Not all rain and snow that falls on the land soaks into the soil.

When storms occur, and the soil becomes saturated, excess water runs off the surface.   As stormwater flows over bare ground, driveways, lawns, and sidewalks, it picks up silt, chemicals, and other pollutants.  Polluted runoff remains a great threat to clean water.  The SWCD works with municipalities and other units of government to reduce stormwater from entering our streams, rivers, and lakes.


In 1987, the Clean Water Act (CWA) was amended to require the US EPA to establish a program to address stormwater discharges.  In response, US EPA promulgated the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit program.  The NPDES permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the streams, rivers, lakes and coastal waters of the United States.  The primary intent of the stormwater program is to eliminate illicit discharges from the waters of the United States.  Several municipalities in Delaware County are is required by the US EPA to prepare and implement a Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP) to fulfill the requirements of the Clean Water Act.  These municipalities include the villages of Galena, Shawnee Hills, and Sunbury; and the cities of Powell and Delaware.

“Only Rain Down the Drain” serves as the message that these municipalities wish to share with their residents, regarding our collective responsibility to protect water quality.  The storm drain in your street carries rainwater and snowmelt as well as trash, grass clippings, fertilizer, oil and other wastes directly to our streams.  Please remember to:

  1. Pick up or soak up all spills from vehicles or household activities off your sidewalk and driveway.
  2. Fertilizer pellets and grass clippings should be swept back on to your lawn.
  3. Do not wash or dump any yard waste or spills out into the roadway and down into our storm drains.
  4. Keeping storm drains free of trash and debris also prevents flooding.

If you see someone putting anything down a storm drain or directly into any body of water or ditch, obtain a license plate number or address and contact the Delaware County Sheriff’s office at 740//833-2830 or the administrative office of your municipality.  Additionally, report the release of any material that impacts public health or the environment, including chemicals and petroleum products, to the Ohio EPA 24-hour hotline (800/282-9378).

Advocate for clean waters in your area by:

  1. Labeling storm drains with no dumping stickers.
  2. Participating in annual river/stream litter clean-ups.
  3. Informing and educating friends, family, and neighbors concerning the protection of our precious waterways.

Together, we can “be the solution for water pollution.”