What is stormwater pollution?
Stormwater is the runoff from precipitation that flows over land that does not infiltrate into soils. The amount of stormwater increases with the construction of nonporous surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, and roofs.
Pollutants can be collected by stormwater runoff and deposited into surface waters through man-made conveyances including municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) potentially having detrimental impacts on ecosystems.
Who regulates stormwater runoff?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates stormwater runoff through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). EPA authorized the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to implement the NPDES Stormwater Permitting Program in October of 2000. FDEP is responsible for issuing permits and performing compliance and enforcement activities as the permitting authority in Florida.
How can stormwater pollution adversely affect the environment?
Toxic materials including petroleum products, pesticides, detergents, and other chemcials can harm aquatic ecosystems by killing organisms including fish, shellfish, and vegetation.
Nutrients including the nitrogen and phosphorus found in fertilizers and animal waste can cause an overgrowth of algae which can drive out indigenous plants and animals. In addition, when the algae die off, the decaying matter can deplete the water body of oxygen killing the fish and other aquatic organisms.
Sediments deposited to waterways by stormwater runoff increases the turbidity of waters and limits the depth to which light can penetrate, thereby decreasing the inhabitable space that aquatic vegetation can survive. Sediments can also settle on, and smother, existing vegetation.
Who is affected by stormwater pollution?
Everyone can be affected by stormwater pollution including boaters, fishermen, and anyone who enjoys the natural beauty of the Tampa Bay area.
To what water bodies does the stormwater from the City of Belleair Beach stormwater system discharge?
The Gulf of Mexico and Clearwater Harbor
What is an illicit discharge?
An illicit discharge is any discharge to a municipal separate storm sewer that is not part of stormwater runoff. Ms4s are not designed to process or discharge such wastes. Some sources of illicit discharges include the improper disposal of mechanical fluids and toxic chemicals, improper disposal of debris and the discharge of industrial wastewaters into the stormwater system.
Who can be Contacted if an illicit discharge is observed?
Notification of environmental emergencies during work hours (8:00 am to 4:30 pm) should be made to City Hall by calling 727.595.4646 ext 123.
If this situation is an emergency and poses an immediate health concern, contact emergency management personnel by calling 911.