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Water: Stormwater

Stormwater Case Studies

In 2008, EPA developed a series of stormwater case studies to help Phase II municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) get started on or improve their stormwater management programs. Each case study is a two-to three-page description of how a Phase I or Phase II community has implemented a specific aspect of its stormwater program. The case studies are organized by minimum measure, but they do not necessarily represent all the activities that each community is undertaking to implement that minimum measure. Each case study description includes links to materials that further describe or were developed for the case study and the minimum control measure.

Phase I and Phase II municipal stormwater programs should use these case studies as a tool to generate ideas and help develop and improve their own stormwater programs. Although EPA has reviewed the case studies, they should not be considered officially endorsed by the Agency and are not intended to represent full compliance with EPA’s stormwater Phase II minimum control measures. Each community must decide on the appropriate best management practices necessary to meet its unique permit requirements and local conditions.

To View Case Studies, First Select a Minimum Control Measure:        

 
Browse Case Studies by Minimum Control Measure



Minimum Control Measure: Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts


Case Study Location: California: Sacramento

Case Study Title: Businesses Help Educate the Public on Clean Water

Minimum Control Measure: Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts

Summary:
The Clean Water Business Partners Program is a collaboration between the City of Sacramento, Sacramento County, and several surrounding cities. It provides incentives to local carpet cleaners, landscapers, and mobile pressure-washers to promote awareness of clean water to their customers while implementing best management practices.


Case Study Location: California: Fresno

Case Study Title: Caltrans Public Education Research

Minimum Control Measure: Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts

Summary:
Caltrans designed and implemented a 3-year study to measure the success of a targeted 2 year public education campaign to reduce litter from Fresno highways. The Public Education Research Study integrated traditional public education campaign evaluation methods with end-of-pipe storm water monitoring techniques to establish baseline data for assessing effectiveness and facilitate campaign development.


Case Study Location: Hawaii: Honolulu

Case Study Title: Developing Public Service Announcements and Targeted Brochures

Minimum Control Measure: Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts

Summary:
Honolulu's Clean Water Program has, over the past ten years, developed 14 video public service announcements (PSAs) using celebrities and a fun, fictional animal character to educate citizens about stormwater pollution. In addition, they have used phone surveys, focus groups, brochures, and other innovative education and outreach programs and materials.


Case Study Location: Texas: Austin

Case Study Title: Educating Pet Owners and Gardeners

Minimum Control Measure: Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts

Summary:

Austin's Watershed Protection and Development Review Department and Parks and Recreation Department have joined forces to help clean up parks and trails through the Scoop the Poop program, which provides Mutt Mitt dispensers in many of the popular parks. Another Austin partnership encourages stormwater-friendly gardening.


Case Study Location: California: San Diego Study 1

Case Study Title: Experience in Re-Launching a Regional Stormwater Public Education and Media Campaign

Minimum Control Measure: Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts

Summary:
City of San Diego, with support from the Port of San Diego, Caltrans-District 11, and the County of San Diego, created the bilingual "Think Blue" stormwater public education and media campaign. A survey conducted in 2001 provided the City with data and information about the general public's awareness of stormwater pollution and the "Think Blue" campaign. Using information generated through the survey, San Diego reworked and relaunched the "Think Blue" campaign in 2001. The City continues to use public surveys as a tool for measuring effectiveness of the "Think Blue" campaign.


Case Study Location: Maine: State of

Case Study Title: Maine Public Education Campaign Raises Stormwater Pollution Awareness

Minimum Control Measure: Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts

Summary:

Maine's 28 regulated MS4 communities and 8 nested entities teamed up with Maine DEP and other agencies to launch the state's first public outreach effort based exclusively on social marketing principles. Directed by independent market research, Maine DEP aimed its media campaign at college-educated 35-55-year-olds. Its aim was twofold – improve awareness of stormwater pollution sources and educate the public on how pollution gets into local waters.


Case Study Location: Vermont: Chittenden County

Case Study Title: Vermont Municipalities Join Forces to Finance Stormwater Education Campaign

Minimum Control Measure: Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts

Summary:

Faced with a deadline for implementing the Phase II General Permit, twelve small MS-4 communities and organizations in Chittenden County, Vermont faced a dilemma: how to finance an effective public outreach campaign and implement the public education and public involvement minimum control measures under the Phase II MS4 stormwater program without exceeding already tight municipal budgets.

The answer not only resulted in a sophisticated public education campaign; it was achieved at the modest cost of just $5,000 per community per year.


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Minimum Control Measure:
Public involvement/participation


Case Study Location: New York: Monroe County

Case Study Title: Enlisting Citizens to Monitor Water Quality

Summary:

The Monroe County Stormwater Coalition has enlisted the assistance of more than 50 teams of volunteers to help monitor the streams in Monroe County. The teams commit to conducting several activities, including monitoring benthic macroinvertebrates four times a year.


Case Study Location: Colorado: Boulder

Case Study Title: Public Education and Outreach on Stormwater Impacts

Summary:

The Boulder Creek and Saint Vrain Watershed WASH Project has two principle components to their education and outreach program: a school based WatershED Program and a community outreach program. The school based WatershED includes water curriculum, teacher training, water festival, and classroom programs. The community-based programs include water quality campaigns, brochures, tributary signs and more. This case study will highlight the school based program.


Case Study Location: Georgia: Metro Atlanta

Case Study Title: Reaching Citizens with Workshops and an Informative Web Site

Summary:

The Clean Water Campaign offers a series of popular workshops in partnership with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service and other agencies. These workshops have been instrumental in educating members of the public and encouraging them to reduce stormwater pollution. In addition, the Clean Water Campaign's comprehensive Web site, in English and Spanish, details how to reduce stormwater pollution around the home and on the job.


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Minimum Control Measure:
Illicit discharge detection and elimination


Case Study Location: California: Ventura County

Case Study Title: Bacteriological Illicit Discharge Investigation at Kiddie Beach

Minimum Control Measure: Illicit discharge detection and elimination

Summary:
Ventura County, California began bacteria sampling of bathing beaches in the fall of 1998. Channel Island Beach Park (known locally as Kiddie Beach) and nearby Hobie Beach regularly experienced exceedances of state bacteria standards. In July 2000, the County conducted a study at Kiddie Beach to identify the sources of bacterial contamination and to develop control strategies.


Case Study Location: Michigan: Wayne County

Case Study Title: Focus on Commercial and Industrial Site Visits

Summary:

The Wayne County, Michigan, Department of Environment conducted an investigation of 5,753 nonresidential facilities from 1987 to the present to detect and eliminate illicit connections and illicit discharges.


Case Study Location: Ohio: Cuyahoga County

Case Study Title: A Program for Identifying and Eliminating Failing Septic Systems

Summary:

For more than 10 years, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health has implemented a program to permit and inspect septic systems (onsite wastewater treatment systems) to reduce the number of failing systems in operation, thereby reducing flows of inadequately treated household sewage to storm drain systems and receiving waters.


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Minimum Control Measure:
Construction site stormwater runoff control


Case Study Location: California: Statewide

Case Study Title: Caltrans Construction Inspection Program

Minimum Control Measure: Construction site stormwater runoff control

Summary:
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) construction inspection program employs multiple layers of oversight to ensure compliance from its staff and contractors. Caltrans has also developed various stormwater guides include BMP manuals, SWPPP review guides, BMP field manual, and enforcement guide.


Case Study Location: Colorado: Douglas County

Case Study Title: A Comprehensive Erosion Control Permit Program

Summary:

Douglas County, Colorado, is one of America’s fastest growing counties. In the decade between 1990 and 2000, its population nearly tripled. To address its high growth rate, the Douglas County Construction Site Runoff Control Program (hereafter referred to as The Program) developed a successful permit review, issuance and inspection process, and wrote a comprehensive Grading, Erosion and Sediment (GESC) Control manual.


Case Study Location: North Carolina: Charlotte

Case Study Title: Cooperative Erosion Control Enforcement and Compliance

Summary:

The City of Charlotte and the County of Mecklenburg (CharMeck) have collaborated to develop an effective erosion and sediment control enforcement program that employs frequent inspections, Notices of Violation, and fines as well as an appeal process to effectively and fairly require compliance.


Case Study Location: Wisconsin: Dane County

Case Study Title: County-wide Erosion Control Model Ordinance and Standards

Summary:

Dane County administers an erosion control ordinance for multiple unincorporated villages and towns. The county provides a model ordinance, guidance, and education for incorporated entities so developers can follow consistent standards to protect water quality.


Case Study Location: California: Orange County Study 1

Case Study Title: Orange County Construction Runoff Guidance

Minimum Control Measure: Construction site stormwater runoff control

Summary:
The Orange County Stormwater Program has developed a Construction Runoff Guidance Manual to assist applicants for building or grading permits to understand the water quality requirements during the construction phase of development projects. In coordination with the manual, a Training and Outreach Program for Construction has been designed to increase general understanding of water pollution and pollution prevention principles, as well as to provide more specific training targeted to NPDES Program Managers and Public Works grading and building inspectors.


Case Study Location: Oregon: Eugene

Case Study Title: Outcome-based Erosion Control Program

Summary:

Eugene, Oregon, uses an outcome-based approach to erosion prevention and sediment control that promotes flexibility by considering site-specific conditions and cost-effectiveness.


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Minimum Control Measure:
Post-construction stormwater management in new development and redevelopment


Case Study Location: Maryland: Prince George's County

Case Study Title: Incorporating Low Impact Development into Stormwater Management

Summary:

For more than ten years Prince George's County has been a leader in implementing and developing guidance on lot-level best management practices to control stormwater and restore predevelopment hydrologic functions to urban and suburban systems.


Case Study Location: Virginia: Arlington County

Case Study Title: Innovative Stormwater Management Standards and Mitigation

Summary:

The Arlington County Department of Environmental Services has developed pollutant removal requirements for all development sites, as well as a watershed management fund to which developers may contribute in lieu of actual BMP implementation.


Case Study Location: California: Los Angeles Study 2

Case Study Title: New Development Standards in Los Angeles

Minimum Control Measure: Post-construction stormwater management in new development and redevelopment

Summary:
Since 2002, the Los Angeles permittees have developed specific standards for controlling stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment projects. Projects are required to develop "standards urban stormwater mitigation plans" or SUSMPs to reduce the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater runoff that leaves the site.


Case Study Location: Washington: Seattle

Case Study Title: Private Stormwater Facility Maintenance and Inspection

Summary:

The City of Seattle performs regular inspections of privately owned stormwater facilities in the city and provides information to property owners regarding maintenance.


Case Study Location: California: Sacramento Study 2

Case Study Title: Sacramento Evaluation of New Development BMPs

Minimum Control Measure: Post-construction stormwater management in new development and redevelopment

Summary:
The Sacramento Stormwater Management Program prepared a report titled Investigation of Structural Control Measures for New Development. This report contains the results of research into the performance of selected on-site structural controls. The Sacramento NPDES Stormwater Permittees plan to use the results of this investigation to identify stormwater controls considered acceptable for installation in new developments in Sacramento and to identify areas where additional information is needed.


Case Study Location: Florida: Hillsborough County

Case Study Title: Volunteer Adopt-A-Pond Maintenance Program

Summary:

The Adopt-A-Pond program helps citizens learn to maintain their neighborhood ponds by providing them with the resources and expertise they need to successfully do so. The program is sponsored by the Hillsborough County, Florida, Stormwater Management Section, which provides education, guidance, pond cleanups, and aquatic plants for citizen groups that adopt ponds.


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Minimum Control Measure:
Pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations


Case Study Location: Arizona: Phoenix

Case Study Title: Comprehensive Pollution Prevention Program for City Employees

Minimum Control Measure: Pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations

Summary:
The City of Phoenix is implementing a program to continually educate employees about pollution prevention practices for the City's municipal operations and has formalized citywide policies that give high priority to pollution prevention and waste reduction in city operations.


Case Study Location: California: Los Angeles Study 1

Case Study Title: Los Angeles Public Agency Activities Stormwater Guide

Minimum Control Measure: Pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations

Summary:
The City of Los Angeles is required to implement stormwater practices for its own activities. The Los Angeles Public Agency Activities Stormwater Guide serves as a guide for City departments to develop and implement a program to reduce stormwater impacts from public agency activities such as vehicle maintenance, landscaping, road maintenance, and public construction projects.


Case Study Location: California: Orange County Study 2

Case Study Title: Orange County Model Municipal Activities Program

Minimum Control Measure: Pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations

Summary:

The Orange County Stormwater Program has developed a Model Municipal Activities Program. The Municipal Activities Program provides the framework and a process for conducting NPDES permit compliance activities at municipal fixed facilities, field programs, and drainage facilities. The program applies to municipal staff performing activities, contractors performing work for Permittees, and Lessees managing municipal facilities. The objectives of the program are to provide the Permittees with:


Case Study Location: California: Santa Monica

Case Study Title: Urban Runoff BMPs for Municipal Facilities

Minimum Control Measure: Pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations

Summary:
The City of Santa Monica has implemented numerous practices to control dry and wet weather discharges from municipal areas and activities and has conducted urban runoff training for city employees.


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Minimum Control Measure:
Program Management


Case Study Location: California: Alameda County

Case Study Title: Alameda Pollutants of Concern

Minimum Control Measure: Program Management

Summary:
Alameda County's NPDES permit requires the Permittees to develop and implement programs to control discharges of pollutants of concern, which are copper, mercury, pesticides, PCBs, dioxin compounds, and sediment. The Alameda Countywide Clean Water Program submitted work plans known as Pollutant Reduction Plans (PRPs) describing control programs for copper, mercury, pesticides, and PCBs to the Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) in August 2001. The PRPs provide background information on the problems caused by these pollutants, sources of the pollutants, obstacles to reducing discharges, and an overview of the Program's approach. The PRPs also provide information on requirements, recently completed and ongoing activities, and a detailed description of activities planned for the next fiscal year.


Case Study Location: California: San Diego County Study 2

Case Study Title: County Ordinance and Stormwater Standards

Minimum Control Measure: Program Management

Summary:
San Diego County's regulatory programs for stormwater are established in County ordinances, principally the County of San Diego Watershed Protection, Stormwater Management, and Discharge Control Ordinance (WPO). This ordinance was adopted on February 1, 2002, by the Department of Public Works and includes a detailed Stormwater Standards Manual (SSM). The ordinance and accompanying manual were revised in September 2003. The WPO, including the SSM, defines the requirements that are legally enforceable by the County in the unincorporated parts of San Diego County. This ordinance enacts new provisions needed to protect water quality and to comply with San Diego County's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.


Case Study Location: California: San Diego County Study 1

Case Study Title: Framework for Assessing the Effectiveness of Jurisdictional Urban Runoff Management Programs

Minimum Control Measure: Program Management

Summary:
The Program Effectiveness Assessment Workgroup developed a regional approach to assessing the long-term effectiveness of municipal stormwater programs in San Diego County. The Workgroup initially developed the Framework for Assessing the Effectiveness of Jurisdictional Urban Runoff Management Programs (JURMPs) for submittal to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board in October 2003. This document provides an overall framework and guidance for refining and improving urban runoff program effectiveness assessment strategies.


Case Study Location: California: San Diego Study 2

Case Study Title: San Diego Dry Weather Screening Program

Minimum Control Measure: Program Management

Summary:
The San Diego municipal copermittees have developed guidelines that provide staff with detailed instructions on when to investigate and resolve illicit discharges. These guidelines include a process for triggering a source investigation based on proactive field screening of outfalls and other parts of the stormwater conveyance system using numeric action levels, statistical confidence intervals, and best professional judgement.


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Minimum Control Measure:
Commercial/Industrial


Case Study Location: California: San Francisco Bay Area

Case Study Title: Bay Area Green Business Program

Minimum Control Measure: Commercial/Industrial

Summary:
The Bay Area Green Business Program is a successful partnership of environmental agencies and utilities that assists, recognizes and promotes businesses and government agencies that volunteer to operate in a more environmentally responsible way. To be certified "green", participants must be in compliance with all regulations and meet program standards for conserving resources, preventing pollution and minimizing waste.


Case Study Location: California: Stockton

Case Study Title: Model Industrial SWPPP

Minimum Control Measure: Commercial/Industrial

Summary:


Case Study Location: California: City of San Jose

Case Study Title: Watershed Enforcement Response Plan

Minimum Control Measure: Commercial/Industrial

Summary:
The City of San Jose developed a Watershed Enforcement Response Plan (WERP) which outlines the procedures followed by the City, to identify, document, and respond to violations relating to stormwater and urban runoff pollution in San José, California. The Plan describes a tiered approach to enforcement, including education and cooperation, official warning notices, and administrative/criminal penalties. The WERP and the guidelines set forth therein are intended to ensure consistent application of enforcement action against responsible parties for violations relating to stormwater.


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