Stormwater Management is an important part of the community’s effort to improve water quality, protect fish habitat, and protect properties and infrastructure from flooding. “Stormwater” refers to runoff from urban areas. Stormwater flows to storm drains, gutters, ditches, swales, or a system of pipes, eventually ending up in the McKenzie or Willamette rivers. Springfield’s stormwater system is separate from the wastewater system. Unlike wastewater from indoor plumbing, stormwater is not treated before emptying into our rivers and streams. We use those waterways for recreation and resources, which is why it’s important for everyone to do their part in keeping the City and our water clean.
The City of Springfield operates under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program of the Federal Clean Water Act. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued Springfield a permit for stormwater discharges, along with a requirement to address specific areas recognized as sources of stormwater pollution. Springfield’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Plan provides the framework for implementing specific planned activities and goals in meeting the requires of the permit.
Springfield’s Total Maximum Daily Load Implementation Plan provides a framework for reducing specific pollutants in the Upper Willamette River Basin. These programs and projects work hand-in-hand with actions you can take as an individual to help keep our waterways clean.
Stormwater at City Hall
While stormwater plans and permits apply to all parts of the City and are implemented by all City staff, three divisions within the Development and Public Works Department provide specific support:
Springfield’s stormwater management
In 2022, Springfield’s Stormwater Management Plan is in the process of being replaced by the proposed MS4 Plan. The existing Stormwater Management Plan was adopted by Springfield City Council and was used to managed stormwater programs and projects through the City. Chapter 5 of the plan addressed the NPDES Permit and expired in 2011.
The proposed MS4 Plan addresses the updated General Permit that was issued to Springfield in 2021. It provides guidance for activities affecting stormwater throughout the City and its urbanized area. It helps meet State and Federal water quality requirements and local water resource management objectives. It characterizes Springfield’s stormwater drainage system, establishes goals, policy, and implementation actions, and establishes a means for measuring, reporting, and adaptively managing the City’s water resources and stormwater runoff. The proposed MS4 Plan will be submitted to the Oregon DEQ for acceptance by November 1, 2022.
The proposed MS4 Plan outlines proposed actions that will be taken in each of the following areas:
- Public Education and Outreach – informs residents, businesses, and industries about urban stormwater runoff and pollution prevention.
- Public Participation – involves the public in the stormwater planning process and stewardship.
- Illicit Discharge of Contaminants – addresses illegal or illicit dumping of pollutants, whether accidental or intentional.
- Construction Site Erosion Control – work with contractors and developers where land clearing or construction may result in erosion, sedimentation, and soil loss.
- Post-Construction Runoff – ensures that new developments “build in” features (such as bio-swales) to continuously manage and treat stormwater runoff.
- Good Internal Housekeeping – assesses the City’s own maintenance practices and policies to ensure that work crews use the best practices to minimize pollution in their everyday tasks and storage of materials.