Good Housekeeping/Pollution Prevention
Minimum Control Measure (MCM) #6 of the Stormwater Management Plan
The purpose of this MCM is to minimize the effect of the municipality’s efforts to the contribution of stormwater pollutants into receiving waters of the state. Operations have been identified that have the greatest likelihood to cause pollution to stormwater runoff. The municipal employees, the facilitators of those operations, are educated and trained in standard operation procedures for reducing pollutants from entering the storm sewer system. Actions that are performed are noted on the City of Kearney’s website, in the Smart Maps link, or by clicking here.
Post-Construction Stormwater Management
Minimum Control Measure (MCM) #5 of the Stormwater Management Plan
The purpose of this MCM is to ensure the quality of water leaving a previously completed construction site remains continuously treated prior to leaving the property. With the implementation of specifically required Stormwater Treatment Facilities (STFs) the quality of water will have the best chance of remaining clean prior to entering the receiving waters of the state (Platte and Wood Rivers).
Construction Stormwater Management
Minimum Control Measure (MCM) #4 of the Stormwater Management Plan
The purpose of this MCM is to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff from construction activities that result in land disturbance. An Erosion and Sediment Control program is being followed and an ordinance has been enacted within the City Code. Design standards meeting the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit requirements are available on the City website. There are Erosion and Sediment Control best management practices (BMPs) for a construction site no matter what the size.
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Minimum Control Measure (MCM) #3 of the Stormwater Management Plan
The purpose of this MCM is to minimize the effect of illicit discharges and illicit connections within the community. An IDDE program is followed and an ordinance has been enacted within the City Code. Dry weather inspections of storm sewer outfalls are regularly performed. A detailed storm sewer system is maintained to track flow of stormwater and identify affected areas from illicit discharges. Access Kearney on the City of Kearney’s website allows the public to acknowledge their concerns regarding all forms of stormwater pollution.
The City of Kearney, NE has implemented several water quality improving ordinances over the years. The specific purpose of these ordinances is to positively affect the quality of stormwater runoff before it reaches the receiving waters of the Platte and Wood Rivers. A presentation of this information can be found by going to the website click here.
1. Scoop snow onto the lawn before it melts and creates an ice layer. It’s the most environmentally friendly for plants, animals, and concrete. Plus there’s the benefit of exercise.
2. No-salt de-icer. If an ice layer does form, scoop the snow to the yard, then employ a no salt deicer to melt the ice layer for easier removal. Look for labels containing magnesium acetate (CMA) which is less harmful to animals and plants. Follow directions on the package for use, CMA is often blended with other ingredients for effectiveness that may become harmful to plants or animals in larger quantities.
3. Salt as a last resort. Salt is highly corrosive, can irritate a pet’s paws or children’s skin, burn the plants it contacts, and leach into the soil. Use salt “Sparingly and Caringly” about .08 ounce, just under a ½ teaspoon, per square foot where there’s high pedestrian traffic. Salts are often listed as chlorides -sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, or calcium chloride – on deicer packaging.
Comments Wanted on New Construction Storm Water Permit
On Friday, March 25 the draft for the new Construction Storm Water (CSW) Permit was sent to EPA to start the 90 day review period, following which will be the formal public notice period. Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is requesting initial comments and feedback before the permit goes out for public notice. Any responses are appreciated before Monday, May 16th.
A summary of changes is inlcuded here: NDEQ CSW General Permit_Fact Sheet
The permit draft may be reviewed here: NDEQ CSW_General Permit
Policy changes to the permit include:
- All forms must be submitted electronically on the NDEQ website. Paper forms for NOIs, CSW-Transfers, and NOTs are no longer accepted.
- Oil and gas field activities or operations will now require a permit.
- Coverage of existing permits has been extended from 90 to 180 days before reapplication is needed under the proposed general permit.
- Permit numbers have been changed to correspond with anticipated issue year.
Responses can be sent to either Emma Trewhitt, NPDES Permits and Compliance Unit or the permit writer, Patrick Ducey. Emma can be contacted at Emma.Trewhitt@nebraska.gov or 402-471-8330. Patrick can be reached at email@example.com or 402-471-2188.
Please enjoy the January 2016 edition of the Construction Bulletin.
Vegetation – The Green BMP
Spring means green – literally and figuratively. When the weather warms and grass starts growing, building begins and business gets busy, your livelihood in full swing. One way to keep green in the business pocket it to keep the building site green too.
One of the best management practices (BMPs) for construction is to preserve exisiting vegetation or to stabilize a site by planting vegetation on the site. Keeping as much natural growth as possible is a cost effective sediment and erosion control solution on a construction site. Vegetation stabilizes ground in three main ways:
- Vegetation slows stormwater runoff, slower velocity keeps more sediment on site with less shearing water force.
- Vegetation spreads storm runoff across a wider area, preventing the concentrated flows that cause rills and gullies.
- Vegetation helps stormwater soak in, reducing runoff and protecting your site from erosion.
Vegetation can be utilized in a variety of ways as a BMP.
First, preserve as much of the natural vegetation as possible. Let the grass remain around the borders of the site, against the street, under the stockpiles, and any other spots on the site that do not need to be disturbed.
Second, if there is bare ground that will be untouched more than 14 days, re-seed it with grass seed mix. The grasses germinate and sprout in 5-10 days when soil is moist and ground temperatures are about 50 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.
Third, seed for final stabilization as soon as all soil disturbing activity is complete, instead of waiting until the end of the project. Using vegetation for final stabilization of a site not only provides effective stormwater management but also makes a site more natural and aesthetically pleasing.
The right plant, at the right time, in the right place
One key to effective vegetative BMPs is choosing the proper seed mix for area. In the Panhandle, a mix of drought tolerant annual and perennial grasses is preferred. Jim Neuwirth, owner of ABC Nursery, often mixes a variety perennial wheat grasses or thick spike weed with barley or oats. The annual vegetation, barely or oats, grow quickly and knit together to form a quick cover over the ground. The perennial wheat grasses develop more slowly under the the cover crop, establishing deep root systems that will sustain the plants and provide cover year after year.
The second key to successful vegetative stablization is timing. Neuwirth has seeded throughout the year by tailoring the grass mixes for the conditions at the time. For example, using barely when seeding in cooler seasons and oats in the warmer seasons. He’s planted dormant mixes in fall and early spring allowing for a quick cover to establish and the perennial grasses to germinate later.
More important than the seed mix, Neuwirth notes, is the moisture level in the soil. Water is crucial for germination and growth. Seeding with a polymer to hold moisture or the luck of a well -timed rains storm can make or break the success of a seeding that is sown and left to grow. Irrigation, on the other hand, dramatically increases the success rate of a vegetative cover to germinate, establish, and become self-sustaining. Neuwirth recommends irrigation to establish the cover, citing irrigation also reduces both risk and future costs for the contractor.
Using vegetative cover also provides a sense of place and beauty, an intangible benefit for a property. Seed mixes are typically designed with the site’s function and owner’s preferences in mind. The vegetation used can make the site more distinct, attractive, and environmentally sustainable. Neuwirth likes to add wildflowers to a seed mix if the site is highly visible. The sense of a native Panhandle prairie is more attractive with a splash of color and adds another dimension to the site.
Green grass, green building, and green in the pocket – all are advantages of using vegetative cover as a construction BMP.
For additional information on the City of Scottsbluff Stormwater Program
Leann Sato, Stormwater Program Specialist, City of Scottsbluff
308.630.8011 -or- stormwater@ scottsbluff.org
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