Saginaw Area Storm Water Authority
Monday, February 18th 2019

_SASWA History - Introduction to NPDES Article 1

NPDES Article 1 | NPDES Article 2 | NPDES Phase II Chart | CWA Deadline

Introduction to NPDES Article Number 1
Prior to the Clean Water Act of 1972 (CWA) there was not a national system to evaluate the quality of storm water being discharged into our streams, rivers, and lakes. The CWA prohibits the discharge of any pollutant into waters of the United States from a point source unless a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit authorizes the discharge. A point source is a discharge to the waters of the state by a pipe, ditch, channel, etc. The NPDES program is designed to track point sources and require the implementation of the controls necessary to minimize the discharge of pollutants. Examples of prohibited discharges into storm sewers include, sanitary wastewater illegally connected to the storm drain system; wastewater from septic tanks; car wash, laundry, and other industrial wastewater; improper disposal of auto and household toxins, such as used motor oil and pesticides; and spills from roadways. These types of illicit discharge pose a serious threat to the environment and the welfare of the citizens of our country.

NPDES was designed in two phases. Phase I required NPDES permits for storm water discharge from medium and large municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) serving populations of 100,000 or more and several categories of industrial activity including construction activity that disturbs five or more acres of land. These regulations only affected 5 communities in Michigan in the 1990s, Ann Arbor, Flint, Grand Rapids, Sterling Heights and Warren. These communities have met the requirements,

The Phase II requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) regulates operators of MS4s in small urbanized areas with a residential population of 50,000 or more and a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile, based on the 2000 census, to comply with the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Storm Water Permit Program. In Michigan, over 366 cities, villages and townships are affected by these regulations. Phase II of the storm water program requires permits for storm water discharges from certain small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activity generally disturbing the soil on 1 to 5 acres in area, and municipal industrial activities.

Based upon the 2000 Census information, the following municipalities, state and local agencies, and school districts, including Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) are located within the Saginaw Urbanized Area and automatically required to apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit by March 10, 2003. The following municipalities have applied for the permit: City of Saginaw, Saginaw Charter Township, City of Zilwaukee, Buena Vista Charter Township, Bridgeport Charter Township, Thomas Township, James Township, Spaulding Township, Tittabawassee Township, Kochville Township, Carrollton Township, Saginaw County Road Commission, and the Saginaw County Public Works Department. Additionally, Birch Run Township had to comply as they were in the Flint Urbanized Area and SVSU / Saginaw Correctional Facility were included as part of the Saginaw UA. The school districts affected are as follows: Carrollton Township Schools, Saginaw Township Community Schools, Saginaw Intermediate School District, Bridgeport-Spaulding Township Schools, and Swan Creek Schools.
Additionally, these entities have worked cooperatively to form the Saginaw Area Storm Water Authority (SASWA) to jointly work on the plans needed for the NPDES permit.

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