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Stormwater Quality

Improving Stormwater Quality

Minimizing pollutants in stormwater runoff is a continual and growing concern throughout the nation. The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 with goals of eliminating pollutants discharged to the nation’s waters and to achieve a level of water quality that provides protection for fish, shellfish, wildlife and recreation. In the 1970s, local emphasis was placed on building and upgrading wastewater treatment facilities. In the 1980s, the emphasis shifted to Industrial Pretreatment; in the 1990s, to improving stormwater quality for large municipalities; and in the 2000s, to working on improving stormwater quality in medium and small municipalities.

Stormwater Coalition Logo.

The Rochester Pure Waters District (RPWD) operates a storm sewer collection system in the City of Rochester under the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Stormwater Permit. The General Stormwater Permit defines six required minimum control measures the District must address. These are:

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

The County (RPWD) has developed a Stormwater Management Plan to address these minimum control measures and summarizes its activities each year in a Monroe County Stormwater Coalition Shared Annual Report (click here for the page that contains the report). The annual report also includes stormwater management plans for the coming year. A public hearing is held each year to share the annual report with concerned citizens and solicit input. You are encouraged to read the annual report and send your written comments to the department.

The RPWD is a member of the Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County. The function of the Coalition is for permitted municipalities within Monroe County to work together toward the common cause of improving stormwater quality in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Visit the Coalition website for more information.

Please click here to learn more from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s stormwater page.

Please click here to learn more about local Stormwater Education programs and for ideas about how you can help improve stormwater quality.

Please click here to browse more water subtopics at the US Environmental Protection Agency.