Stormwater runoff is the water that doesn’t soak into the ground but flows over yards, sidewalks, and streets and enters the City’s network of drains, pipes, and ditches. Stormwater runoff picks up pollutants like litter, animal wastes, oil, fertilizers and pesticides that flow directly into the storm drain system, which is untreated and enters our local waterways. Yard waste debris and litter can cause clogs in the system which lead to flooding during heavy rain events.
Stormwater management refers to the development of programs and policies to protect against water pollution, erosion issues, and flooding caused by stormwater runoff. The City of Hampton has a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4), which is the technical name for the network of storm drains, pipes, ditches, outfalls, and other facilities that convey and treat stormwater. The City is regulated through its “MS4 Permit” by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). This permit requires the City to prevent stormwater pollution through a variety of programs, including the implementation of a MS4 Program Plan and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Action Plans. The City is also required to submit annual reports to DEQ.
As a resident of Hampton, you can help protect water quality by improving the quality of stormwater runoff from your property. Use pesticides and herbicides sparingly. Fertilizers should only be used after testing your soil. Pick up after pets; dog waste is not a natural fertilizer! Seed bare spots on your lawn to prevent erosion, and properly dispose of yard waste so it doesn't clog the storm sewer system. Remember: only rain down the storm drain!