Stormwater: What Does It All Mean?
Stormwater is rainwater or snowmelt that, instead of seeping into the earth, "runs off" via gutters, storm drains and ditches into creeks, streams, rivers, lakes, and the ocean.
Although it is a necessary part of the natural water cycle, stormwater can also be an environmental concern. As stormwater flows over the land, it collects contaminants such as oil and grease from roadways, pesticides, and fertilizers from lawns, sediment from construction sites, and discarded trash, which can degrade water quality and the health of surrounding plants and animals. It is estimated that 70% of the water pollution in the United States comes from stormwater and other indirect discharges collectively known as "non-point" pollution sources.
Municipal Storm Sewers
Municipal storm sewers, also known as storm drains, are separate from the sanitary sewer system. They do not treat stormwater but rather work to convey the stormwater off the streets directly to the nearest stream or creek, as storm drains are designed to quickly remove runoff from streets to help prevent flooding. These also means that anytime a person might pour into or dispose of anything into a storm drain, it all goes directly into our lakes the next time it rains.
Quantity of Stormwater
The quality of stormwater runoff is only one half of the stormwater picture; the quantity of stormwater runoff poses its own problems. Increased development brings more streets, parking lots, rooftops, and other surfaces that shed water instead of absorbing it. One inch of rain falling on a one-acre parking lot produces 16 times more runoff than the same inch of rain falling on a one-acre meadow. Localized urban flooding, erosion, and the souring of streambeds are some impacts caused by increased stormwater runoff quantity.
Trophy Club Stormwater Master Plan
The Town has contracted Freese and Nichols, Inc. to perform a Stormwater Master Plan (PDF) conducted in three phases.
- Phase I is a detailed study of five known drainage issues within the Town.
- Phase II will be a review, analysis, and provision of recommendations for all remaining drainage systems in the Town. Phase II will also include development and ranking of proposed drainage improvement alternatives for a Town-wide Stormwater Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).
- Phase III will be coordination of regional drainage concerns with neighboring communities and pursuit of grant funding opportunities to fund drainage studies and improvements.
Phase I (PDF) of this report summarizes the findings of the first phase of the Master Plan. The study analyzes and proposes improvements for the 5 identified drainage focus areas:
- Marshall Branch at Trophy Club Drive
- Skyline (Indian) Creek
- Overhill/Timber Ridge Drives
- Fresh Meadows Drive
- Cypress Creek
Best Management Practices
This BMP commits the Town to development of a stormwater education and outreach program to educate public employees, businesses, and the general public of hazards associated with illegal discharges and improper disposal of waste and about the impact that stormwater discharges can have on local waterways, as well as the steps that the public can take to reduce pollutants in stormwater. Several sources of readily-available educational materials exist, including:
- NCTCOG Pollution Prevention Resources: https://www.nctcog.org/envir/watershedmanagement/stormwater/pollution-prevention
- US EPA YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/USEPAgov/featured