What is Stormwater runoff? Stormwater runoff is rainwater that does not soak into the surface on which it falls, but rather runs along the surface downhill. It is commonly associated with urban areas because of the increase in impervious surfaces (rooftops, driveways, roads), which impede water from infiltrating (soaking into) the ground. Stormwater picks up and carries pollutants, like sediment, trash, toxins, nutrients, and pathogens, to our streams and rivers. Why is Stormwater important? Stormwater does not go to the wastewater treatment facility. It goes straight into our streams and rivers. A typical city block generates 5 times more runoff than a forested area of the same size (EPA). Excess Stormwater runoff erodes stream banks, increases flooding, and damages miles of aquatic habitat while pushing pollutants into streams and rivers. Increased nutrients can fuel the growth of algal blooms and low oxygen dead zones. Excess sediment can block sunlight from underwater grasses, suffocate fish, and reduce visibility for fish to find food. Toxins like pesticides and oil can harm the health of humans, pets, and wildlife. Many chemicals (like Mercury) can’t be secreted and bio accumulate inside animals. What can I do? Pick up your dog’s poop! (Even in your own yard) Keep chemicals, cleaning goods, and appliances covered and protected from rain. Start a rain garden! Use rain barrels to collect water and lower the volume of Stormwater runoff. Create and maintain riparian buffers, especially along streams (planting trees, removing weeds/invasive plants)
Instead of washing your car in your driveway, take it to a commercial carwash or wash on your lawn so grass can help filter the wastewater. Dump dirty mop water and wash paint brushes in the sink or in a grassy area. If you need to dispose of oil-based paint, contact Anderson County Solid Waste at (865) 463 – 6945 Collect your grass clippings after mowing your lawn and/or blow them off the road (Including leaves in the fall) If you see anyone who may be polluting the Stormwater system you can anonymously report them at (865) 425 – 3497, email stormwater@oakridgetn.gov, or on the Report Pollution page (/report-pollution) Visit our Best Management Practices page for more ideas on how to keep our streams and rivers healthy! Stormwater Program in Oak Ridge In August 2013, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) notified the City of Oak Ridge that the City meets the evaluation criteria for inclusion into the Phase II MS4 Program. The City was required to fill out and return a Notice of Intent (NOI) for coverage under the General Phase II MS4 Permit by March 1, 2014. City staff prepared and submitted the NOI on February 27, 2014. TDEC issue a Notice of Coverage (NOC) on March 23, 2014. The NPDES Tracking Number is TNS088366. Oak Ridge City Council approved funding for the Stormwater Program for FY 2015. City staff is currently working on the first year program tasks as identified in the NOI Year 1 milestones. Web updates will be provided periodically on opportunities for citizen program input, public meetings and status of completing milestone tasks. Appendix to the NOI are not included, but can be viewed at the Public Works Department, Engineering Office. Helpful Links and Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

Best Management Practices 

Rain Garden Resources

Rain Barrel Information

Notice of Intent

Notice of Coverage

Educational Stormwater Videos

What is stormwater?

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