Stormwater is rain or snowmelt that falls on streets, parking areas, rooftops and other developed land and is not absorbed into the ground. As the stormwater flows over driveways, lawns and sidewalks, it picks up debris, chemicals and other pollutants. The stormwater either flows directly into nearby bodies of water or travels through the drainage systems to get there. Storm drains are not part of the waste sewer system, so water in storm drains is not treated before entering streams, rivers or lakes. By managing stormwater, communities are better able to protect our environment, reduce flooding, support healthier streams and rivers, and create healthier, more sustainable communities.
The Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit issued to Pueblo County by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Water Quality Control Division (Division) requires a document that defines how Pueblo County complies with the permit. In compliance with the permit, Pueblo County drafted a new Program Description Document (PDD) and is making it available for public review and comment. The PDD presents the MS4 permit requirements and Pueblo County’s approach to compliance with those requirements. The PDD is available for review at the Pueblo County Department of Engineering and Public Works during office hours Monday – Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 33601 United Avenue. If you have any questions or would like to comment on the document, please send them to Stormwater Contact.
Pueblo County has designated a Stormwater Program Urban Boundary (MS4 Boundary). Pueblo County administers its MS4 program within their MS4 boundary. An electronic copy of the map is listed below or a copy can be viewed at the Pueblo County Department of Engineering and Public Works during office hours Monday – Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 33601 United Avenue.
Construction activities within the MS4 Boundary and resulting in a land disturbance of 1 acre or more are subject to a Pueblo County Stormwater Construction Permit. Construction activities include but are not limited to clearing and grubbing, grading, excavating and demolition. In order to obtain approval of a Construction Stormwater Permit, Pueblo County requires the following be submitted:
· Completed Application for Stormwater Construction Permit
· Completed Guidance Checklist attached to permit
· Proposed stormwater plan for the site
· Copy of the approval from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for their application
The submittal can be made prior to receipt of approval from CDPHE, but will not receive final approval from Pueblo County until that document is submitted together with the access permit application and excavation permit (if required for the project). Pueblo County will review the plan and if deemed adequate, will approve the Pueblo County Stormwater Permit.
All construction activity, within or outside the MS4 boundary, that disturbs 1 acre or more is also subject to a state stormwater permit. Links to both of these permits are listed below.
Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Construction Permit (COR400000) https://ceos.colorado.gov/CO/CEOS/Public/Client/CO_CIMPLE/Shared/Pages/Main/Login.aspx
Stormwater quality requirements for post-construction are important to protect long-term water quality due to development and redevelopment. Post-construction controls (also known as BMPs or Permanent BMPs) are required for sites disturbing one acre or greater. Pueblo County is working on a Guidance for Post-Construction Stormwater Management document and a Post-Construction Checklist.
Pueblo County has developed an education and outreach strategy and is a member of the Southern Colorado Stormwater Education Committee which was formed in 2012. This collaborative organization focuses on water quality protection at construction sites through an annual seminar which educates MS4 representatives, contractors and developers on various topics such as best management practices, engineering design and details, stormwater controls and state construction permit updates. Pueblo County also prepares educational materials and distributes these to various entities. An information letter and pamphlet titled “You Can Help Protect Our Waterways” was distributed in October of 2018 to farmers and growers in the agricultural community regarding nutrient pollution.
2019 Regional Stormwater Educational Committee Seminar Summary Report (Appendix B-E not included) Summary Report PDF
“You Can Help Protect Our Waterways” Help Protect Our Waterways PDF
An illicit discharge is any discharge to an MS4 that is not composed entirely of stormwater. An illicit discharge occurs when an activity results in an unauthorized substance entering our storm sewer system.
Thing to look for include:
· An unusual color of the water
· An unusual or foul odor
· Suds or puddles when there has not been recent precipitation
· Any unusual-looking substance leaving the storm drain
· Illegal dumping of waste near storm drains (e.g., household chemicals, automobile fluids)
· A large number of dead or dying animals including fish, crayfish, insects, waterfowl or other animals near a waterbody
If there is a spill or incident in or near a drain inlet that has impacted or may impact Pueblo County’s waters, contact the Pueblo County Department of Engineering and Public Works Department at Stormwater Contact. Include your name, contact information, location of the spill and brief description.
The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment responds to complaints about solid waste (trash/illegal dumping) in the county areas of Pueblo. More information can be found at http://county.pueblo.org/government/county/department/city-county-health-department/trashillegal-dumping .
Ordinary tasks like washing your car, changing oil, or taking your pet for a walk can affect our local waterways. There are many simple things we can do to help improve water quality here in Pueblo County.
Your everyday behavior can have a very large impact on the water quality in and around Pueblo County. By taking simple steps around your home or business, you can help eliminate pollution traveling into storm drains which lead to our streams, lakes and rivers untreated.
· Use chemical fertilizers and pesticides sparingly. Sprinklers and rain wash chemicals into nearby storm drains and eventually into area streams and lakes. Even lawn clippings contain pollutants. Leave clippings on the lawn as natural fertilizer or compost them.
· Clean up after pets. Pet waste contains pollutants that can contaminate surface water.
· Wash cars at commercial car washes instead of at home in your driveway. The water you used to wash your car in the driveway drains to creeks and other surface water.
· Prevent dripping and spilling of automotive fluids. Repair leaks and recycle oil, antifreeze and other fluids.
· Properly dispose of paints, solvents, used oil, cleaning products and other hazardous household wastes.
Information regarding recycling and waste information is available on the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment website at http://county.pueblo.org/government/county/department/city-county-health-department/recycling-education
Pueblo County is committed to providing for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens and residents of Pueblo County, by detecting and eliminating to the maximum extent practicable non-stormwater discharges on and into storm drainage systems in unincorporated Pueblo County. Pueblo County representatives serve on various committees in order to provide comments on projects that may affect our water. Some of these committees are the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District, Technical Advisory Committee, the Fountain Creek Watershed Water Activity Enterprise Monetary Mitigation Fund Advisory Committee and the Stormwater Quality Advisory Committee. Pueblo County is also a member of the Colorado Stormwater Council, an organization dedicated to keeping Colorado water clean by joining local municipalities and organizations together in order to create innovative stormwater programs in compliance with state and federal regulations. Pueblo County, City of Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs Utilities signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement in April 2018 committing spending for stormwater infrastructure, maintenance and education programs in the amount of $460 million over the next two decades (contingent on annual appropriations) to improve the City’s stormwater system.
Fountain Creek Watershed, Flood Control and Greenway District https://www.fountain-crk.org/
Colorado Stormwater Council http://colorado-stormwater-council.org/
Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs Utilities https://coloradosprings.gov/water-resources-engineering-stormwater/page/intergovernmental-agreement?mlid=28726