Public Education and Outreach

The Federal Clean Water Act recognizes that to address the negative impacts of stormwater runoff it is important to reach out to citizens. The sources of stormwater pollution are all around us: yard waste and unsecured trash washing into drainage ditches and inlets, over fertilizing our lawns, washing cars or boats next to a drainage inlet, not picking up after our pets, etc. Citizens that understand the impacts of stormwater pollution and recognize the various activities and conditions that lead to stormwater pollution can serve as the eyes and ears of the stormwater program.

Therefore, the MS4 Permit Program requires that municipalities develop a program for educating the public on the impacts of stormwater pollution and providing a means by which the public can report stormwater pollution.

Click here to learn how to report stormwater pollution.

The City’s MS4 Program Plan includes outreach efforts to increase the public’s knowledge of how to reduce stormwater pollution and the hazards of illegal discharges and improper disposal of waste. These efforts include traditional written materials such as brochures, door hangers, and an occasional utility bill insert, and educational signage.

Stormwater Program personnel also participate in numerous community events such as the Open Air Marketplace, Healthy Garden Series, stream walks, Adopt a Stream, and other activities in partnership with the Recreation & Parks Department, Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR), and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Stormwater Best Management Practices

The City’s Post-Construction Stormwater Management Manual provides an overview of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs). Stormwater BMPs include structural and non-structural practices:

    • Structural BMPs are built into the landscape to manage the runoff from urban areas. Common stormwater BMPs in the City include Dry detention ponds (these are normally dry, and fill up with runoff during rain events and then are dry again), wet ponds (these are normally wet, and the water level rises during rain events and then goes back down to the normal pond depth).
    • Non-Structural BMPs include the development and implementation of policies and procedures that serve to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff. This can include ordinances that require tree and/or stream buffer preservation, as well as public education and outreach programs designed to teach citizens the importance of keeping household chemicals, solvents, paint, etc., under cover and away from stormwater.
wet_pond

Examples of the most common stormwater BMPs found in Hopewell include wet ponds and dry ponds (ponds that are normally dry, but fill with stormwater runoff during rain events and then slowly empty).

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BMPs can manage both the quality and the quantity of stormwater runoff and are required on land development projects to prevent the increase in runoff from causing damage to downstream properties and streams. More information about BMPs and how they help filter pollutants out of runoff can be found here.

New stormwater BMPs that are required as part of a development project are inspected by the designer, the contractor and the City before they are considered complete. All BMPs must be regularly inspected and the inspection must be documented by the property owner. And when warranted, the property owner must also perform maintenance. BMP maintenance includes both routine maintenance and corrective maintenance.

The City’s Post Construction Stormwater Management Program Manual outlines the City’s requirements and procedures for BMP inspection and maintenance and can be accessed here.

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