National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit
MS4 Permit No. NE0133671
Annual Report September 1, 2016 – August 31, 2017 Permit Year 5 of 5
For The City of Lincoln, Nebraska Public Works and Utilities Department Watershed Management Division
Reporting Requirements Summary
The City of Lincoln is required by federal law to comply with the provisions of the Federal Clean Water Act. In Nebraska, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality the authority to implement the conditions of the Clean Water Act and the responsibility to insure that municipalities in Nebraska are compliant.
The City of Lincoln complies with these mandated regulations through a State-issued National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES permit ). On December 26, 2012 the City was re-issued an NPDES permit by the State of Nebraska, allowing municipal stormwater discharges to local waterways and lakes for the time period 2013-2017.
The following is a list of programs the City has implemented to comply with the State’s requirements for Lincoln’s municipal stormwater NPDES permit. Each program (numbered 1-8) contains a link to an EPA website to provide a summarized description of the requirements. The items listed below are non-inclusive of all efforts made by the City in the 2016-17 fiscal year. The permit year for 2017 ends on December 31, 2017.
This is a summary of the City’s efforts reported to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality for the period beginning on September 1, 2016 and ending August 31, 2017. Note: The City’s fiscal year, which ended August 31, 2017, is slightly different than the NPDES permit year 2017, which ends December 31, 2017.
In this permit year, the City put on four rain barrel classes through the local community college and at the Pioneers Park Nature Center that were attended by 49 people.
The Parks and Recreation Department provided several programs for elementary school students and the general public which described positive and negative impacts humans have on the environment. These classes were attended by 9,166 students and their adult leaders.
The City requires a “No Dumping – Drains to Creek” design imprint into all new precast concrete top sections of storm drains and manhole covers.
The City educated 44 people on methods for making their own compost.
Watershed Management staff distributed a stormwater “NebGuide” (a series of brochures for installing , designing and landscaping of rain gardens). The City continues to have these brochures printed for distribution.
The City conducted public meetings for five basin planning, watershed master plans, and watershed projects. Invitations were also sent to land owners, various organizations and governmental agencies.
The City made 1,000 cubic yards of compost available free to the public.
Watershed Management uses social media (Facebook and Twitter) to engage the public.
The Health Department provided six Household Hazardous Waste collection drives in the 2016-17 fiscal year. A new Hazardous Materials Collection Center (HMCC) was built and opened for collection on October 4, 2017. The HMCC will offer twice per month hazardous waste collections for homeowners and quarterly hazardous waste collections for small businesses, non-profits, and education institutions that meet the Federal criteria for being Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators. The HMCC will further the City and county efforts to protect the public’s health and environment, including our storm drainage system.
Two hundred four volunteers took part in 18 Adopt A Stream clean up events.
Watershed Management manned a booth at the Spring Home and Garden Show, providing stormwater quality and flooding information to the public. It is estimated 200 people stopped by to ask questions. 83 persons took a survey to assess their knowledge on water quality issues for the local Lincoln area.
The City put on a program to accept recyclable materials at various locations. Five thousand two hundred forty-one tons of recyclable materials were collected, including: newspapers, paper, cardboard, glass, tin and aluminum cans. This program was associated with the City of Lincoln’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Program.
The Earth Wellness Festival is an elementary school level program for area fifth graders. It is a one day event where school kids take part in hands on experiments, attend classes and receive information on environmentally based topics. This year’s event was attended by approximately 3,500 students.
The Lincoln Public Schools and area schools provide curriculum for recycling and ecology based classes. Garbology is an ecology based program that includes water quality components. The classes were provided to 4,173 area second graders.
The Earth Day Coalition held “Earth Day” on April 23, 2016. The event was attended by approximately 2,000 people.
The Cleaner Streams program sponsored the Oak Lake Cleanup on July 5. Approximately 400 pounds of trash was collected by 28 volunteers. The Fire Department hosted a Fireworks Amnesty Day alongside the cleanup, where residents could drop off unwanted fireworks and ammunition.
Local area artists participated in an Up-Stream Art Program to communicate the function and importance of storm drains by drawing attention to the usually discreet concrete and iron infrastructure.
In Summer-Fall seasons of 2017 the dry weather team monitored 54 outfall sites in Lincoln. Samples were taken at 23 of those sites that were found to be flowing, to detect potential illicit and illegal connections to the storm drain system. Monitoring locations shown in Figure 1 .
Public Works Drainage Maintenance crews reported seepages or septic water intrusion into the storm drain system.
The Lincoln Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials (HazMat) team responded to 126 calls to conduct spill containment for hazardous materials spills. The Health Department conducts investigations and enforcement for HazMat responses as appropriate (some locations are shown on Figure 2 ).
The Health Department responded to 104 illicit discharge incidences. Of those responses, 27 had the potential to impact stormwater and 20 actually did (some locations shown on Figure 2 ).
The Watershed Management Division maintains a database for tracking permits for construction site activity. All of the investigations conducted by Watershed Management were logged in a database and mapped (see Figure 3 ).
Watershed Management sent 169 “Notices” to site owners for miscellaneous violations. Compliance was achieved in most cases. Development areas needing grading certificates were inspected to verify the site was graded and erosion and sediment control measures were installed according to the plan submitted to the City. A total of 25 grading certificate inspections were conducted (see Figure 4 ).
On-site education was provided to construction site owners when City staff became aware of sediment in the public right-of-way.
Watershed Management staff educated 21 people regarding sediment and erosion control compliance.
Watershed Management presented at the Public Works “Annual Spring Meeting.” Two hundred five Public Works/Utilities staff attended and were provided information regarding storm drains and illicit discharge reporting.
Property owners installed several Best Management Practices that included rain gardens and other types of infiltrating mediums through a City Program with a (50/50) cost share from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.
The City designed, and or constructed, stormwater water quality projects at various locations.
All residential streets (10,888 curb lane miles) were cleaned with street sweepers three times per year on a rotating schedule of locations. All arterial streets were cleaned with street sweepers at a rate of typically once every two weeks (6,667.5 curb miles).
All business districts were cleaned with street sweepers, typically once every four days (curb miles).
The combined street sweeping of all types of streets listed above produced 3,913.21 tons of landfill material, or about 281 dump truck loads (typical 10 cubic yard capacity truck). This material would have ended up in local streams, creeks and retention ponds if not collected by street sweepers.
City crews inspected 222 manholes, 4,529 inlets and 60,277 linear feet of piped storm drainage systems to ensure that the City storm drain system is in good repair and that no sanitary lines connect to them.
In this permit year, the Health Department conducted inspections for 17 of the City’s 20 municipal facilities that are required to be inspected under EPA’s “Good Housekeeping” program. The other three were conducted by PWU MS4 staff in December upon completion of the revised RCP. (see Figure 6 ).
The Health Department continued the process of determining which industries in Lincoln (according to federal Standard Industrial Classification listing) will require an annual inspection. The Health Department updated the list in the 2015-16 permit year.
The Health Department inspected 99 industries that met the requirements to have an industrial inspection (see Figure 7 ).
The City and the University of Lincoln Civil Engineering College developed and implemented a monitoring program which focused on the Antelope Creek watershed and the known pollutants associated in the Antelope Creek watershed (e.g. e-coli, total suspended sediments, nutrients, selenium). The water quality monitoring took place at 11 locations in Antelope Creek. Final results from the Antelope Creek Study are available in this year’s full annual report. If you wish to view the report, it is available by contacting Watershed Management.
- Figure 1 - Dry Weather Monitoring Locations (521 K)
- Figure 2 - Complaints/Response Locations for Illicit Discharge (512 K)
- Figure 3 - Complaints/Response Locations - Erosion and Sediment Control (536 K)
- Figure 4 - Grading Inspection Locations (512 K)
- Figure 5 - Pond Inspection Locations (530 K)
- Figure 6 - Municipal Facility Inspection Locations (543 K)
- Figure 7 - Industrial Facility Inspection Locations (534 K)