Pollution is carried in rainwater. When it rains all the rainwater that is not absorbed into the ground (or evaporated) carries any contaminants that may be distributed on lawns, streets, roofs, and parking lots and straight to the waters surrounding the island either directly over the beaches or street ends or through pipes or wells. Pollution reduction and treatment is needed to reduce the amount of contamination flowing into the nearshore waters in which we swim and fish.
Goal of Stormwater Piping
Reducing the amount of water in the streets was the original use of stormwater piping. Because of rigorous design standards, the Clean Water Act, and state and local codes we are required to reduce the pollutant load to our waters, which are the best in the state categorized as "Outstanding Florida Waters". Therefore our stormwater program is now two-fold, with the goal of reducing flooding and standing water as well as reducing the amount of pollutants getting to the system and then treating the contaminates that do enter the system. The City’s Generic Permit for Discharge of Stormwater from Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4 GP) contains a five-year plan indicating how the city will comply with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). As of January 15, 2005 the City was required to operate under this permit.
The requirements for NPDES are stringent and therefore there is a strong emphasis on education and public participation throughout the initial five years. The goal of the program, which stems from the Clean Water Act of 1972, is to eliminate pollutant discharges into American waters.
The City immediately took action to implement the elements outlined in the plan. Although the city has taken great strides in recent years to reduce illicit discharges, we welcome this opportunity to further develop systems and educational elements that will improve our Outstanding Florida Waters. Highlights of the program are:
- Construction site best management practice ordinance and inspection
- Detection and elimination of illicit discharges through inspection and codes
- Each element of the permit has measurable goals and schedules for implementation
- Municipal operation pollution prevention and good housekeeping
- Private property infrastructure inspection and maintenance requirements
- Public education and outreach
- Public participation in ordinance revisions and clean-ups