Richland Soil and Water

Stormwater Non Point Discharge System (NPDES) in Richland County

In addition to requirements Richland County landowners follow for earthmoving activities through the Richland County Stormwater and Erosion Control Program, communities that have 1000 or more people per square mile must follow the Stormwater Non Point Discharge System (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) (NPDES) or Phase 2 to further effectively manage water pollution. The Richland County Commissioners are mandated by Ohio EPA to create and manage this added accountability for stormwater runoff. The NPDES (Phase 2) communities in Richland County are:  City of Mansfield, City of Ontario, Village of Lexington, Madison Township, Mifflin Township, Springfield Township and Washington Township.

Richland County - Phase 2 Areas Map

Stormwater runoff is generated when rain and snowmelt events flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not percolate into the ground. As the runoff flows over the land or impervious surfaces (paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops), it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality if the runoff is discharged untreated. The primary method to control stormwater discharges is the use of best management practices (BMPs). In addition, most stormwater discharges are considered point sources and require coverage under an NPDES permit. 

Water pollution degrades surface waters making them unsafe for drinking, fishing, swimming, and other activities. Authorized by the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an NPDES permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters. In most cases, the NPDES permit program is administered Ohio EPA. Since its introduction in 1972, the NPDES permit program is responsible for significant improvements to our Nation's water quality. This is accomplished by implementing six minimum control measures. 

  1. Public Education — BMPs for MS4s to inform individuals and households about ways to reduce stormwater pollution.
  2. Public Involvement — BMPs for MS4s to involve the public in the development, implementation, and review of an MS4's stormwater management program.
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination — BMPs for identifying and eliminating illicit discharges and spills to storm drain systems.
  4. Construction — BMPs for MS4s and construction site operators to address stormwater runoff from active construction sites.
  5. Post-construction — BMPs for MS4s, developers, and property owners to address stormwater runoff after construction activities have completed.
  6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping — BMPs for MS4s to address stormwater runoff from their own facilities and activities. 

In general terms if there is an acre of total disturbance within our NPDES, Phase 2 communities, the owner must come into our office with approved engineered plans illustrating how this change to the land will not violate federal laws. Our office can provide detailed steps of how a land use change can while still being in compliance and how to work with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) directly.

Learn about Impervious Areas