The City of Pittsburg implemented a stormwater management program in 2003 to provide an increased level of system maintenance and repair. The program also looks at developing methods of protecting the quality of the water and the perceived quality of life. The stormwater management program is funded through a monthly fee (ERU) paid by the owners of all properties in the City.
The city is issued the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II permit which will regulate discharge to the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). The MS4 permit also helps provide guidance to improve water quality within our stormwater system. This guidance includes public education, public involvement, illicit discharge detection, construction site management and good housekeeping for municipal operations
1.1 CURRENT ORGANIZATION
The current organization to fulfill the responsibilities of the program include:
- Stormwater Superintendent, Oversees entirety of Stormwater Program
- Stormwater Supervisor, Oversees MS4 and Field Execution
- Stormwater Operator II, Executes Stormwater Program
- Stormwater Operator I, Executes Stormwater Program
- Stormwater Apprentice, Executes Stormwater Program
Current Responsibilities of the stormwater staff include the following:
- Administer and report on all aspects of the MS4 permit requirements including the six minimum control measures and water quality monitoring.
- Floodplain management including National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements and Community Rating System (CRS) requirements.
- Inventory, tracking and inspection of all private stormwater BMP’s.
- Develop and manage the city’s stormwater capital improvement program to include infrastructure replacement and regional stormwater solutions.
- Routine maintenance activities including inspection, tracking and inventory of all public BMP’s and hard infrastructure.
- Maintain and update city code related to stormwater goals.
1.2 ERU CALCULATION
The Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU), which means the average impervious area of residential property per dwelling unit located within the City, is 3,106 square feet of impervious area. The ERU rate, which is the stormwater utility fee charged for each ERU, is $3.98 per month as of January 1, 2022. The Undeveloped Property Rate, which is the stormwater utility fee charged on each acre of undeveloped property, is 0 percent.
1.3 STORMWATER RELATED ORDINANCES
The City of Pittsburg stormwater program has adopted a number of ordinances to promote water quality and flood control. These ordinances can be found under Article VI Stormwater Management section of the Pittsburg city code.
The ordinances and approximate year of adoptions are as follows:
- General Provisions (2009)
- Construction Activities (2009)
- Stormwater Discharges (2009)
- Ditches and Ponds (2009)
These ordinances help to satisfy the city’s obligations under the NPDES program. Ordinances will be periodically reviewed by stormwater staff to ensure that they are still relevant and when necessary, revised ordinances are taken to the governing body for adoption.
The City of Pittsburg, as an operator on a Phase II small MS4 (Municipal Stormwater Program), is required to reduce discharge of pollutants to waters of the state and the United States to the “maximum extent practicable” to protect water quality. At a minimum, the permit requires a Stormwater Management Plan (SMP) designed to implement the following control measures:
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Involvement and Participation
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE)
- Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
- Post-Construction Stormwater Management (PCSM)
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
To satisfy the requirement the city must conduct water quality monitoring on discharge points approved by the State of Kansas. The city must also implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) within TMDL water body watershed.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs):
- Catch Basin SOP
- Erosion SOP
- IDDE SOP
- Pesticides SOP
- Spill Clean-up SOP
- Vehicle Storage SOP
- Vehicle Washing SOP
Additional Program Services
In addition to the requirements of the NPDES permit, the stormwater group provides a number of additional services directly related to stormwater management. As with the NPDES requirements, responsibilities for these services are spread among the various members of the group. Additional program services include the following:
3.1 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT
The Capital Improvements Program (CIP) is an important management tool that allows long range capital projects to be anticipated and managed in an orderly fashion. The CIP allows for capital projects to be financed in the most cost efficient manner possible. City staff has drafted and presented a proposed five-year CIP for the years 2016 through 2020, which details the city’s capital project needs and funding sources for this period.
The stormwater projects total $380,000 and are used for infrastructure rehabilitation, flood mitigation, regional facilities and stream restoration. Inlet repair and the annual storm box replacement program make up the majority of the planned work.
3.1a REGIONAL SOLUTIONS
Reginal solutions are the most efficient way to provide stormwater management and quality recreational opportunities for residents. The city is looking for opportunities to work together with developers and create regional solutions that promote the program goals as well as the developmental goals. The stormwater program works closely with other departments to come up with timely solutions. As regional solutions are developed, they are included in the CIP discussion.
3.1b FLOOD MITIGATION
Flood mitigation reduces the overall risk of structure experiencing flood damage and also reduces the severity of flood damage when it occurs. Examples of mitigation in a community may include planning and zoning, floodplain management, discouraging development in high risk flood areas, or providing outreach and education. Examples of mitigation for homeowners may include purchasing flood insurance, elevation of structures, or completely relocating out of the floodplain. The city is invested in working on customer complaints and developing projects around fixing flooding concerns.
3.1c STREAM RESTORATION
The City of Pittsburg has numerous streams and drainage channels with developed plans for stream restoration with goals and objectives listed below:
- Provide habitat enhancement for native or sport fishes, to increase abundance and age class diversity.
- Prevent streambank erosion, to protect properties and infrastructure.
- Slow the procession of head cutting in a watershed, to protect upland areas and infrastructure, and to reduce sediment delivery to downstream reaches.
- Narrow an overly-wide channel, decreasing the width/depth ratio of the stream.
- Improve water quality, such as excessive temperature, nutrients, sediment, salts, and metals.
- Remove non-native riparian vegetation, replacing with more desirable species.
- Provide compliance with Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act requirements.
3.1d INFRUSTRUCTURE REHABILITATION
The City of Pittsburg has aging stormwater infrastructure that needs replaced. The stormwater staff identify the most critical locations around the city and develop plans for them to be replaced.
3.2 FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT
The City of Pittsburg’s floodplain management program is a plan of corrective and preventative measures for reducing flood damage. These measures take a variety of forms and generally include zoning, subdivision, or building requirements, and special-purpose floodplain ordinances. Mitigation practices, such as floodproofing or retrofitting a flood prone building, are equally beneficial to reducing flood damages to the community.
3.2a NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM (NFIP)
The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses, and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.
3.2b COMMUNITY RATING SYSTEM (CRS)
As a part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Community Rating System is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.
As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the Community Rating System:
- Reduce flood damage to insurable property
- Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP
- Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management
The City of Pittsburg Stormwater Maintenance Plan lists procedures to minimize stormwater pollution from high impact activities. The maintenance plan includes appropriate pollution prevention and good housekeeping procedures for all of the following operations, activities, and/or types of facilities that are present within the city including but not limited to the following:
- Stormwater collection and conveyance system, including catch basins, piping, channels, ditches and culverts
- Storage, washing and maintenance of vehicle fleets and fueling facilities
- External building maintenance, including cleaning and painting.
- Proper application of fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides on “college grounds” as well as sediment and erosion control, landscape maintenance and vegetation disposal, and trash management for those areas.
- Stormwater protection at material storage areas, heavy equipment storage areas and maintenance areas not covered under other NPDES permits.
3.3a BMP MAINTENANCE
Stormwater Management Best Management Practices (BMPs) are facilities designed and constructed to reduce the impacts of increased stormwater that occur due to development practices. These impacts include an increased amount of runoff from impervious surfaces and an increased amount of pollutants that are carried along with the water.
Unfortunately, all BMPs require maintenance. These facilities must be regularly maintained to prevent failure. Once a BMP fails, it will no longer perform its intended function and may have a negative contribution to the local waterways. It also can be quite costly to repair a BMP once it has been severely neglected. The City of Pittsburg looks at many different BMP maintenance options such as:
- Sediment and Trash Removal
- Landscape Maintenance
- Prevent Sedimentation
- Maintain Aesthetics
- Prevent Clogging of the Outlet
- Prevent Channelization of Flow
- Prevent Clogging of the Outlet
3.3b INFRASTRUCTURE MAINTENANCE
Catch Basin Inserts
Typical maintenance of catch basins includes trash removal if a screen or other debris capturing device is used, and removal of sediment using a vactor truck. Operators need to be properly trained in catch basin maintenance. Maintenance should include keeping a log of the amount of sediment collected and the date of removal. Some cities have incorporated the use of GIS systems to track sediment collection and to optimize future catch basin cleaning efforts.
Green Infrastructure Maintenance
Maintenance of green infrastructure generally requires more labor and less heavy equipment than maintenance of gray infrastructure. Learn about what to look for when you inspect green infrastructure and how frequently to conduct maintenance activities.
Wet Ponds and Wetlands
Wet ponds and wetlands assist communities in developing an integrated stormwater management system, which includes proper maintenance of existing wet ponds and wetlands, the exploration of retrofit opportunities, and implementation of micro-treatment practices and design principles.
3.3c CORRIDOR MAINTENANCE
Stormwater assets must be routinely inspected and receive the routine maintenance necessary to ensure they continually function as designed. If any component of an asset is not functioning properly, the cause must be determined and the site be restored to working order as soon as practicable.
- Vegetation helps control erosion, provide structural stability, promotes infiltration, and removes pollutants from stormwater runoff. It can also enhance the appearance of the BMPs and help them blend into the landscape. Periodic maintenance of vegetation is required to ensure that it remains healthy and established.
Trash and Debris Removal
- Trash and other debris can pollute surface waters and damage or constrict stormwater control devices. Trash should be removed on a routine basis as part of maintenance activities from outlet orifices, trash racks, basin and swale floors and side slopes, and other components, as well as from the area surrounding the BMP, to reduce the potential for clogging during storm events.
- The degree to which sediment accumulates will depend on the upstream sediment source, rainfall intensity, and the amount of runoff that the BMP receives. Sediment that has accumulated that is affecting the function of the stormwater control must be removed. In general, sediment should be removed when it exceeds 50% of storage capacity or the original design sediment storage depth. The sediment removed must be transferred to an appropriate facility for dewatering or disposal.
- Failure to maintain a vegetative or riprap cover could result in structural failure and sediment loss. Repair activities must be tailored to the specific site conditions, vegetation or cover type, and seasonal variations. Repairs may include the use of erosion control blankets, riprap matting, sodding, and/or seeding/mulching.
Undesirable Woody Vegetation
- Tree and shrub root systems can penetrate deep into a basin and clog an underdrain system. Decaying plant roots can create voids in dams or embankments when mature trees die or are cut. Remove undesirable woody vegetation when found and dispose of off‐site. Any void created by removal activities must be completely filled and properly compacted. Reestablish desirable vegetation to stabilize the area and prevent erosion.
Animal Burrow Repair
- Voids created by animal burrows can weaken dams and embankments, and resulting in structural failure, and should be filled in as soon as possible. If burrowing problems persist, local wildlife officials should be consulted for information regarding preventive tactics or animal removal.
3.3d TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
In its effort to improve stormwater quality, the City of Pittsburg educates the public and its citizens, and offers technical assistance to those implementing their own BMPs. This service is provided to individual home owners and businesses when requested. Work is not performed by staff, only advice for maintenance and installation is given on behalf of the city. When BMPs are installed and maintained properly, it will help us achieve our water quality improvement goals.
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