What is it?
Stormwater is water that originates during rain and snow events or ice melt. Stormwater can soak into the soil (infiltrate), be held on the surface and evaporate, or runoff and end up in nearby streams, rivers, or other water bodies. Runoff from the town is collected in a system of ditches, inlets, and pipes, and this (along with overland runoff), flows into our local streams and, eventually, to the Chesapeake Bay. It is important to realize that water flowing into storm sewers is NOT treated at a water treatment plant, but flows directly into our local bodies of water!
Stormwater runoff picks up pollutants from streets, houses, lawns, parking lots, farms, and fields. These pollutants can contaminate streams and waterways, pollute rivers downstream, and harm the ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay. Because of this, the Town of Ashland, in conjunction with the State of Virginia, works to manage the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater that flows into our streams.
How do we do it?
The Town, operating under a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit issued by the state, works to reduce the amount of pollution reaching our waterways in several ways. We have an MS4 Program Plan (plan for managing stormwater) and are a local Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) authority, administering the VSMP Construction General Permit on behalf of DEQ. We have specific laws, ordinances, and requirements in place to control the quality and quantity of stormwater runoff and prevent illicit discharge of contaminants to the storm sewer system. Several water quality improvement projects have been constructed by the Town in recent years, and we continue to look for innovative ways to improve the quality of stormwater runoff in public areas. Finally, we provide information to educate our local residents, businesses, and community groups on what they need to do to help prevent stormwater pollution.
Learn about stormwater in under two minutes with this great little video!