What is Storm Water & Why it is Important
As rain falls to the ground it becomes known as storm water. Storm water that falls on pervious surfaces (grass, fields, natural areas, etc.) soaks into the ground without running off into streams and lakes. Storm water that falls on impervious surfaces (roofs, driveways, roads, sidewalks, etc.) is not allowed to soak into the ground and runs off into streams and lakes. This runoff has negative effects on the river or lake system including: increased flooding frequency and amount, decreased water clarity, stress on insects and fish, thermal pollution, depletion of drinking water supplies, and many others.
What is Menomonie Doing
The City prepared a Water Management Plan entitled "Storm Water Management Plan" which was last updated in 2014.
MS4 DNR Permit
Many communities are required to obtain a permit before discharging storm water into streams and lakes. These permits are required by federal and state laws and are administered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The permit program has been phased in over time. Phase I mainly affected large communities such as Milwaukee, Madison and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Phase II targets communities with populations over 10,000. The City of Menomonie was brought into the program under Phase II in 2006.
As part of our permit the City must perform activities in 6 areas:
- Public education and outreach
- Public participation and involvement
- Illicit discharge detection and elimination
- Construction site runoff control
- Post-construction runoff control
- Pollution prevention/Good housekeeping
Annual reports are required to document progress in each of these areas throughout the year.
The storm water program is funded through a storm water utility fund. Stormwater fees are collected on the quarterly utility bill and are paid by businesses and residents.
Citizens Can Help
There are simple things we can all do to help improve storm water quality. Check out the "What Can I do?" tab located on Rain to Rivers website for small things homeowners can do on their property. It does not take large or costly projects to make a difference. In fact, small inexpensive practices can add up to a great deal of improvement.
Rain to Rivers
The city participates in an educational partnership called Rain to Rivers of Western Wisconsin. This partnership facilitates the coordination of information and education stormwater programs among the different members. More information is available on the Rain to Rivers website.
If you notice an illicit discharge or any substance other than rain water coming out of a storm water pipe, please contact the proper authorities immediately. For hazardous spills and emergency situations, please call 911. For non-emergent spills, please contact non-emergency dispatch at 715-232-1283, the City Public Works Director at 715-232-2221 Option Number 2, or the Environmental Program Coordinator at 715-232-2221 Option Number 6.