The Village of Algonquin, IL

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Stormwater Information

In 1987, Amendments were made to the Clean Water Act requiring municipalities to obtain a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency as part of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) This permit, commonly referred to as "NPDES Phase II" requires municipalities the size of Algonquin to meet specific requirements for storm water discharge. Included under the Storm Water Phase II regulations are municipalities that are located in urban areas as defined by the Census Bureau. These municipalities are required to obtain NPDES permit coverage of discharges from their municipal separate storm sewer systems.

What is the problem?

Today, non-point source pollution remains the Nation's leading source of water quality problems. Approximately 40 percent of surveyed rivers, streams, lakes, and estuaries are not clean enough to meet requirements for basic uses such as fishing or swimming.

Storm water runoff is the most common cause of water pollution. As rainwater, snowmelt, and irrigation water runs off streets, lawns, farms, and construction sites, it picks up dirt, oil and grease, fertilizers, pesticides, and many other chemicals and pollutants and carries it back into surface bodies of water. These pollutants can eventually end up contaminating groundwater supplies and our drinking water.

 Storm water runoff is unlike many point source causes of water pollution. Because storm water pollution is caused by so many different activities, it is impossible to control with traditional regulatory policies. Many activities contribute to storm water pollution including: agriculture, forestry, animal grazing, recreational boating, urban runoff, and construction. Everyone can play a role in reducing pollution caused from storm water runoff making education and outreach vital components to any successful storm water pollution prevention program.

Causes of Storm Water Pollution

·         Storm Water drain photo

·         Soil and other sediment carried by flowing water.

·         Yard waste

·         Home improvement waste

·         Litter

·         Household cleaners

·         Dirt and gravel

·         Animal waste

·         Paint

·         Automobile products

·         Pesticides and fertilizers

What You Can Do

·         Conserve water. Watering your lawn, washing your car, or using excessive amounts of water in any other way only contributes more water that will run off and enter lakes and rivers with all the pollutants it has picked up and carried along the way.

·         Keep litter, pet wastes, leaves, and debris out of street gutters and storm drains. These outlets flow directly into creeks, streams, retention ponds, and the Fox River.

·         Apply lawn and garden chemicals sparingly and according to directions

·         Dispose of used oil, antifreeze, paints, and other household chemicals properly, not in the storm drains. Both Algonquin Township and the McHenry County Solid Waste Department hold frequent recycling and disposal events.

·         Clean up spilled brake fluid, oil, grease, and antifreeze. Do not hose them into the street. Any chemical spilled or dumped in the street will be washed by rainwater into the storm drain and eventually streams, rivers, and retention ponds.

·         Purchase household detergents and cleaners that are low in phosphorous to reduce the amount of nutrients discharged into creeks, streams, retention ponds, and the Fox River. Excessive nutrient levels are extremely harmful to aquatic ecosystems.

What the Village is Doing

 The Village municipal code (Section 12.10 of the Village of Algonquin Municipal Code) prohibits the discharge of any non-storm water flow into a storm water facility. Examples of such illicit discharges include: sanitary wastewater, effluent from septic tanks, car wash wastewater, improper oil and paint disposal, laundry wastewater, spills from roadway accidents and improper disposal of household or auto toxins.

 The Village defines storm water facilities as all ditches, channels, conduits, bridges, culverts, levees, ponds, natural and man-made impoundments, wetlands, riparian environments, tiles, swales, sewers, or other natural or artificial structures or measures which serve as a means of draining surface water and ground water from land.

Frequently-Asked Questions

What is Storm water runoff?

Storm water runoff is rain water, melted snow, or irrigation water that runs off the land, flows through gutters, storm drains, and eventually enters lakes, rivers, streams and ponds. This water not treated. As the water travels across the land, it picks up and carries pollutants from the land into the water. This results in the degradation of water quality in lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds.

 

What causes storm water pollution?

 

Storm water pollution is caused by the daily activities of people everywhere. Rainwater and snowmelt runs off streets, lawns, farms, and construction sites carrying with it soil, fertilizers, chemicals, oil, and many other pollutants that cause water pollution.

 

Who else is covered under Phase II?

 

All construction activities disturbing one or more acres to less than five acres of land must receive an NPDES permit prior to any earthmoving activities. Construction activities include but are not limited to: road building, construction of residential or commercial buildings, industrial sites, and demolition of existing structures.

 

Are sewers the same as storm water drains?

 

Sewers and storm drains are not the same thing. Sewers collect wastewater from indoor plumbing such as toilets, sinks, washing machines and floor drains. Sewer water is treated at the Wastewater Treatment Plant before it is discharged to the Fox River. Storm drains transport rainwater, which is not treated before it is discharged to local water bodies.

 

Why is yard waste a pollutant?

 

As yard clippings and leaves decompose, they deplete water of dissolved oxygen that aquatic species, including fish, need to survive.

 

 

What is an illegal discharge?

 

Any non-permitted or non-exempt discharge, such as dumping motor oil, chemicals, or any other material which is potentially harmful to the environment into the storm water system is considered an illegal discharge and is illegal.

 

What is an illicit connection?

 

Any physical connection to the storm drain system not expressly authorized by the Village is considered and illicit connection and is prohibited.

 

What do I do if I see someone dumping materials into the storm drain?

 

Contact the Village of Algonquin Public Works Department at 847-658-2700. Please write down the address where you saw the pollutants being dumped, and if possible, what pollutants are being dumped and the approximate quantity.


Associated Documents