Storm Water Quality

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Storm Sewer Inlet Marking
Thursday, August 9, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
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Sterne Park/Littles Creek Greenway Cleanup
Saturday September 8, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
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Storm water runoff can collect pollutants from urbanized areas, which can add to or create problems in lakes and streams. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regulates storm water runoff. Littleton was issued a renewal permit for discharges from its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) in July 2016.  The City of Littleton has a program description document (PDD) describing the water quality program and how the MS4 permit requirements are met. The PDD is available for public review and comment at the Public Works/Engineering Department. The City of Littleton must implement programs under Six Minimum Control Measures, to control pollutants in storm water to the maximum extent practical. The following is a description of the city's activities in each category.

Minimum Control Measures

  1. Public Education and Outreach 
  2. Public Participation/Involvement 
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination 
  4. Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control 
  5. Post-Construction Storm Water Management 
  6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations

 

1. Public Education and Outreach

The objective of this minimum control measure is to increase awareness and educate the public about urban runoff. General knowledge of both water quality problems and potential solutions can allow for greater compliance with laws and regulations. 

Save our streams, one lawn at a timeProgram Activities

  • Save our Streams, One Lawn at a Time 
  • Scoop the Poop, Protect the Water 
  • Drainage and Flood Control District (UDFCD) distributes notices on an annual basis to residents in designated floodplains. Contact UDFCD at 303-455-6277, or click on the link on Littleton’s home page.
  • Scoop the poop, protect the waterArticles are regularly published in the Littleton Report on topics of general interest related to storm drainage. The Littleton Report is published 6 times a year and distributed at no charge to all Littleton residents.
  • The Bemis Public Library maintains a collection of reference materials on flood information.
  • Littleton participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Owners or tenants of buildings that have submitted numerous flood insurance claims are classified as Repetitive Loss Properties and are subject to special notification on an annual basis. There is one of these properties in Littleton.
  • Numerous printed brochures on storm water are available at the counters of public buildings or are included in utility bill statements.
  • Storm drain inlet marking event or individual groups
  • Greenway or creek cleanup events 
  • Several demonstration projects of facilities that improve the quality of storm water runoff have been constructed at city buildings. Porous landscape detention has been installed at the Douglas H. Buck Community Recreation Center, 2004 W. Powers Avenue, and at the Littleton Center, 2255 W. Berry Avenue.
  • A booth offering information on storm water is planned for the Western Welcome Week Grand Parade every August.
  • The City of Littleton Economic Development Department maintains a database of all businesses within the city limits. The database is used to select target audiences to receive information on impacts to storm water quality of various business operations.
  • Informational products related to storm water education are available at no charge to the public, at the Public Works Department.
  • Identification signs on various streams have been installed at road crossings throughout the community.

2. Public Participation/Involvement

This measure of the permit provides opportunity for the city to get feedback from the public and allow individuals or groups with specific interests to participate.

Program Activities

3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

Water that enters the storm drainage system is not processed in a treatment plant. Illicit discharges are sources of water that are not runoff from precipitation events, and can be a source of pollutants. The goal of this minimum measure is to identify and control non storm water discharges to the waters of the community.

Program Activities

  • All storm drainage facilities such as storm sewers, inlets and channels have been mapped by the Engineering and Utilities Division. These maps are a valuable tool for management and maintenance.
  • Littleton has a sanitary sewer preventative maintenance program, which helps to minimize overflows of wastewater that may enter the storm drainage system.
  • In cooperation with the City of Englewood, Littleton sponsors an annual household hazardous material roundup where residents can legally dispose of chemicals, batteries and numerous other substances that normally are not accepted by solid waste services. This service helps prevent illegal dumping. Please see the city calendar.
  • Littleton’s annual Summer Cleanup and Recycling Program provides residents an opportunity to dispose of large items, which may not normally accepted by solid waste services. Please see the city calendar.
  • Christmas trees can be dropped off for recycling from late December through mid-January.
  • Littleton residents can drop off leaves from their trees for recycling in early Fall.  Please check the website.
  • The laboratory of the Littleton Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant can collect water samples of suspected questionable discharges from storm drains. To report suspicious activity, call the Storm Water Hotline at 303-734-8299.
  • Littleton has an ordinance to regulate non storm water discharges. 
  • Periodically Engineering and Utilities Division inspectors may document conditions at locations where storm sewer pipes outlet into streams or lakes, in an effort to locate and eliminate illegal dumping in storm drainage facilities.
  • Littleton has an illicit discharge detection and elimination plan.

4. Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control

Almost any form of outdoor construction disturbs the existing ground cover or vegetation. This can create soil erosion. The city requires construction site operators to use Best Management Practices (BMP’s) to control both erosion and sedimentation under this minimum measure.

Program Activities

  • All developments sites are required to conform with erosion control requirements as stipulated in the Littleton Storm Drainage Design and Technical Criteria manual.
  • Development site plans are reviewed by the Engineering and Utilities Division as part of the building permit approval process.
  • Construction sites are monitored by Littleton employees for conformance to approved erosion control plans.
  • City code contains requirements for solid waste controls at all construction sites.
  • Construction sites that ultimately disturb one acre or more of ground are required to obtain a permit from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in addition to Littleton’s requirements. Operators of these larger sites are required to perform semi-monthly inspections and submit written reports of maintenance and remedial activities.

5. Post-Construction Storm Water Management

The objective of this minimum measure is to require development sites to implement permanent measures to protect and enhance runoff from the site, following completion of construction.

Program Activities

  • All required post construction BMPs on development sites completed since about 1982 have been inventoried by the Engineering and Utilities Division. Staff inspects these facilities regularly and issues correction notices to the owner of any facility in need of maintenance. Any alteration of a required facility must be approved by the city.
  • Zoning regulations exist that place additional requirements for water quality and flood control protection on sites located within a regulatory floodplain.
  • Citizens are encouraged to contact the Engineering and Utilities Division at 303-795-3865 to report storm drainage problems. All complaints are registered and tracked to insure resolution and acceptable customer service.
  • Littleton has a Storm Drainage Ordinance to guarantee legal conformance with the requirements of the MS4 permit.

6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations

The city considers the potential impacts to storm water of its operations, equipment and practices. Numerous measures are employed on a daily basis to minimize any negative effects.

Program Activities

  • All properties in Littleton pay an annual fee to the city’s Storm Drainage Utility. This provides a reliable source of funding to be used strictly for management of storm drainage programs.
  • The Fleet Maintenance Division recycles most automotive fluids used in maintenance of the city’s cars, trucks and equipment. All maintenance is performed indoors and no work or material storage is exposed to storm water runoff.
  • The Building Maintenance Division conducts its operations to minimize impacts on storm water. Work is performed indoors and many used products are recycled.
  • All storm sewer facilities are regularly cleaned as part of Littleton’s preventative maintenance program. Tons of trash and debris are removed each year from storm sewer pipes and inlets.
  • The Urban Drainage and Flood Control District (UDFCD) assists the city with maintenance of the South Platte River, tributary streams, and drainage channels. Typical work includes mowing, debris removal, erosion repair and silt removal.
  • The Grounds Maintenance Division conducts its practices with the intent to minimize negative impacts on storm water runoff. For example, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides are used in strict accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations and these chemicals are not applied when precipitation is forecast, which might wash these chemicals into the storm sewer.
  • Street sweeping is routinely done by the Street Division. Hundreds of tons of dirt, sand and trash is swept up and removed each year, before most material has a chance to wash into storm sewers.
  • The Public Works Department considers impacts on water quality when performing snow and ice control. Deicing materials are applied to streets and grounds in amounts strictly calibrated to make travel safe, but not applied in excess quantities. Sand and similar solid materials are swept up as soon as practical after snowfalls to try and keep as much material as possible out of storm sewers.
  • All city employees whose activities may affect storm water quality receive training on methods to minimize any negative impacts.
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Fact Sheets have been created for various activities at the city's municipal facilities. New SOPs are developed as needed or required.