National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

History

Congress initiated the Clean Water Act in 1972. The act deals with concerns regarding water use and conservation. One of the divisions within the act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), addresses municipal storm sewer systems and the discharge effects on rivers and streams.

Purpose

Congress appointed the Environmental Projection Agency (EPA) to enforce compliancy and implementation standards on all states. The EPA has appointment the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to regulate the Storm Water Program in Kansas.

The Storm Water Program provides a basic plan for improving and protecting waterways that collect storm water from various sources of runoff. Storm water is any accumulation of water resulting from rain runoff, snow melt runoff, surface runoff, and any other source of drainage such as detention ponds that would eventually discharge into surrounding rivers or streams.

Phases

The program has been divided into two phases. Phase I refers to cities with a population size greater than 100,000 people and construction sites greater than five acre lots. Phase II refers to cities with a population size greater than 10,000 to 100,000 people.

City of Hays Plan

The City of Hays falls under Phase II of the NPDES. The city developed a plan to improve storm water quality in the community and after submitting the plan to the EPA, the city received a permit which outlines the deadlines, goals, and objectives. Through this plan the city helps maintain existing drainage structures, implements various programs to provide cleaner runoff to the surrounding streams, lakes, ponds, and rivers, maintains the city's drainage system, and implements the requirements under the permit.

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