Stormwater - Our Responsibility and More
As a national effort to curb pollution in stormwater runoff, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality mandated stormwater regulations for municipalities. Under this regulation, municipalities were required to develop and implement programs to minimize stormwater pollution entering the municipal stormwater drainage systems. The requirements of the Sapulpa Stormwater Management Program were both State and federally mandated, but neither the State of Oklahoma nor the federal government provided a funding source. The City of Sapulpa established a Stormwater Utility Fee to fund the mandated requirements.
What is stormwater? Stormwater is exactly what it sounds like. When it rains or when snow melts, water that is not soaked into the ground may go directly into a channel, ditch or storm drain and straight to a nearby river or creek. The rainwater that enters the stormwater drainage system is not treated prior to discharge to the creek or stream.
Why is stormwater management so important? The Sapulpa stormwater drainage system contains many miles of storm sewer lines, ditches, open channels and drains. It drains more than 129 stream miles and serves thousands of residential and commercial customers inside the boundaries of Sapulpa.
City of Sapulpa Drainage Areas
Without a stormwater drainage system, every rainstorm could turn into a flood. Sapulpa’s Stormwater Management Program has responsibility for operating, maintaining and improving an extensive system of open waterways and enclosed storm sewer lines. This system exists to collect the rainwater that runs off yards, roofs, streets and parking lots and carry it away from neighborhoods to the area’s creeks and streams. City crews routinely remove debris from storm drains, ditches, channels and storm sewers to prevent blockages that cause water to back up into streets and homes. In addition, the complex drainage system not only affects the City of Sapulpa, but also communities and areas both upstream and downstream, making proper management and water quality extremely important. The City of Sapulpa has delineated 11 Drainage Areas that are interconnected and ultimately drain into Polecat Creek before the Arkansas River. What happens in one Drainage Area can directly affect other Drainage Areas.
The Sapulpa Stormwater Management Program not only focuses on water quantity, but also water quality. Water pollution degrades surface waters making them unsafe for drinking, fishing, swimming, and other activities. As stormwater flows across a surface, it picks up and carries any pollutants that were present on that surface. When a large surface area drains to a creek, it can accumulate a lot of pollutants! Maintaining good water quality in Sapulpa’s creeks and streams is important for preserving healthy creek habitats and ecosystems.
What are examples of stormwater pollutants? Anything other than rain water discharged to the City of Sapulpa's stormwater drainage system is considered a pollutant. Some examples of stormwater pollutants include: grass clippings, leaves and yard debris; soil and dirt from construction activities; paints, varnishes and solvents; oil and antifreeze; garbage and refuse; sewage and animal wastes; and overuse of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.
What steps can a home/property owner take to reduce flooding and protect water quality of Sapulpa's creeks? Mow the outer strip of grass toward the lawn instead of out to the street. Use a mulching mower or bag grass and leaves instead of blowing them into streets. Yard wastes clog storm drains and lead to street flooding. Decomposition of yard waste depletes oxygen in the water when discharged into a creek. Oxygen is critical for a healthy creek and stream habitat and ecosystem.
Don’t pour used motor oil, antifreeze, pesticides or other pollutants into storm drains. Contact the City of Sapulpa’s Environmental Administrator at 918-248-5934 for proper disposal methods and locations.
Who has to pay a Stormwater Utility Fee? The Stormwater Utility Fee has nothing to do with drinking water or whether you're on city sewer. Stormwater is rainwater runoff from every property. All developed properties produce stormwater runoff and are, therefore, charged a Stormwater Utility Fee.
There may not be storm sewers or a specific stormwater drainage problem in your area or neighborhood, but the runoff from your property does contribute to the City’s overall stormwater drainage system. All developed properties produce stormwater runoff and have a higher capacity for contributing to stormwater pollution. The City has ultimate responsibility for the pollutants in the runoff from any property within Sapulpa city limits and, therefore, every developed property within Sapulpa city limits is required to pay the Stormwater Utility Fee.
Who do I contact for more information? Please visit the City of Sapulpa website, www.cityofsapulpa.net, or contact the City of Sapulpa Environmental Administrator at 918-248-5934. In case of an emergency, please call 911.