Title: Trends in Stormwater Management
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00000721/00001
 Material Information
Title: Trends in Stormwater Management
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Trends in Stormwater Management, May 2, 1986
General Note: Box 7, Folder 1 ( Vail Conference 1987 - 1987 ), Item 114
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00000721
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

American Society of Civil Engineers
Tampa, Florida
Nay 2, 1986

Trends in Stormwater Management
L. H. Buddy Blain
Blain & Cone, P.A.

1. Decentralization.

Storawater regulation has almost completed the

first step in a two-step process of

decentralization. Regulation has moved from

the state regulation under DER to regional

regulation under the water management

districts. Local regulation is the next step.

Originally, DER was given the responsibility

of regulating stormwater in the Environmental

Reorganization Act of 1975 (Chapter 75-22,

Laws of Florida). DER was authorized to

delegate its water quality functions to

financially and technically capable water

management districts; with the delegated

powers to be carried out in accordance with

DER rules. In February 1982, seven years

later DER delegated stormwater responsibility

to South Florida Water Management District.

By reference it delegated to South Florida the

authority to continue enforcing its own rules
which it had been doing since 1976. However,

DER did not delegate storawater powers to any

other district until after 1983, when the

legislature, in the 1983 Water Quality

Assurance Act (Chapter 83-310, Laws of

Florida), ordered DER to delegate stormwater

duties to South Florida and Southwest Florida

no later than October 1, 1984. The

legislature also mandated delegation, by

October 1, 1984, to any other qualified

districts. However, only South Florida and

Southwest Florida received the delegation. In

1984, the legislature made delegation

permissive rather than mandatory. Warren S.

Henderson Wetlands Protection Act (Chapter 84-

79, Laws of Florida). Suwannee River and St.

Johns River began their stormwater programs

this year. Each has separate rules. St.

Johns is a hybrid version of DER's 17-25.

Suwannee's is quite different and Northwest is

different from that. Only SWFWND has the pure


The next trend is for local government
regulation of stormwater systems. Legislation

has been proposed to require that local

government plans include stormwatel planning.

The proposed legislation, would allow water

management districts to delegate a coordinated

program of stormuater management regulation

and surface water management regulation,

contingent upon approval by the Secretary of

DER. House Bill 242 is not expected to be

enacted, however, as environmental interest

groups and DER oppose the bill on the ground

that it is too weak. They are calling it the

"Dirty Water Bill."

2. Consolidation.
Another trend is the consolidation of

stormwater regulation with other water quality

programs and with water quantity regulation.

Traditionally, stormwater has been viewed as a

non-point (indirect) source of pollution of

surface water. Other DER water quality

programs focus on direct (point) discharges to

surface water or groundwater. For example,

stormwater discharges to groundwater are

regulated under DER's general program of

direct (-point") groundwater discharges.

Recently, however, the trend is toward
consolidation of stormwater programs with

other water quality regulation. For example,

Chapter 85-154, Laws of Florida, requires that

South Florida, by July 1, 1986, adopt

performance criteria for stormwater discharge

to groundwater.

South Florida and Suwannee River have

consolidated their storswater and surface

water programs. Southwest Florida, which uses

the DER storawater rule in its stormwater

permitting program, is working on

consolidating its storawater and surface water


Proposed House Bill 242 reflects the trend

toward consolidation of water quality and

water quantity programs for the protection of

both ground water and surface water. For

example, the proposed legislation would

require that DER issue sotrwater performance

standards for "quality and quantity impacts of

storuwater management systems on surface and

ground waters'. (HB 242, Section 9.)

Also, water management districts' ability to

delegate to local governments would depend on

development of a coordinated program of
surface water management and stormwater


3. Retrofitting and Long Term Operation/

Maintenance Responsibility.

The trend on the horizon is retrofitting of
existing systems. A companion trend is the

move toward restricting long term operation
and maintenance of stormwater systems to local

governments or other public agencies.

Traditionally, stormwater regulation has
applied only to new stormwater systems.
Within the Southwest and Northwest Districts,

only new stormeater facilities need stormwater

permits. Existing facilities need permits
only for modifications that will increase the
systems' load, output, or amount of pollution
discharge. Within the St. Johns District,

there is a similar attitude toward existing

systems. The Suwannee River District has

taken a step closer to retrofitting in its

1986 rule that exempts existing systems from
permitting so long as they are not a "danger

to the public health or safety,* which is not
defined. (Rule 408-4.1070(1)lei.) Suwannee

River also encourages gradual and voluntary

retrofitting or improvement of existing
systems, by allowing use of alternative

performance standards for "redevelopment or
upgrading of existing systems.' (Rule 40B-

Someone has coined the term WIMP Water

Improvement Management Program. Everyone
should have one; a state WIMP; regional WIMPs;
local WIMPs.

The developing trend toward mandatory
improvement of existing systems has been

temporarily halted. House Bill 242 does not

contain any retrofit requirements, although
earlier versions of the bill did require

retrofitting. These provisions were deleted

as a result of cost concerns expressed by

local government lobbyists; for example, a
Hillsborough County lobbyist was reported as

saying that the retrofit requirement would
cost'the county $600 million over the next 15
years. Environmental lobbyists and DER
lobbyists are greatly displeased with

deletion of the retrofit requirement and

predict defeat of the bill. The bill does

mandate a DER study of existing systems and a

report to the 1987 legislature. The bill

passed the House Natural Resources Committee

recently and has been sent to the House

Appropriations Committee.

The retrofit controversy brings to the surface

the basic conflict between the dream that all

storowater be contained and treated, and the

reality of cost. Forced upgrading of
existing systems would present tremendous

engineering challenges, especially with

changes in groundwater protection rules.

Upgrading an existing system that discharges
to a sole source aquifer would mean treating

the storowater to primary drinking water
standards. This could be so expensive as to
be impossible. This leads toward the

companion trend of retrofitting who will own

and operate stormwater systems? With
increased regulation, who wants to who can
afford to? Last year, DER issued new.rules
specifying entities acceptable for long term

ownership, operation, and maintenance of
storowater systems. (Rule 17-25.027.) Most

stormwater rules encourage private developers
to turn storowater systems over to local
government or public agencies, and House Bill
242 contains provisions that would continue

the trend toward local governmental ownership
and operation of all storowater systems.

The really basic trend is toward increased
regulation and greater costs. Regulation

itself is costly. Southwest District, for

example, has averaged 80-90 MSSW applications

a month plus the stormwater application.

Someone said 195-200 applications per month,
has had difficulty handling the workload.
Mandatory retrofitting would again increase

the burden of the regulator and the cost to
the storowater system operator, private or

public. All this means greater expenses for
all of us. Completely apart from all these

trends, simply to fund its own stormwater

systems, the City of Tampa is proposing a new
stormwater drainage fee. The expected $12.9
million per year will pay for street sweeping,
upkeep of retention ponds, maintenance of
drainage ditches, and some new construction.

L. 3a

It appears that the real trend is towards the
cleanest possible storwater, regardless of
the costs.

This is going to become much more complex when
they adopt the new G-I ground water rule and

apply it strictly to such things as retention

Finally, let me just tell about a client
wanting to put a golf course on some 200 acres of
land which his father had left him.
*Buddy', he said, *I thought it would be
worth my $100.00 to get your opinion up front on
how to go about this."
We looked over the project, and gave him
this verbatim report.
M a, I sard, 'there are a few things you

need to know. First of all, the site will need to
be characterized. Now this won't hurt it, but it

will cost you a few dollars."

*What do you mean characterizedd'?', he

'Well, you need to know how much land and

how much water you've got and what kind of land
and what kind of water.*
He looked at me in a way I haven't been

looked at for a while and said "Buddy, I am not

sure I get your drift.'
Well. R3, let me put it to you this way.

What you have is land and water and probably scme

aquatic vegetation. For all we know, your land
may contain hydric soils. In addition, the plants

and water say be wetlands. They may be isolated
wetlands or they may be directly connected to
waters of the state, to their landward extent,
that is. You'll probably have to get a permit

from the DER. If you are going to alter the land,
you'll need a land clearing permit from the
county, a SWFWkD permit for the control and

management of surface waters, and a stormwater

'Have you given any thought to the

proportion of impervious surfaces you want?"
*"No, I guess I haven't."
-If the storawster permit involves

dredging or filling, or if it involves using

wetlands for treatment, it may be an reception to

the DUR delegation of stormwater permitting to

*What do you mean treatment?', he said.

"All I want to do is build a little golf course.*

*J, you're planning to construct a
pollution source. You're proposing to drain
wetlands and to dig up wtlands, destroying
habitat, eliminating the filtration function of
aquatic vegetation, allowing untreated storuwter
to flow into waters of the state and to altering

the hydroperiod of the headwaters of Fairway
*Gosh, Buddy* he said, "How about if we

just dam up that old ditch and keep everything
right there on our property?"
'Not so fat., RJ. You're talking about an
on-site storwater retention system using isolated
wetlnds for treatment. Furthermore, you may ell

be causing a direct discharge into groundwater,

maybe *ven G-I groundwater. To do that, of
course, you will have to meet primary and

secondary drinking water standards outside a zone

of discharge. Are you prepared to do that?"
*tone of discharge? I thought I would

just make a little pond out of it.*

"tJ, you are going to have to pick up some
of this new terminology. If any golfers spill
beer or if you fertilize the golf course, or spray
to keep bugs from it, those pollutants could
destroy Florida's whole drinking water supply.
You are going to have to install some monitoring
wells, upgradient and downgradient from your point
of discharge to determine the direction of
groundwater migration and the shape of any
leochate plue. If anything shows up in these
wells, of course particularly any exceodances of
the maximum contaminant levels, you'll have to

clean it up. Of course, we could help you out it
that happens.*
*We believe by combining the dredge and

fill and stormater permit using wetlands for
treatment, with the control and management of
surface waters along with the county's drainage,
flood plain and site plan review ordinances, in

keeping with the recreational element of the
county's comprehensive plan, which, I can assure

you is not inconsistent with either the regional
or the state plans, at least with respect to that
item, I think it should be pretty such smooth

sailing from here on in. Thanks for dropping by."

6. 33

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