Water Quality (NPDES Phase ll)

Obetz Big Walnut Creek

What is NPDES Phase ll?

In 1977, Congress passed the Clean Water Act, which regulated the emission of pollutants from specific locations, or point sources, (i.e., industrial pipes) into waters of the U.S.  While the quality of our nation’s waters began to improve drastically with the regulation of point source pollutants, polluted water bodies still existed.  As was discovered, preventing pollution from point sources was not enough to ensure clean water.  This is because many pollutants enter our waterways indirectly as runoff from impervious surfaces (surfaces that do not allow infiltration such as asphalt).  When these nonpoint pollutants flow through our storm water systems and out into our rivers and lakes, they degrade the quality of our waterways.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase I was formulated in 1990 under the Clean Water Act to address this issue of polluted runoff, or nonpoint source pollution.  Nonpoint source pollution is defined as pollution that comes from many different sources over a large area, and it is generated when rain or snowmelt collects impurities as it travels to a body of water.  In 1999 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) expanded the NPDES storm water program by designating additional sources of storm water for regulation to protect water quality.  This new, expanded program is NPDES Phase II.

The new Phase II regulations strengthen the ability of government to regulate sources of nonpoint source pollution, the leading cause of water quality degradation in the United States.  Phase II affects two classes of facilities for automatic coverage on a nationwide basis: small municipalities such as Obetz and small construction activities that disturb greater than one (1) acre.

Whether the nonpoint source pollution is sediment runoff from a construction site or fertilizer from a lawn, it impairs the quality of our waterways and thus the habitat and the resources within that habitat that many animals rely on for survival.

Obetz’ Storm Water Management Program Plan

In order to improve our surface water quality, the Ohio EPA requires Obetz to create and implement a five year storm water management program.  Our program is described in a plan known as the Obetz Storm Water Management Program Plan.  The plan contains a list of activities the Village will undertake during the next five years in order to comply with the OEPA’s regulations.

A copy of the plan is available by clicking here.  If you have any questions on the Village’s storm water program, contact Stacey Boumis, AICP, Community Services Director, at (614) 491-1080 or click here to send an email.

Illegal Dumping and Illicit Discharges

An illicit discharge is defined as any discharge into Obetz’ storm sewer system that is not comprised soley of storm water except discharges pursuant to a NPDES permit.

You can help by reporting suspected illicit discharges of chemicals, point, oil and grease, yard waste, fertilizer, and other questionable materials to Village officials so that they can be investigated and resolved.

Contact the Community Services Director at (614) 491-1080 to report an illicit discharge or illegal dumping.  You may also click here to email us.

As an alternative you may contact the Environmental Crimes Task Force of Central Ohio hotline at 871-5322 or www.itsacrime.org.

Where to Dispose of Unwanted Items

  • Lead acid batteries – Crown Battery Company and at all locations of Parts America, AutoZone, and BP ProCare; residents may also take discarded batteries to the Solid Waste Authority Transfer Station scale house located at 2500 Jackson Pike.
  • Used tires – Liberty Tire Services located at 3041 Jackson Pike
  • Unwanted appliances – Central City Auto Parts (276-9617) or Bargain House (279-6416); residents may also put out unwanted, freon free appliances for weekly trash collection. If the appliance has a freon line, it must be tagged that the freon has been removed.
  • Household hazardous waste – SWACO facility located at 1249 Essex Avenue

Pollution Prevention Tips

According to the USEPA, the most common source of water pollution is stormwater runoff from agricultural land, roads, and lawns.  Stormwater is rain or snowmelt that does not soak into the ground.  When it runs off our lawns, driveways, parking lots, and roads, it picks up pollutants such as sediment, gasoline, oil, and toxic chemicals from motor vehicles, excess fertilizer and pesticides, road salts, litter, and viruses, bacteria, and nutrients from pet waste.

Obetz encourages the use of Low Impact Development for all new construction and redevelopment projects.

What Can You Do?

  • Don’t overwater your lawn. Consider using a soaker hose instead of a sprinkler.
  • Seed or mulch any bare soil on your property.
  • Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. Excess pesticides and fertilizers run off lawns when they are watered or applied before a rain storm.
  • Don’t blow soil, grass, or leaves into the street or storm drain.
  • Clean up after your pets.
  • Keep your vehicles well-maintained so that they are not dripping fluids.
  • Properly dispose of used auto fluids and batteries. Don’t dump auto fluids into storm drains.
  • Plant a rain garden or use a rain barrel. This keeps the water from getting into the storm drain.

Helpful Links

Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO)