The City of Wyoming is committed to protecting and preserving water quality in the community. Things that we do every day, from washing our cars to fertilizing our lawns, have a significant impact on our water environment.
Why is stormwater important?
Many people think that most water pollution is the result of industrial chemical dumping or sanitary sewer overflows. However, water quality is significantly affected by things we do every day. When it rains, stormwater picks up debris from roads, chemicals from lawns, oil from cars and bacteria from animal waste. These pollutants make their way through our storm sewer system and into our waterways, impairing water quality. A three-part stormwater educational series was printed in the Grand Rapids Press in the Spring 2010.
A watershed is the land the water flows across or under on its way to a stream, river, or lake. Wyoming is located in the Grand River Watershed.
Stormwater that leaves the City eventually enters Lake Michigan – the source of our drinking water and site of many recreational opportunities. Thus, our actions within the community have a direct impact on local streams and rivers as well as surrounding communities.
Additional Educational Resources:
How is stormwater regulated?
The United States EPA issued the Phase II Stormwater Rule in 1999, requiring the City (and other communities in the area) to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit in an effort to “preserve, protect and improve the Nation’s water resources from polluted stormwater runoff”. This permit is administered by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). Wyoming is required to manage its stormwater system, known as a Municipal Storm Sewer System (MS4), according to the Phase II permit requirements.
The Phase II requirements consist of six minimum control measures, namely:
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Participation and Involvement
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction-site Runoff Control
- Post-construction Runoff Control
- Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping
What is Wyoming doing to protect water quality?
Wyoming must develop and implement strategies to meet the six minimum control measures. We work closely in a collaborative effort with surrounding communities and a consultant, Fishbeck, Thompson Carr and Huber. Wyoming is also part of an organization called the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW), a group formed within the Grand Valley Metro Council and consisting of municipalities, colleges, non-profits, businesses and state regulators. All stakeholders work together on various aspects of the six minimum measures to achieve the Phase II permit requirements and improve watershed water quality.
Many of the requirements placed on industrial and commercial property owners are also applied to City properties. In addition, specific requirements exist for practices such as salt storage/application, road maintenance and stormwater system maintenance.
What can citizens do?
Stormwater-conscious citizens can greatly improve the water quality of a community. Local non-profit organizations, such as the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) organize many volunteer opportunities within the community.
Proper landscaping practices, reducing fertilizer/herbicide/pesticide use, correctly disposing household chemicals, cleaning up pet waste and installing rain barrels are just several things that citizens can do that collectively benefit water quality. Some, reference materials include:
If you notice something that you think will affect water quality, such as someone dumping oil or paint down a storm drain, please fill out this report form, and email us or call 616-261-3564.
What can the business community do?
Many industrial or commercial facilities are currently regulated by the MDEQ. Regulations, such as the federal Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) or the state Pollution Incident Prevention Plan (PIPP) may apply to industrial facilities, depending on the amount and type of chemicals stored at the facility. Some facilities must also develop a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).
Business practices can also impact water quality. Run-off from dumpsters, leaking oil from vehicles, improper fertilizer use and poor parking lot maintenance are some examples of how business activity impairs water quality. The EPA has some good information related to industrial stormwater management activities. The stormwater improvement tips mentioned under the “What can citizens do?” can also be applied to the industrial and commercial setting.
Businesses can adopt and follow Best Management Practices (BMPs), designed to assist facilities in reducing stormwater and other environmental impacts.
What if I am subcontracted by the City?
All contractor employees that perform work on a municipal property must receive stormwater training in order for the Wyoming to be compliant with Phase II requirements. The following topics must be covered:
- Proper handling and disposition of grass clippings and yard waste
- Proper mower deck height
- Importance of keeping mower blades sharp
- Importance of avoiding or minimizing use of gas powered equipment on ozone action days
- Importance of maintaining buffers near waterways
- Results of improper fertilizer application
- Importance of soil testing prior to fertilizer application
No contractor employee shall handle or use pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers without first obtaining appropriate training to prevent these materials from entering the storm drainage systems or surface waters.
All bid submittals must include a summary of the safety, equipment, horticultural, and environmental training received by each contractor employee.
All pesticide applications must be done by a certified pesticide applicator. Copies of certification shall be included with the bid submittal.
What about construction sites?
Run-off from construction sites can significantly impact water quality. Thus, construction sites are required to be maintained according to federal and state requirements.
Wyoming also has an ordinance relative to construction site run-off, developed to meet the Phase II requirements. Different requirements exist based on the size of the construction site. Developers are required to adhere to the Kent County Stormwater Development Drainage Rules.
Kent County also administers the Soil Erosion Sediment Control process for the Wyoming.
Developers are encouraged to contact the Engineering Department at (616) 530-7254 for more information.