City of Bel Aire
What is Stormwater Pollution?
As stated on the EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) website, Stormwater discharges are primarily generated by: paved streets, parking lots and building roof tops during rainfall and snow events.
Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation from rain and snowmelt events flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not percolate into the ground. As the runoff flows over the land or impervious surfaces (paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops), it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality if the runoff is discharged untreated. The primary method to control stormwater discharges is the use of best management practices (BMP’s).
Q. Why is stormwater runoff a problem?
A. Stormwater or runoff can pick up all kinds of debris, such as chemicals, dirt, liter andmany other pollutants as it flows through the stormwater system or directly into a body of water like the neighbor pond or stream. After it enters the stormwater system it is discharged untreated into the bodies of water, the same water that’s used for drinking, swimming and fishing.
Q. Is there something I can do on my property to help control the runoff?
A. Yes, there are things that can be done such as: landscaping, recycle & dispose of properly.
- Don’t overwater your lawn, don’t create runoff, consider a soaker hose instead of a sprinkler.
- Excess fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and gardens wash off and pollute, grass clippings and leaves can and do wash into the storm drains and add organic matter to the ponds and streams.
- When use of fertilizers and pesticides are necessary, use these chemicals in the recommended amounts.
- Pet waste can be a major source of bacteria that wash into the drainage system and eventually into the local waters. Clean up after your pets.
- When walking your pet, please remember to pick up after them and dispose of it properly. Flushing the pet waste is the best method to dispose of it.
- Sweep up yard debris rather than hosing down the areas. Compost your yard waste and grass clippings.
- Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on the lawn or other unpaved surface.
The City of Bel Aire's stormwater ordinance outlines what should not be introduced into municipal sewage, reporting guidelines, industrial use, and other rules. To view the ordinance, click here (PDF).
Notice Regarding Backflow Devices
The City since 1982 has in place an ordinance, with a revision completed in 1994, requiring all residents with an inground sprinkler system to have a vacuum breaker installed between the water supply and the sprinkler system.
A certified technician is required to inspect and test the vacuum breaker every year before the first day in April if the system is connected to the public water supply. The system is also required to be rebuilt or replaced every 5 years. The City will allow you to have allowance in time for the certified testing until you are ready to use the system if it has been winterized. Click here to download a test form to be filled out by a City of Bel Aire licensed sprinkler technician and returned to the City of Bel Aire. The filing fee is $5.00 and is payable to City of Bel Aire.
The City is required by law to have these policies in effect to protect the public water supply. Fines and penalties can be accessed for noncompliance. Please do your part to protect our water! If you have any questions please call (316) 744-2451 ext. 120.
Backflow Prevention and ErosionBackflow prevention is key to maintaining a clean water system for the community and healthier lifestyle for your family. City ordinance requires that all backflow devices be tested annually to verify that they are in good, working condition. Forms are due annually to the Building Inspector each April and can be printed by clicking here or obtained at City Hall.
Erosion should be an important consideration for all construction projects or home maintenance. Keeping appropriate drainage and retention can prevent many problems before they start. Please exercise best practices when dealing with drainage.
- Minimize clearing and exposed soil
- Limit grading to small areas
- Vegetate, mulch or stabilize all exposed areas as soon as land alterations have been completed
- Rough grade or terrace slopes.
- Cover or seed all dirt stockpiles.
- Protect storm drain inlets.
- Install vegetative buffers along water bodies.
- Maintain construction entrances by removing mud from tires of construction vehicles before entering a paved roadway.
- Place a barrier behind the curb such as Silt Screen or Siding Material where soil runoff may occur.
Illegal dumping on City or public property is a misdemeanor and may be punishable by a fine of $500 plus court costs or by imprisonment of 30 days or both. Guidelines for installing water lines and sprinkler systems are available here. If you have questions, please call the Building & Zoning Department at (316) 744-2451 ext. 120.
Soil erosion is a natural process that occurs when top soil is displaced by wind or storm water run-off. For municipalities, water runoff is a costly problem that often goes unnoticed and can be easily corrected with a few simple actions by builders and homeowners. It has been estimated that for every acre of land under construction, an average of three-to-six dump trucks of soil are washed into nearby bodies of water or deposited into the storm water drainage system.
Soil erosion can be divided into two types; sheet erosion and gully erosion. Sheet erosion occurs when raindrops strike unprotected soil, bouncing loose dirt particles that are then rinsed away with the draining storm water. Gully erosion occurs when concentrated flows of storm water wear a channel into unprotected soil and overtime create a deep "gully" that carries away draining storm water. The accumulation of eroded soil and sediment in storm drainage systems increases the risk of damage to drainage infrastructure and the cost for storm drainage system maintenance, such as storm drain cleaning and street sweeping for local government budgets.
Implementing effective erosion control techniques are an important step in the prevention of soil loss and reducing the potential for increased water pollution. Erosion control should be an important consideration for all construction projects and home maintenance. Most often erosion control methods involve the creation of physical barriers to contain or divert the flow of excess storm water. Fortunately there a variety of erosion-control methods that are relatively inexpensive and can be done with materials that can be obtained locally. Putting materials to use for soil erosion is a straightforward process. The knowledge needed to implement appropriate erosion control is not extensive and is simply a matter of thinking about controlling the effects of rainfall and the storm water runoff.
Some common erosion control materials and practices include:
Silt fence or straw bales to trap sediment on the down slope side of inclines or hills;
Gravel drives for use by vehicles which must leave paved roadways;
Mulch to cover unprotected soil;
Manufactured mats and screens to crate barriers between unprotected soils and paved roadways;
Preserve existing trees and vegetation during periods of construction;
Replace vegetation as soon as possible to prevent future soil erosion;
Limit vehicle access to only roads and streets, keeping vehicles off unprotected and future yard areas;
Planting of new lawns should use erosion control where needed;
Incorporate erosion control into new and existing landscapes.
Erosion control is an important part of storm water management and is now required by all levels of government.