Storm Water System carries rain water and other ground water straight to the river, without any treatment. Why does this matter? Because anything that goes down one of the storm drains, goes straight to the river . . . water, trash, car wash soap, pesticides, etc.
Where does the rain go when it hits the ground? It depends on the type of surface it lands on. If it lands on natural ground (grass, soil, forest), then it generally soaks in. On the other hand, if it lands on hard surface (street, driveway, parking lot, rooftop, etc.), then it flows downhill until it enters one of the storm drains.
What is Storm Water? Storm Water is more than just rain that has hit the ground. Any type of water run-off, whether it originates in the form of rain (or other precipitation), water from sprinkler system, etc. it is considered storm water.
Anything entering the storm water system does not get treated in any way; it flows directly to the river. Because of this, you should never pour anything other than clean water down a storm drain. Never pour motor oil, antifreeze, or other automotive/industrial products onto your driveway or street, or into storm drain, or drainage ditch. The storm water system is much more than just underground pipes heading to the river. The system also consists of drainage ditches and culverts that carry water toward the river, too. Because of this, you should make sure to keep any drainage ditches on your property free of debris, brush, and grass clippings that could restrict the flow of water. Think about it . . . if the water can’t flow down the ditch toward the creek, then it could back up and flood the neighborhood.
The City of Oak Hill has a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit that is mandated by the U.S. EPA and enforced by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. There are many aspects of this program, and it covers the entire city – established residential neighborhoods and new neighborhood construction. There are five points that the State of Tennessee measures the City of Oak Hill against:
1. Public Education & Outreach on the Impact of Storm Water
2. Public Involvement & Participation
3. Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination
4. Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control
5. Permanent Storm Water Management in New Development & Redevelopment