Public Involvement and Participation
Minimum Control Measure (MCM) #2 of the Stormwater Management Plan
The purpose of this MCM partly goes along with the first MCM, Public Education and Outreach. The idea is to use the informed public to get involved to the point of participating in activities that benefit the environment in any way imaginable. With this enthusiasm the public will be spreading the idea of stormwater pollution prevention via word of mouth among members of the community and beyond.
Scooping sidewalks not only provides some fresh air and exercise, it’s also our responsibility. City ordinance requires sidewalks to be cleared by noon the day after snowfall ends (Municipal Code 20-6-20). Preferably, scoop snow onto a lawn or other safe area, not into the street or alley (Municipal Code 20-6-24).
Public Education and Outreach
Minimum Control Measure (MCM) #1 of the Stormwater Management Plan
The purpose of this MCM is to education the public on the benefits of keeping our receiving waters clean of pollutants. An informed public can make a significant reduction in the amount of stormwater pollutants that enter our storm sewer systems. Multiple media formats are used to convey this information. Social media, websites, radio, television, household awareness surveys and more all play a role in this process.
It promotes several green practices:
1. The lawn will appreciate the extra moisture as the snow melts
2. It promotes infiltration and groundwater recharge
3. If we get a fast melt the runoff won’t overpower the storm sewer
4. Preventing runoff keeps pollutants from getting to the river
5. Gutters flow more effectively
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.
“Rain Barrels” are simple techniques to store rooftop runoff and reuse it for landscaping and other non-potable uses. They are based on the idea that rooftop runoff should be treated as a resource that can be reused or infiltrated. In contrast, conventional stormwater management strategies take rooftop runoff, which is often relatively free of pollutants, and send it into the storm sewer system along with runoff from paved areas.
The most common approach to roof runoff storage involves directing each downspout to a 55 gallon rain barrel. A hose is attached to a faucet at the bottom of the barrel and water is distributed by gravity pressure. For more information on rain barrels please visit:
Harvesting Rainwater with Rain Barrels
The implementation of a rain garden into a residential/commercial/industrial lot adds many things. The flowers add a peaceful presence that wasn’t otherwise there. A distraction is welcomed from the usual buildings and roads that are ever-present. A rain garden also improves the quality of stormwater runoff and minimizes stormwater pollution. The purpose of a rain garden is to improve water quality in nearby bodies of water and to ensure that rainwater becomes available for plants as groundwater rather than being sent through stormwater drains straight to the nearest waterway.
For information on rain gardens please click on the links below.
2016 Wildflower Week is Friday, June 3 – Sunday, June 12
Nebraska Statewide Arboretum serves as coordinator for statewide Wildflower Week activities, bringing together organizations and individuals across the state who recognize the value of wildflowers—not only for their beauty but also for what they imply and symbolize. For more events statewide: http://arboretum.unl.edu/wildflower-week
Thursday, June 2nd
- 10:00 AM –Noon Great Plants Planting – 2975 Country Club Road, Gering
- 1:00-3:00 PM: Legacy of the Plains – Plant ID Presentation
- Sandra Reddish, Executive Director for Legacy of the Plains
5:00 -7:00 PM Charlie Fenster Memorial Tree Planting – East end of Northfield Arboretum Postponed until Fall (as of 5/20/2016)
Friday, June 3rd
- 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Downtown Arboretum Tour, Public Invited. Meet at Lot 3, Across from West Nebraska Arts Center
- 11:00 – Noon @ Godfathers The Garden Coffee Break – with Bob Henrickson and Justin Evertson, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum
- Please arrive a few minutes early to get your buffet meal and proceed to the meeting room
- 30 minute NSA presentation
- 30 minute tour of Well House
- Aulick’s TLC
- 3:00-4:00 pm –Aulick’s TLC Great Plants for the Great Plains Planting Demonstration – a discussion of plant choices and placement to help add western beauty to the home landscape. Outdoor activity.
- 4:00-5:00 pm: Landscape and Garden Plants for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects: Walk the greenhouse to learn how different plants attract pollinators and other beneficial insects.
- 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Wildcat Wildflower Nature Hike with possible Shooting Range Plant Demo
Saturday, June 4th
- 9:00 AM – Noon Chadron State College planting project, 1000 Main Street. Contact: Lucinda Mays at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 1-2pm campus tour, 1000 Main Street. email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-471-2188.