Clean Water Program/NPDES
The City of Sebastian is excited about educating our residents in the important endeavor of a Clean Water Program and hope you will be too.
We are proud of our community and strive to be environmentally educated. The following sections cover the points of Sebastian's Clean Water Program.
Clean Water Program:
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
The Clean Water Act of 1972 originally established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to control wastewater discharges from various industries and wastewater treatment plants known as "point sources". The 1987 Water Quality Act amended the NPDES permit system to address "non-point" source pollution.
This type of pollution occurs when pollutants such as bacteria, sediment, oil and grease, heavy metals, pesticides, fertilizers and trash from roadways, parking lots, yards, and other areas are exposed to rainfall and washes into our streams, rivers and oceans.
The City of Sebastian, along with other local governments is required to manage storm water under the Federal Clean Water Act's NPDES discharge permit which establishes guidelines for municipalities to minimize pollutants in storm water runoff to the "maximum extent practicable." Did you know that the U.S. EPA now estimates that over 80 percent of the water quality problems in the United States are due to non-point source pollution?
The City of Sebastian adopted an Ordinance No. O-13-11 implementing an urban Stormwater quality management and discharge control program to reduce pollutant discharges into the City’s stormwater system in compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act.
The lifestyle and work environment of almost every resident of Sebastian will be impacted by this new law. Ultimately, each of us is responsible for protecting our waters.
Monitoring and inspections of the NPDES program falls under the City’s Stormwater Department. Engineering inspectors will respond to any complaints of illicit discharge into the City’s stormwater system. The City will report annually to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection any illicit discharge violations.
Clean Water Program: The City's Role
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) rules require the City of Sebastian, other cities, and counties to keep their storm drains and sewers as free from pollutants as possible and develop a stormwater management program.
The City of Sebastian has already been performing some of the "Best Management Practices" of the program under our Code of Ordinances and municipal operations policies and will be implementing more in the near future. Some of the practices are:
- New Engineering Department to handle NPDES issues and monitoring of storm water discharges and inspection any possible illicit discharge.
- Regular maintenance of public rights-of-way such as litter collection and storm drain facility maintenance.
- A comprehensive soil erosion and sedimentation control program.
- Plan review procedures to assure unauthorized connections to the storm sewer are not allowed and to promote water quality features.
- Proper spill response procedures and clean-up.
- Development of a comprehensive citywide stormwater facility map.
- Identification and removal of unauthorized connections to the stormwater system.
- Public education efforts to inform citizens about stormwater quality through educational events, brochures and newsletter articles.
- Public Involvement Activities such as "Earth Day" and "America Recycles Day" in which residents can participate in cleaning up their properties.