What is stormwater? Stormwater is the water which runs off houses, buildings, roof tops, driveways, sidewalks, roads and other impervious surfaces (surfaces which won’t allow rain to soak into the ground). The more pervious surface, the greater the quantify of stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and carry them directly into a lake, stream or wetland.
What is WSA’s stormwater management service?
Simply put, stormwater management is any effort to control the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff. Now, in addition to providing the services of water and wastewater treatment, we have formed a stormwater utility with a dedicated funding source to manage and treat stormwater, as well as to undertake capital improvement projects, provide more stormwater education, reduce local flooding and improve aquatic habitat.
Why does WSA perform this service rather than the City or the County?
Several years ago, the Douglas County Chamber of Commerce sponsored Douglas Blueprint, a cross-section study group of business, civic, and community leaders which looked at the quality of life in Douglas County and what could be done to make it better. It was the recommendation of Douglas Blueprint that the Authority take-over and be responsible for stormwater management for both the City of Douglasville (the “City”) and Douglas County (the “County”). One of the reasons for this recommendation was the idea that water is water is water – whether it’s our drinking water, our wastewater, or our stormwater runoff. WSA, already being the provider of drinking water and wastewater services, seemed the most logical choice for handling stormwater management. The decision of the City and County to contract with WSA was also made in the face of increasing federal and state regulations and requirements with respect to stormwater management.
On September 19, 2002, WSA and the City entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement Regarding Stormwater Management with an effective date of January 1, 2003. On December 9, 2003, the County and WSA entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement also, with an effective turnover date of January 1, 2004. City residents and businesses have been paying stormwater charges since March 1, 2004, and County residents and businesses since February 1, 2005.
With respect to federal regulations, WSA is responsible for all those activities and programs required to comply with federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II requirements, which include, at a minimum, the following components: (1) Public Education and Outreach on Stormwater Issues, (2) Public Involvement and Participation, (3) Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination, (4) Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control, (5) Post-Construction Stormwater Management in New Development & Redevelopment, and (6) Pollution Prevention. Many of the these requirements were new requirements which had never been addressed before.
With respect to state regulations, WSA is responsible for compliance with all requirements of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District which was created by act of the Georgia Legislature in 2001. Local governments, including the City and the County, must meet all District requirements and comply with the long-term water and wastewater plans of the District, whose purpose is to look at the preservation, conservation, and use of water resources on a comprehensive level throughout sixteen metro Atlanta counties, including Douglas County.
To find out more about WSA’s stormwater maintenance fee, please click here.
To read WSA’s Basic Stormwater Management Facility Maintenance Policy, please click here.