quality and pollution prevention
* To detect specific pollution problems so that they can be prioritized and corrected
* To identify sites for water quality monitoring
WHO SHOULD I INVOLVE IN A STREAMWALK ACTIVITY?
* School classes, clubs, scout troops and other young people
* Recreational stream users
* Environmental group members
* Landowners and other watershed stakeholders
* Community leaders, politicians and the media
HOW LONG SHOULD A STREAMWALK ACTIVITY BE?
StreamWalk activities are conducted for a wide range of purposes. Therefore, StreamWalk activities can vary
significantly. A StreamWalk activity for some groups such as younger school children might be as short as a few
hundred yards. A StreamWalk activity sponsored by a watershed management group or stormwater project
might involve a number of different streams and observations taken multiple times over the course of a
StreamWalk several miles long. The length of the StreamWalk should match its purpose and the interest and
physical abilities of participants.
WHAT ARE SOME PRECAUTIONS FOR CONDUCTING A STREAMWALK ACTIVITY?
* Obtain permission from landowners to cross their property
* Make sure the activity is appropriate for ages and abilities of participants
* Secure enough adult participants to supervise youthful participants
* Scout out the route of the StreamWalk in advance of the event
* Avoid severe conditions such as high water or severe cold or heat
* Know how to identify poisonous plants and prepare participants in advance of event
* Caution participants to watch out for broken glass and other sharp objects
* Remind participants to watch where they place their hands and feet in order to avoid snakebite
* Take a first-aid kit
WHAT MATERIALS ARE NEEDED FOR A STREAMWALK ACTIVITY?
* A current map area of the StreamWalk, preferably a U.S.G.S. map (a county map can be used)
* Clipboards, paper, writing instruments and a camera (a disposable waterproof camera works well)
* Suitable clothing, shoes, waders, boots, hat, insect repellant, sunscreen etc. as appropriate
* StreamWalk reporting forms (copy as many as are needed from this original)
* Water and snacks as desired (OPTIONAL)
* A first aid kit
* A backpack for carrying everything
* A walking stick (OPTIONAL)
nd a new map at this time.
.s problems or possible violations as soon as possible. For example,
r a broken sewer pipe just above a site used for swimming could be a
quality problems or concerns observed (whether they represent a vio
ve in a rural area, report problems to your county Soil and Water
live in a metropolitan area, report your findings to the stormwate
ved during the StreamWalk are caused by the actions of persons that
mmunicate with personally, inform those persons of the impacts o
iLt /FIX 7 IW XA11 -nA P
in Purpose For StreamWal
:e(s) StreamWalk Was Cot
ch Significantly Diffe
-iginal As Needed
Daytime Phone Number
Or More Forms For Each Strean
Fhat You Examine) Make Copies
tach a copy of a map with the section of the stream that you examined clearly marked along with
ation of observations or problems that you observed).
Do you see any fish in the stream? absent moderately abundant abundant
How many different types of fish do you see? one two to three more than three
Did you see any amphibians or reptiles? yes no
If the sun was directly above the stream how much of the stream would be shaded? (This question
refers to an estimate of the average amount of tree cover over the stream).
fully exposed (0-25% of the stream is shaded from the sun)
partially exposed (25-50% of the stream is shaded)
partially shaded (50-75% of the stream is shaded)
fully shaded (75-100% of the stream is shaded)
Facing upstream, how much of the stream bank is covered by plants, rocks and logs?
Stream edge to 25 feet back from stream:
Left Bank: Right Bank:
70-100% covered 70-100% covered
30-70% covered 30-70% covered
less than 30% covered less than 30% covered
25 to 100 feet back from stream:
Left Bank: Right Bank:
70-100% covered 70-100% covered
30-70% covered 30-70% covered
less than 30% covered less than 30% covered
What are the land uses in the watershed in the areas adjacent to and immediately upstream from your
sampling site? (check all uses observed).
Sfarming/crops forest residential
pasture/grazing stores/malls mining
Construction factories logging
What are the three most common land uses in the watershed (of the stream segment surveyed) in terms
of acreage involved?
1. 2. 3.
What are the local uses of the stream?
Drinking water supply recreation
Industrial water supply swimming
Are there any pipes emptying directly into or near the stream?
SYes No If yes, is there a discharge? Yes No
Are there barriers in the stream? dams bridges _woody debris waterfalls
Is there any trash in or immediately adjacent to the stream?
Absent moderately abundant abundant
Sketch the portion of the stream that was inspected on a separate sheet of paper and/or a copy of
a map or section of a map. Clearly indicate the stream location on the sketch and/or map.
Return a copy of the form, sketches and/or map as instructed previously in the StreamWalk
PUBLICATION OF THIS STREAMWALK ACTIVITY WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY
A U.S. EPA SECTION 319 NONPOINT POINT SOURCE GRANT.
kT IS A STORM DRAIN
i drain stenciling is a neighbc
ctual storm drain stenciling a
tion campaign. A successful
illy includes door-to-door nei
aign. The education campaign
why young people are stencil
That the drains connect with
ing of oil, antifreeze, fuels, p
ials in storm drains causes d&
:ns need to know that:
uge quantities of pollutants c
rough runoff or nonpoint sot
lost storm drains, contrary to
eatment systems and drain to
their activities such as overut
camping waste fluids, leaves c
uses needless pollution
DO PEOPLE ORGAN]
o educate a neighborhood or
materials into storm drains
o involve young people in an
o meet the educational requil
o help to solve an illegal dun
) IS TYPICALLY INVO
students: school classes, schoc
couts or other youth groups
itizen volunteer monitoring
nr~ifn-TPr nrrnrCm-r Cnl -1%vir
od or community awareness and
ity is but one part of a larger
m drain stenciling activity
orhood education and/or a media
:s the citizens of a community
; storm drains. It makes them
, leaves, grass clippi
ge to surface and grc
Sftrom our everyday activities
)ular belief, are NOT attached to
;ams, lakes or groundwater
Ition of fertilizer or chemicals and Educators Learn How To Stencil
-ass clippings in the gutter also Storm Drains During 1997
Nonpoint Source Institute
STORM DRAIN STENCILING ACTIVITIES?
imunity on the water quality impacts and other hazards of putting waste
icational community service project
;nt in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandated Stormwater
g problem that has been detected in a neighborhood or community
ED IN STORM DRAIN STENCILING ACTIVITIES?
ps and watei
* Writing, layout and reproduction of printed materials
* Obtaining materials for stenciling
* Conducting the pre-stenciling education activity
* Conducting pre-stenciling safety training for adults and young people
* Arranging for placement of traffic cones or men-working signs by the local public works department when
appropriate for safety
WHAT ITEMS ARE NEEDED FOR STORM DRAIN STENCILING?
* A map or maps of the neighborhood or community
* Paint (a CFC free aerosol can of traffic-zone latex paint, one can will do about 20 stencils)
* Broom or whisk broom
* Wire brush
* Safety vests
* Traffic cones, traffic flag
* Cardboard box (for overspray shield)
* Cleanup rags and bags
CHECKLIST FOR THE WEEK PRIOR TO THE EVENT:
SHave flyers or door hangers been distributed in the neighborhoods) or are they ready for distribution?
SHas written permission been received?
SHave sufficient adult safety volunteers (traffic watchers) been trained and assigned?
SAre all supplies on hand and organized for the groups that will participate?
Have local media sources been contacted and invited to cover the event?
SHave participants teams of 4 to 6 (each with an adult traffic watcher) been organized?
SIs there a plan for postponing the event if the weather is unsuitable (a phone tree, meeting place etc.)?
WATCH THE WEATHER
If the pavement is not dry, if rain is likely, if it is very windy or if the air temperature is not above 50 degrees,
reschedule. Also, if it is very windy, reschedule. The purpose of stenciling is not to have paint running into the
storm drains or to spray nearby cars due to drift. If there is any wind at all, avoid painting near parked vehicles
and utilize a large box (2 to 3 feet tall) folded flat as a shield to avoid overspray.
WORK IN TEAMS
Teams of 4 to 6 work well for storm drain stenciling. Two persons can prepare the area to be painted, two to four
can secure the stencil while one applies the paint and one can be the traffic lookout. These jobs can be rotated
periodically for maximum enjoyment.
TIPS FOR APPLYING STENCILS
* Remind stencilers beforehand to wear old clothes. They might also want to wear rubber gloves, plastic bags
over shoes, and protective eyewear.
* Scrub the area briskly with a wire brush and remove loose dirt with a broom or whisk broom.
* Lay the stencil on the sidewalk, street or manhole cover.
* One or two people can hold the stencil flat or bricks or rocks work well as weights on the covers.
* When using spray paint, shake the can for one full minute. Hold the can 6 to 8 inches from the stencil and
use a series of back and forth motions to spray one line at a time until the letters are uniformly covered.
DON'T USE TOO MUCH PAINT it will run underneath and blur the letters. (Paint rollers can be utilized
but are much more difficult to use. Excess paint must be frequently struck from rollers. Paint rollers should
only be used by adults).
* When the paint application is finished, carefully lift the
stencil up off the surface. If the stencil is not clearly
readable do not attempt to wipe it off and try again!
That will only make a bigger mess. Learn from your
small mistakes simply try to use less paint the next
time. Your purpose is to get the message out not to ,
create a work of art.
* After all stenciling is finished, lay stencils out flat to
dry in a warm, dry place for a day or so.When the
paint is completely dry Mylar stencils can be gently
rolled to chip off excess paint. This works best if the
paint does not build up too thick between cleaning.
The primary purpose for storm drain stenciling is to create public awareness of the street to waterbody and street
to groundwater connections. Your distribution of flyers, the storm drain stencils and media coverage of your
project should have increased public awareness of the connection. Once that connection has been made and the
citizens in a community realize the impacts of their activities, the increased level of public awareness can and
hopefully will create a ripple effect. That ripple effect might include formation of local groups that do stream
cleanup, streambank or wetlands restoration. Increased awareness might lead to formation of a new Alabama
Water Watch group in the community.
For both classroom and informal educators, stenciling is an effective community service project that combines
learning with environmental studies, civics, and language arts, especially if students research the subject and
create their own flyers. Some cities have involved young people in youth-at-risk programs in storm drain
stenciling. Action projects empower young people!
REPORT YOUR ACTIVITIES
The Alabama Nonpoint Source Education Program Coordinator is interested in knowing what successes you
have with storm drain stenciling in your neighborhood or community. The NPS Education Program wants to
recognize outstanding education and pollution reduction efforts. The NPS Education Program can also benefit by
capturing volunteer time for part of the match required by U.S. EPA Section 319 NPS grants.
RELATED WATER QUALITY ACTIVITIES FOR CITIZENS WHO WANT TO DO MORE
There are a number of activities available for citizens who want to do more to improve and protect water
quality in the community. These activities include:
* StreamWalk, a visual stream assessment activity. Contact Mike Mullen at 334-670-3624 or e-mail him at
mmullen @trojan.troyst.edu to request a copy.
* Adopt-A-Stream, a stream crossing clean up program of Alabama PALS (People Against A Littered State).
Contact Alabama PALS at 334-263-7737 for information.
* Alabama Water Watch Program, Alabama's citizen volunteer monitoring program. Contact Alabama Water
Watch at 334-844-4785 or 888-844-4785 for information about upcoming training workshops.
* Alabama Water Watch Association, the Association is the citizen arm of the Alabama Water Watch
Program. Citizens do not have to be monitors to support the Association although many members are
* Soil Watch, a program that prepares citizens to recognize and report erosion and sedimentation problems, is
being designed at the present time and will be available in the future.
* In areas with Stormwater Management Permit Programs there are excellent opportunities for citizen
involvement. All of these stormwater programs are required to have an education component. These
programs should be interested in involving citizens in water quality education and monitoring efforts.
SOURCES FOR STENCILS
Storm drain stencils can be made locally or they can be purchased from a commercial source. Stencils can be
made from cardboard or Mylar. Mylar stencils can be used over and over again if care is taken to clean and store
them after use. Cardboard stencils are less durable. One commercial source for storm drain stencils is Earthwater
Stencils, 4425 140th Avenue SW, Rochester, WA 98579-9703. Phone 360-956-3774; Fax 360-956-7133.
Generic Drains To Stream, Drains To Lake, Drains To Ground Water stencils are available. Custom stencils
with your organization's name can also be supplied.
Please find time to complete and send the following form along with a copy of your education materials with
photocopies of any newspaper articles or other information you would like to include. Please send to: Michael
William Mullen, Alabama NPS Education Coordinator, CERS, Troy State University, Troy, AL 36082.
Phone Number: FAX Number
Date Stenciling Took Place:
Estimated Number of Storm Drains Stenciled:
Number of Adults Participating:
Number of Young People Participating:
Local Organizations Contributing To The Project
Were Any Signs Of Dumping Of Wastes Into Storm Drains Observed During The Activity? Yes No
If So, Were These Reported To The Local Utility Department? Yes No
In Your Opinion Has The Storm Drain Stenciling Activity Created Awareness That Will Lead To Other
Community Water Resource Protection Activities? Yes No
PUBLICATION OF THIS STORM DRAIN STENCILING ACTIVITY WAS
MADE POSSIBLE BY A U.S. EPA SECTION 319 NPS GRANT.
Dothan Stormwater Data
Dothan Storm Water Project Sampling Sites
Site Characteristics Site Name Site Location
Agriculture Row Crop Lonsdale Field, Lonsdale Road Inside City Limits
Light Industrial Site Kraft Road Storm Drain Serving Light Industry
Residential Site Chapelwood Subdivision Around 15 Years Old
Low-Traffic Commercial Winn-Dixie New Winn Dixie Strip Mall
Parking Lot Parking Lot Drain
Moderate to High Traffic Wiregrass Large Shopping Mall Parking Lot
Parking Lot Commons
Grab samples were collected from these sites as soon as possible after the onset of precipitation
and initiation of runoff from these sites. Employees of the City of Dothan Public Works Depart-
ment collected storm water samples. These employees work locations were at two nearby
wastewater treatment facilities. The employees involved were trained to collect samples in their
everyday roles as wastewater treatment facility plant workers.
TDS (mg/L) 37 204 64 97 30 81 85.5 30 204
BOD (mg/L) 18.9 2.86 6.79 17.8 7.9 6.79 10.173 2.9 18.9
pH (S.U.) 6.95 9.04 7.1 7.01 6.42 6.42 7.1567 6.42 9.04
TKN (mg/L) 6.92 0.69 1.44 3.75 1.8 0.95 2.5917 0.69 6.92
Total Phosphorus (mg/L) 0.91 0.41 0.69 1.34 0.45 0.13 0.655 0.13 1.34
Ortho Phosphorus (mg/L) 0.79 0.12 0.16 0.49 0.07 0.04 0.2783 0.04 0.79
Total Nitrogen 7.12 0.77 1.69 4.08 4.05 2.21 3.32 0.77 7.12
Nitrate + Nitrite (mg/L) 0.2 0.08 0.25 0.33 2.25 1.26 0.7283 0.08 2.25
COD (mg/L) 445 7.01 78.1 115 51.4 149 140.92 7.01 445
Lead (mg/L) 0.26 0.15 <0.12 0.12 <0.15 <0.18 0.0883 <0.12 0.26
Cadmium (mg/L) 0.02 <0.01 <0.01 0.01 0.03 <0.02 0.01 <0.01 0.03
Chromium (mg/L) 0.18 <0.12 <0.13 <0.11 <0.13 <0.18 0.03 <.11 0.18
Iron (mg/L) 118 4.13 31.6 4.7 12.9 2.02 28.892 2.02 118
Oil & Grease (mg/L) <1.0 <1 <1 <1 <1 <1 0 <1 <1
Cyanide (mg/L) <0.02 <0.02 0.01 <0.01 <0.02 <0.02 0.0017 <0.01 0.01
Fecal Coli. (N/100ML) 48000 500 470 850 32800029000 67803 470 328000
Rainfall for month (in) 4.75 8.8 7.1 7.5
Rainfall for day of event (in) 0.75 3.1 1.1 0.9
Data From the Kraft Road Storm Water Sampling Site
10/24/97 11/12/97 12/3/97 1/22/98 3/5/98 6/6/98 6/23/98 8/16/98 9/21/98 12/8/99
TSS (mg/L) 14.4 7 7.5 48 156 22 7.5 15.5 34 49
TDS (mg/L) 77 37 73 36 100 67 435 2135 35 50
BOD (mg/L) 38 9.89 3.62 23.7 62.2 6.67 9.75 6.62 <2 12.7
pH (S.U.) 6.24 6.4 6.75 6.84 7.44 4.76 7.16 7.95 6.97 7
TKN (mg/L) 3.95 1.61 0.33 1.99 2.13 1.06 4.22 0.83 0.59 2.23
Total Phosphorus (mg/L) 0.36 0.1 0.012 0.52 0.35 0.22 0.06 0.34 0.07 0.29
Ortho Phosphorus (mg/L) 0.2 0.03 0.04 0.22 0.2 0.19 0.01 0.2 <0.02 0.18
Total Nitrogen 5.67 2.96 0.45 2.87 3.07 2.35 1.56 3.05
nitrate + nitrite (mg/L) 1.72 1.35 0.12 0.88 0.94 2.94 17.4 1.52 0.97 0.82
COD (mg/L) 194 36.5 36.5 113 222 185 184 53 149 74.7
Lead (mg/L) <0.10 0.15 0.1 <0.12 0.15 0.12 0.13 0.1 <0.18 0.16
Cadmium (mg/L) < 0.01 0.01 0.01 < 0.01 0.01 0.01 <0.01 0.01 <0.02 0.01
Chromium (mg/L) <0.14 <0.12 0.5 <0.13 <0.11 <0.15 <0.2 <0.05 <0.18 <0.04
Iron (mg/L) 13.3 2.31 0.42 0.85 6.7 0.47 0.72 0.81 0.64 1.27
Oil & Grease (mg/L) 50.4 2.36 3.44 1.54 26.5 2.41 <1 1.5 <1 6.63
Cyanide (mg/L) < 0.02 < 0.02 < 0.0100.01 < 0.01 <0.02 <0.02 <0.02 <0.02 <0.02
Fecal Coli. (N/100ML) 3700 2700 170 8000 43 10000 0 700 16000 5400
Rainfall for month (in) 4.75 8.8 8.6 7.1 7.5
Rainfall for day of event (in) 0.75 3.1 1.1 0.9
I k1 I IV/ 1 1) 1.d C-%i \UJ I I\%J I U'r- I V UUJ I C-%i I I -
TDS (mg/L) 181 90 72 37 56 170 124 29 49
BOD (mg/L) 24 9.8 10.1 13 8.4 28.6 25.3 13 12.1
pH (S.U.) 8.3 6.24 7.1 7.65 5.85 6.24 7.04 7.2 6.74
TKN (mg/L) 1.71 1.6 0.98 2.19 1.51 5.25 3.84 3.93 1.6
Total Phosphorus (mg/L) 0.25 0.24 0.19 0.18 0.26 0.44 0.25 0.46 0.21
Ortho Phosphorus (mg/L) 0.19 0.12 0.05 0.05 0.06 0.41 0.17 0.17 0.1
Total Nitrogen 2.99 2.51 2.07 3.49 2.24 9.51 6.84 6.27 3.61
Nitrate + Nitrite (mg/L) 1.28 0.91 1.09 1.3 0.73 4.26 3 2.34 2.01
COD (mg/L) 175 46.1 82.4 153 295 214 235 118 83.2
Lead (mg/L) <0.1 0.11 0.1 <0.12 0.11 0.13 0.14 <0.12 0.1
Cadmium (mg/L) 0.01 <0.01 0.006 <0.13 <0.01 <0.01 <0.01 0.01 0.01
Chromium (mg/L) <0.14 <0.12 1.4 <0.13 <0.11 <0.15 <0.18 <0.18 <0.05
Iron (mg/L) 0.21 0.24 0.45 1.01 0.9 0.44 0.93 1.08 1
Oil & Grease (mg/L) 4.81 1.06 1.31 1.6 1.92 1.05 2.94 <1 <1
Cyanide (mg/L) <0.02 0.03 <0.01 0.011 <0.01 <0.02 <0.02 0.02 <0.02
Fecal Coli. (N/100ML) 290 90 290 170 200 10040 1000 1000 12800
Rainfall for month (in) 4.75 8.8 8.6 7.1 7.5
Rainfall for day of event (in) 0.75 3.1 1.1 0.9
Data From the Winn Dixie Storm Water Sampling Site
10/24/97 11/12/97 12/3/97 1/22/98 3/5/98 6/5/98 6/25/98 7/16/98 8/16/98
TSS (mg/L) 84 94 44 7 22 29 11 17 24
TDS (mg/L) 190 52 131 29 92 478 392 33 78
BOD (mg/L) 68 7.5 5.47 3.5 <2 51.9 12.3 4.65 9.05
pH (S.U.) 5.5 7.42 7.6 7.79 7.7 7.24 6.37 7.3 7.18
TKN (mg/L) 4.05 0.81 1.02 0.66 0.13 4.5 2.87 0.74 0.34
Total Phosphorus (mg/L) 0.74 0.12 0.16 0.05 0.04 0.24 0.18 0.09 0.1
Ortho Phosphorus (mg/L) 0.42 0.03 0.03 <0.02 <0.02 0.19 0.08 0.02 0.05
Total Nitrogen 5.73 1.29 2.15 1.05 0.2 9.59 5.89 2.4 2.45
Nitrate + Nitrite (mg/L) 1.68 0.48 1.13 0.39 0.07 5.09 3.02 1.66 2.11
COD (mg/L) 324 69.9 117 45.2 7.19 651 66.5 44.4 85.6
Lead (mg/L) 0.11 0.12 0.14 <0.12 0.12 0.14 <0.14 0.12 0.11
Cadmium (mg/L) <0.01 <0.01 0.006 <0.01 0.01 <0.01 <0.01 0.02 0.01
Chromium (mg/L) <0.14 <0.12 1.39 <0.13 <0.11 <0.15 <0.18 <0.18 <0.05
Iron (mg/L) 0.72 0.83 1.04 0.2 0.19 0.64 0.22 0.17 0.71
Oil & Grease (mg/L) 1.52 3.53 3.23 <1 <1 3.78 <1 2.48 <1
Cyanide (mg/L) <0.02 <0.02 <0.010 0.051 <0.01 <0.02 <0.02 <0.02 <0.02
Fecal Coli. (N/100ML) 6600 120 920 270 0 650 170 300 1200
Rainfall for month (in) 4.75 8.8 8.6 7.1 7.5
Rainfall for day of event (in) 0.75 3.1 1.1 0.9
Total Phosphorus (mg/L)
Ortho Phosphorus (mg/L)
Nitrate + Nitrite (mg/L)
Oil & Grease (mg/L)
Fecal Coli. (N/100ML)
Rainfall for month (in)
Rainfall for day of event (in)
Data From the Wiregrass Commons Mall Storm Water Sampling Site
10/24/97 11/12/97 12/3/97 1/22/98 3/5/98 6/6/98 7/16/98 9/21/98 2/17/99 3/9/99 Average Min. Max.
13 30 3.5 3 62 20.5 18 16 25 2 19.3 2 62
170 64 121 47 54 41 39 33 85 4 65.8 4 170
25 7.33 10.8 2.12 8.46 4 7.7 2.06 7.99 2.38 7.784 2.1 25
7.4 5.74 6.32 5.4 6.13 6.26 7.3 7.02 7.16 6.95 6.568 5.4 7.4
2.98 1.94 1.2 0.84 0.34 1.42 1.73 0.93 2.03 0.37 1.378 0.34 2.98
0.13 0.16 0.13 0.05 0.09 0.21 0.12 0.07 0.13 0.03 0.112 0.03 0.21
0.1 0.08 0.05 <0.02 0.03 0.14 0.06 <0.02 0.06 0.02 0.054 <0.02 0.14
5.04 3.26 2.41 1.92 2.08 3.81 5.21 3.3 3.78 1.02 3.183 1.02 5.21
2.06 1.32 1.21 1.08 1.74 2.39 3.48 2.37 1.75 0.65 1.805 0.65 3.48
139 59.9 50.5 37.9 80.4 160 56.5 147 45.4 13.7 79.03 13.5 160
<0.10 0.16 0.11 <0.12 0.13 0.12 0.12 <0.18 3.14 <0.08 0.378 <0.08 3.14
<0.01 0.01 0.006 <0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 <0.02 0.03 0.01 0.0086 0.006 0.03
<0.14 <0.12 0.73 <0.13 <0.11 <0.15 <0.18 <0.18 <0.04 <0.06 0.073 <0.04 0.73
0.21 0.63 0.17 0.15 0.42 0.1 0.21 1.08 1.42 0.14 0.453 0.1 1.42
0.43 1.64 1.09 <1.0 <1.0 <1 <1 <1 <1 <1 0.316 <1 1.64
<0.02 0.02 0.031 <0.01 <0.01 <0.02 <0.02 <0.02 <0.02 <0.02 0.0051
5000 360 270 8 0 5080 4000 5000 20 35 1977.3