The City of Beaumont Public Works Department is responsible for maintaining and monitoring water quality in area waterways and storm drains. This responsibility is managed by the Department’s Stormwater Program.
Each time it rains, water washes over our streets, driveways and yards picking up pollutants along the way and flowing into our storm drains. This runoff may contain pollutants such as motor oil, yard clippings, pet waste, litter, lawn chemicals, anti-freeze, or other materials, which can pollute our water supply as well as clog pipes and culverts which can lead to flooding. Known as “Non-Point Source Pollution”, it is the largest threat to our waterways today. Sometimes, pollutants are dumped directly into storm drains by neighbors who don’t know any better. Sometimes, they are washed off of roofs, driveways, streets and parking lots by rainfall runoff. Contrary to popular opinion, our storm drains are NOT connected to treatment systems. Whatever enters the drain is discharged directly, untreated, into our local waterways!
The City of Beaumont was issued an NPDES Storm Water Discharge Permit for its municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) in August of 1998 and continues to implement the program through subsequent permits. In response to the issuance of the permit, the City has implemented numerous Best Management Practices (BMP’s) in City Departments to help minimize stormwater pollution. These BMPs include responsible ways for dealing with chemicals and other materials which may have a negative impact on water quality as well as training of City employees in how they can perform their daily tasks in a way that will minimize the potential for polluting our local waterways. In addition, the City of Beaumont created and enacted the Watershed Protection Ordinance to address and enforce a policy that will reduce stormwater pollution in Beaumont, and the City has produced numerous public education materials to educate the general public on stormwater pollution.
One new public education campaign involves the placing of stencils on storm drains throughout the city. These stencils, which contain an image of a fish and the slogan “No Dumping. Drains to River.” will help spread the message that stormwater, as well as any other substance that enters the storm drain, flows directly to local waterways and has the potential to harm fish and other wildlife.
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