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Storm Water begins its life as precipitation, the rain falling from a storm.
However, even if it never rained, we would still have to worry about the issues associated with Storm Water. Watering your lawn can cause any chemicals applied to the lawn to flow down into the storm drain systems. That is why it important to not place potentially harmful substances down storm drains. Those substances will travel straight to a lake or stream completely untreated!
The fact that Storm Water enters our lakes and streams directly, without being treated, is why it is such an issue. Denton County is one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation, which makes stormwater pollution a priority in our area. The total population for Denton County is projected to exceed 1 million by 2030. That is just a few years to more than double the current population of people living inside the county boundary.
This means that more storm sewer systems will be installed. Urban Storm Water runoff is now seen as one of the primary sources of water pollution across the United States. While Storm Water does enter our lakes and streams untreated, it does not have to enter them polluted. It is up to each of us to do our part to keep our water clean. Help keep harmful substances out of our:
Then, the water that enters our lakes and streams will be no more polluted than the rain that fell from the clouds.
Within Denton County, there are several groups, companies, and governmental agencies responsible for keeping our waters clean. However, the individual is the person who can have the greatest influence on keeping our water clean.
Denton County is held responsible for contaminated Storm Water once it enters a County-owned Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). However, the County is working hard with other organizations, governments, and companies to keep pollutants out of water. The County is also committed to working with individuals and others to get the message out to the general public.
Many substances can enter our waterways and affect the quality of our water. This includes:
The primary source of these pollutants is households. They enter our waterways when individual citizens dispose of these substances improperly or do not follow the application recommendations.
Denton County has been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) as a regulated small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). The Denton County Storm Water Management Program is presented to TCEQ showing how Denton County plans to improve the quality of Storm Water.
Different departments within Denton County are working together to reduce the potential for Storm Water pollution. Other employees will be keeping track of training events that help spread the message about Storm Water. Other employees are responsible for making sure the County is in compliance with State Regulations. Included in the Storm Water Management Program is an effort to raise individual awareness about everyone can take to reduce pollution.
The Storm Water Management Program is being implemented across the entire unincorporated County area.
There will be a focus within the unincorporated areas. However, it is important that the County begin implementing the program over as broad an area as possible. Particularly in the area of raising awareness. With development occurring, it benefits the citizens if adjacent residents understand the impacts of Storm Water runoff. Also, for families moving into new homes in the more densely populated areas.
It should also be noted that other cities within the County have programs similar to those the County has created. These cities are responsible for the Storm Water Programs within their municipal boundaries but have limited influence on the areas surrounding them. The County will work with these cities to reduce duplicate efforts and to maximize the effectiveness of all programs.
Many of the measures were in place before the (Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations were passed. The EPA has since passed administration of the program on to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The State issued the most recent Small MS4 General Permit, Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (TPDES) Permit Number TXR040000 on January 24, 2019. View the Small MS4 General Permit (PDF). It authorizes the discharge of stormwater to surface water in the state from small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). Denton County has 180 days to submit its Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) permit application to TCEQ. View submitted SWMP (PDF). Every year for the duration of the permit Denton County is required to submit an annual report to TCEQ stating how the stormwater management program is being followed. View the Annual Report (PDF).
Each year Denton County moves forward with implementing more components of the program than were in place beforehand. To help guide Denton County in its stormwater management program the County participates in many programs with the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) is able to approach Storm Water issues on a more regional scale and brings together people from different organizations to share ideas.