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Water Quality

Stormwater Basics

Stormwater pollution is rapidly growing in importance as a national environmental issue. Stormwater pollution occurs when rain or snow melt flows over streets and picks up trash, oil, dirt, and other pollutants as it travels. These pollutants are then carried to the storm drainage system, which drains directly into our local lakes, streams and rivers, untreated.

Why is this Important?

As stated by the EPA, stormwater pollution is the #1 cause of water pollution in the country. Stormwater -- it’s a big deal! As communities become increasingly developed with more roads, parking lots, cars and homes, increased urbanization and increased impervious surfaces, directly impact our water. The creation of impervious surfaces that accompanies urbanization profoundly affects how water moves above and below ground during storms. These impervious surfaces impact the quality of stormwater and the condition of our lakes and rivers.

Common Pollutants

Motor oil, sediment, yard waste/leaves, biodegradable materials, and paint are common pollutants that should never be put down the storm drain. These materials will travel directly into lakes and rivers untreated, polluting water and natural habitats.

Help Us Keep it Clean! Know the Rules

  • Only rain to the drain!
  • The storm drainage system is designed to convey rain water to our local lakes and rivers. Businesses and residents all need to be aware of what is allowed and not allowed into the storm drain system.
  • Call 970-473-6389 to report illegal dumping activity.
  • Ordinances and state regulations establish methods for controlling pollutants entering the storm drainage system.

Local ordinances are a requirement of the City of Greeley’s Municipal Stormwater Discharge Permit issued by the State of Colorado

The objective of the ordinance is to:
  • Control pollutants to the storm drainage system.
  • Prohibit illegal connections and discharges to the storm drainage system.
  • Establish legal authority to carry out inspections, surveillance, monitoring and enforcement procedures necessary to ensure compliance with the ordinances.
  • Promote public awareness of the hazards of improperly releasing trash, yard waste, lawn chemicals, pet waste, wastewater, grease, oil, petroleum products, cleaning products and paint products, hazardous waste, sediment and other pollutants into the storm drainage system.

General Prohibitions

  • No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged into the storm drainage system or water course any materials other than stormwater.
  • The construction, use, maintenance or continued existence of illicit connections to the storm drainage system is prohibited.
  • It shall be unlawful to cause, allow, or place chemicals, pollutants, or like materials in such a manner or location where they may be exposed to stormwater, or enter storm drains, gutters or waters of the state. Materials, chemicals, or pollutants that are not contained are considered to be threatened discharges unless they are actively being cleaned up
  • No land disturbance activities greater than one acre in size or as a part of a common development over one acre in size shall be conducted without a Grading Permit issued by the City of Greeley
  • No person shall maliciously destroy or interfere with structural controls in place to protect water quality.
  • Fines up to $1,000 per day for Ordinance violations may be imposed.

General Exemptions: The following types of discharges could be allowed to the storm drainage system when properly managed:

  • Water line flushing or other potable water sources;
  • Landscape irrigation or lawn watering;
  • Irrigation return flows;
  • Diverted stream flows;
  • Rising groundwater;
  • Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration to storm drain (as defined by 40CFR 35.2005(20));
  • Uncontaminated pumped groundwater discharged to land/onsite infiltration;
  • Single family residential foundation or footing drains;
  • Single family residential crawl space pumps;
  • Air conditioning condensation;
  • Springs;
  • Individual residential car washing;
  • Natural riparian or wetland flows;
  • Swimming pools (if dechlorinated, less than 0.05 PPM chlorine).

Public Notice

The City of Greeley administers a general permit for stormwater discharges associated with Municipal Separate Storm Systems (MS4) in accordance with Colorado’s Discharge Permit System (CDPS). The City of Greeley maintains a Program Description Document that is available to the public for review and comment.

Contact Us

Public Works

2835 W. 10th St
Greeley, CO 80631

Monday - Friday
7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


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