National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit
MS4 Permit No. NE0133671
September 1, 2011 - August 31, 2012
Permit Year 5 of 5
The City of Lincoln, Nebraska
Public Works and Utilities
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 the federally mandated regulations of the Clean Water Act 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 next five years (2013 through 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) has a link to an EPA website to provide a summarized description of the requirements. The items listed below are not inclusive of all of the efforts made by the City in the 2011-12 fiscal year.
For the 2011-2012 permit year (September 1, 2011 to August 31, 2012) the City of Lincoln, operated under a permit to discharge stormwater runoff NPDES MS4 permit to Salt Creek and its tributaries within the Lincoln corporate limits. The following is a summarized version of the annual report that was provided to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality for the stormwater programs that were implemented in the 2011-2012 permit year.
It is estimated that approximately $6 Million was spent in Fiscal Year 2011-12 on stormwater programs and projects related to water quality and the NPDES permit.
Not included in the above cost are $473,533 of Wastewater maintenance costs for sanitary inspection to check for leaks in the system to assure compliance with the City's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit requirements.
Stormwater Quality Programs
- In this permit year, the City provided 15 rain barrel classes and rain garden classes through the local community college and at community events.
- The City promoted the fact that it takes 15 minutes or less for stormwater to reach streams using a movie clip at six local theaters.
- The Parks and Recreation Department provided several programs for elementary school students and the general public which describe positive and negative impacts humans have on the environment. The classes were attended by 9,996 students and their adult leaders.
- The City posted two billboards promoting the importance of pet waste and promoting the "Adopt a Stream" program.
- The City of Lincoln gave away over 200 copies of a booklet of Best Management Practices specifically created for individual and small construction sites. Copies of the booklet were provided to local builders and contractors.
- The City also imprints a "No Dumping - Leads to Stream" design into all new precast concrete top sections of storm drain. In the 2011-12 fiscal year, approximately 100 such inlet lids were placed.
- The City provided education to 76 persons regarding methods for making their own compost.
- The Watershed Management staff distributed a "NebGuide" (series of three brochures for construction, landscaping and maintenance of rain gardens). The City continues to have these brochures reprinted for distribution.
- The City conducted seven public meetings for basin planning and watershed projects. Invitations were sent to landowners and various organizations and governmental agencies for the meetings.
- The City made 1,000 cubic yards of compost available, free to the public.
- Various departments maintain web pages on the City website which are dedicated to stormwater quality related topics.
- Through a 319 grant from the State of Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and additional State sponsored funding for stormwater (LB1226), the City completed two water quality Best Management Practices projects.
- The Health Department provided eight Household Hazardous Waste collection drives in the 2011-12 fiscal year.
- One hundred ten persons took part in seven "Adopt-a-Stream" clean up events.
- Watershed Management provided information to the public at a booth at the Spring Home and Garden Show. It is estimated that the 500 persons stopped by the booth to ask questions or take a survey. A travel mug was given to persons who completed a survey used to assess public knowledge on water quality issues for the local Lincoln area. Watershed Management also provided a rain garden seminar for approximately 60 persons.
- The Earth Wellness Festival is a elementary school level program for area 5th 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 3,072 students.
- The Lincoln Public Schools and area schools provide curriculum for recycling and ecology based classes. Garbology , which is an ecology based program that includes water quality components. The classes were provided to 4,123 2nd grade level students.
- The City provided a program to accept recyclable materials at various locations. Persons dropped off 12,770 gallons of used oil and 5,686 tons of recyclable materials such as news paper, plastics, cardboard, glass, tin and aluminum cans.
- The League of Conservation Voters held an "Earth Day" event on April 22, 2012. Watershed Management participated in the event. The event was attended by approximately 1,500 persons.
- On June 14, 2012 approximately 2,000 persons attended a joint activity for "Waterfest" and "Public Works Day". Persons attending met with City staff and viewed equipment used by the various divisions of Public Works and participated in Water Quality education activities.
- During the period from June to August of 2012, 55 storm drains in Lincoln were monitored for pollutants and samples were able to be taken at 31 of the sites. The work was completed to provide a field screening analysis for illicit connections and illegal dumping for selected field screening points at or near major storm drain outfalls (see Figure 1 ).
- Public Works Drainage Maintenance crews reported seepages or septic water into the storm/drain system where encountered.
- The Lincoln Fire Department's Hazardous Materials (HazMat) team responded to 145 calls to conduct spill containment for hazardous material 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 96 illicit discharge responses. Of those responses, 28 either impacted water or had a potential to impact stormwater (some locations are shown on Figure 2 ). Nine of these resulted in enforcement actions.
- The Watershed Management Division maintains a database for tracking permits for construction site activity. All of the investigations that were conducted by the Watershed Management and the Lower Platte South NRD were logged in a database (see Figure 3 ).
- Watershed Management sent 17 "Notices" to site owners for miscellaneous violations. Compliance was achieved in most cases. Development areas that had a grading permit were inspected to verify that the site was graded according to the plan submitted to the City. A total of 10 grading inspections were conducted (see Figure 4 ).
- On site education was provided to construction site owners when City staff became aware of or were notified of sediment in the public-right-of-way issues.
- Property owners installed 14 rain gardens through a City Program with a (50/50) cost share from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. City staff coordinated a "Rain Barrel Art Contest" in which 25 artists painted rain barrels which were auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Lincoln Children's Zoo.
- Thirty-three Retention/Detention Ponds were inspected to assess their functionality with regard to reducing pollutants from stormwater runoff and controlling flooding (locations are shown on Figure 5 ).
- Portions or all of several projects were designed and/or constructed including:
Water quality projects associated with stream stability along streams and drainage ways (North Star High School Wetland, Camp Away, Stettinger Outlot, Wood Bridge, Beal Slough near Stephanos Drive). Water Quality projects associated with treating stormwater (Sherman Ball Field Parking Lot Pavers, Larson Building Green Roof , S. 48th Street "Green Streets" project, Park and Recreation Headquarters rain gardens and Park and Recreation Nature Center rain gardens at Pioneers Park).
- All residential streets were cleaned with street sweepers three times per year on a rotating schedule of locations (7,778 curb miles swept). All arterial streets were cleaned with street sweepers at a rate of typically once every two weeks (8,322 curb miles swept).
- All business districts were cleaned with street sweepers, typically once every four days (2,580 curb miles swept).
- The combined street sweeping of all types of streets listed above produced 4,094 tons of landfill material, or about 300 dump truck loads (typical 10 cubic yard capacity truck). This material would have ended up in local streams and creeks if not collected by the street sweepers.
- City crews inspected: 871 manholes, 12,155 inlets, and 174,666 linear feet of piped storm drainage systems to ensure that the City storm drainage system is in good repair and that no sanitary lines connect to them.
- In this permit year, the Health Department conducted inspections for all 22 of the City's municipal facilities that are required to be inspected under EPA's "Good Housekeeping" program (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 2011-12 permit year.
- The Health Department inspected 92 industries that are required to have a State permit for discharge of stormwater to the surrounding environment (see Figure 7 ).
- The Watershed Management Division partnered with the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the University of Lincoln, Civil Engineering College to implement a pollutant monitoring program. Water quality samples were taken from approximately March through October from 2007 through 2011. The data for the report was compiled by the University of Nebraska, Lincoln during this fiscal year. The report is available from the City of Lincoln upon request.
- Figure 1 - Dry Weather Monitoring Locations (214 K)
- Figure 2 - Complaints / Response Locations for Illicit Discharge (206 K)
- Figure 3 - Complaints / Response Locations - Erosion and Sediment Control (185 K)
- Figure 4 - Grading Inspection Locations (213 K)
- Figure 5 - Pond Inspection Locations (227 K)
- Figure 6 - Municipal Facility Inspection Locations (227 K)
- Figure 7 - Industrial Facility Inspection Locations (226 K)