Storm Water Quality
Pollution of surface water bodies is a significant problem throughout the United States. According to the 1996 National Water Quality Inventory, approximately 40 percent of surveyed surface waters in the U.S. did not meet water quality standards. Polluted storm water runoff is believed to be one of the leading sources of this contamination.
Peoria's storm drain system is comprised of roadways, storm drains, washes, dry rivers, local lakes, retention basins, and drywells. The City's primary discharge locations are the Agua Fria River, New River, ADOT drainage channels, community retention basins, and parks. Polluted storm water runoff adds contaminants to surface waters and can reenter the water supply through ground water recharge.
In 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required medium and large municipalities to permit their storm drain systems through the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. Smaller municipalities, such as the City of Peoria, were incorporated into the NPDES program in December 2002 under the EPA’s Storm Water Phase II Final Rule. Under this rule, the EPA requires that operators of small separate storm drain systems develop, implement, and enforce a Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP) to reduce, “to the maximum extent practical,” the discharge of pollutants to any waters of the United States.