Stormwater System and Quality
Within the city of Peoria there are two drainage systems-the Sanitary (Wastewater) Sewer System and the Stormwater System.
The Sanitary Sewer collects domestic wastewater (such as water from sinks, toilets, washers, etc.) from homes and businesses through sewer laterals and carries it through underground sewer pipes to a wastewater treatment plant where the water is treated and cleaned to regulated standards.
Rainwater and excess irrigation water that fall on impervious surfaces like paved roads, rooftops and parking lots collects in the stormwater system and travels to outfalls in natural and manmade washes which eventually discharge to Waters of the United States (WUS). Stormwater systems may include any combination of gutters, catch basins, underground pipes, retention basins, grass or concrete channels, and washes,. These systems flow to our waterways without receiving any formal treatment. City's primary discharge locations are the Agua Fria River, New River, ADOT drainage channels, community retention basins, and parks.
As the runoff flows over the land or impervious surfaces, it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality if the runoff is discharged untreated. Everything dumped or drained to the stormwater system goes directly to our environment and can cause a wide array of pollution impacts.
Stormwater pollution from point sources and nonpoint sources is a challenging water quality problem. 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. Unlike pollution from industry or sewage treatment facilities, which is caused by a discrete number of sources, stormwater pollution is caused by the daily activities of people everywhere.
The Federal Government has mandated that cities take certain steps to ensure that stormwater is not contaminated within the city. 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. This permitting mechanism is designed to prevent stormwater runoff from washing harmful pollutants into local surface waters.
Stormwater Quality compliance is managed by the Wastewater Environmental Division , Public Works-Utilities. Click here for the City of Peoria's stormwater permit- the Notice of Intent (NOI)- and our latest annual report . For more information on Peoria’s stormwater compliance, contact Leisha Williams, 623-773-8465, or Jason Poage, 623-773-8453.
In addition to municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) like Peoria, the EPA also regulates construction and industrial activities to ensure those do not pollute our local waters. The City oversees construction activities through the Community Development Division.
Stormwater Operations, Streets Division, Public Works-Utilities is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the City’s Stormwater System. The Streets Division, Stormwater staff will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the following assets:
- Mainline inspection; cleaning and repair – emergency and routine Catch Basin maintenance
- Cleaning and repair – emergency and routine Stormwater manhole maintenance
- Repair of street, curb and gutter sweeping/cleaning and debris removal
- Open, dirt, and concrete ditches and swales – emergency and periodic maintenance
- Drywell inspections with recommendations for service or replacement
- Stormwater retention basins
- Bridge repair and periodic maintenance, as recommended by the State
What can you do?
Never dump anything down the storm drains. Pesticides, pet wastes, leaking oil from a vehicle could all end up in our washes and ditches, ultimately into waterbodies that we use for swimming, fishing and providing drinking water, if proper care is not taken. Here are some helpful tips for minimizing your impact to the stormwater system.
Ensure your vehicle is properly cared for. Oil, antifreeze and other lubricants that leak onto the asphalt and concrete will be picked up in the next rain and washed into the city’s storm drain system. Clean up any spills with dry absorbent and properly dispose of the waste. Don’t wash spilled material into the storm drain.
Wash your car on your lawn or use a commercial car wash. Washing your car in the driveway carries the oil and grease that collects on your vehicle into the storm drains while increasing water runoff.
City code prohibits the discharge of pool water into the storm drain.
For responsible ways of draining your pool, see the city’s pool draining fact sheet. Click here for a PDF.
Pick up pet waste, place it in a securely tied bag and dispose of it in the garbage. Stormwater carries harmful bacterial from pet waste into ditches and washes which can lead to public health issues.
Be water wise when you landscape. Plants and trees that minimize water use and water waste help conserve water and minimize over-watering that leads to runoff into the storm drains.
Sweep up yard wastes instead of hosing them down into the storm drains. See the water conservation web page for additional information on landscaping techniques in a desert environment. If your home has rain gutters, direct the rain gutter downspouts into your yard and away from impervious surfaces.
Apply pesticides and fertilizers as directed. Pesticides should be applied sparingly and not be applied either immediately before or immediately after a rain event.
Home Repair and Improvements
Before beginning your project, locate the nearest storm drain(s) and protect them from debris and other materials.
Clean paint brushes in the sink and not outdoors. Properly dispose of paint and thinner wastes. The City of Peoria hosts household hazardous waste events through the Solid Waste Division.
Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled and recyclable products whenever possible
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Begins with YOU!
For a brochure with more information on what you can do to prevent stormwater pollution click here.
If not down the stormwater system, What can I do with the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) that I generate at my home?
As simple as it may seem, the trick to managing HHW is to avoid generating it in the first place. Here are some tips:
Use it up – Many household products have a long shelf life and may work well years after they were purchased.
Give it away – Except for medicines and pesticides, friends, neighbors or community organizations may be able to use the products you no longer need.
Recycle it – Many hazardous materials can be broken down and used to make new products. For example, some automotive stores will accept used automotive oil, batteries and tires.
Follow label instructions – Some products can safely be put out with the trash.
For those products that do need to be disposed of, please attend of the City’s three annual HHW Drop-Off Events for free disposal.
Just for kids! Click here to download a stormwater activity book.
Report a Storm Water Problem
Illegal Dumping - (623) 773-7162
Storm Drain Maintenance - (623) 773-7432
Street Sweeping - (623) 773-7432
Other Storm Water Links