Richland Soil and Water

Due to Governor Mike DeWine's Stay-at-Home orders stemming from COVID-19, Richland SWCD employees are working remotely until further notice. When it comes to practices that can help keep our water and soil healthy, please turn to us at Richland SWCD. Although we are teleworking, we are more committed than ever to providing you with good, solid information. 

You may reach us at RSWCD.Data@richlandswcd.net.

Face-to-face stormwater permit approval is temporarily suspended. Stormwater permit applications, checklists and information needed to obtain a stormwater permit are available at https://richlandswcd.net/services/water/stormwater/stormwater-documents-list

Please submit your stormwater permit application, site calculation form and additional documents via email to RSWCD.Data@richlandswcd.net or through US Mail by sending to: Richland SWCD, 1459 W. Longview Ave, Suite 205B, Mansfield, OH  44906.

Stormwater permit fees may be paid by check, payable to Richland SWCD and mailed to the Richland SWCD office. 

Agriculture Pollution Abatement concerns may be reported by calling (614) 265-6610.

We appreciate your understanding and patience during this difficult time. Be well!

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) General Permit for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) 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 (MS4) communities in Richland County are:  City of Mansfield, City of Ontario, Village of Lexington, Madison Township, Mifflin Township, Springfield Township and Washington Township.

NPDES/MS4 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/MS4 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 for MS4 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/MS4 permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters. In most cases, the NPDES/MS4 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. These regulations require designated communities to develop and implement a storm water management plan. 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 land disturbance within our NPDES/MS4 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.

Richland Soil and Water Conservation District assists communities with a variety of public education, outreach, involvement and participation programs to help meet the requirements of the local MS4 management plan. These programs include electronic newsletters, social media platforms, website updates and workshops.

2020 Stormwater Theme: Trees - Reduce and Clean Stormwater

In 2020, we aim to promote watershed awareness and protection strategies which will increase the public’s knowledge of the impacts of non-point source pollution. "Trees - Reduce and Clean Stormwater" is an educational campaign targeting the general public and homeowners with a message that connects the important role trees play in the health of their watersheds, which drains to either the Ohio River or Lake Erie. This year you will be learning how trees help manage stormwater. Did you know trees are the most productive filters on the planet, starting from their canopy down to their roots? They help improve water quality in streams, rivers, and lakes by reducing flooding and minimizing chemical/ sediment runoff. The tree’s canopy acts as a large umbrella capturing rainwater as it falls, which reduces the speed and amount that reaches the ground and becomes stormwater runoff. Trees root system takes up various pollutants and reduces the effects of erosion. An average tree can catch and hold onto 700 to 1000 gallons of rainwater a year. (Multiple Sources)

Forested watersheds provide quality drinking water to more than 180 million Americans. There are many considerations that are required to produce clean water including trees. You may not even know how much water that comes from a forested area. Any guesses? Well, it is actually 75 percent of the worlds available fresh water comes from forested watersheds and wetlands. Imagine the impact that may have on the clean drinking water supply for that area if for some reason the forested area that has always been there disappears. We need to help encourage the conservation of these forested areas so they may continue to provide reliable, safe clean water. Source: Arbor Day Foundation

Infiltration and Groundwater Recharge:

Trees and wooded area’s allow rainwater to seep into the soil and recharge the groundwater. Rainwater is filtered as it moves through the soil and goes toward streams and rivers as it flows under the surface. In forest and wooded areas seepage rates can vary from 18 inches per hour to 10 inches per hour depending on the composition of the soil. In a research study they found that in one area the seepage rate decreased from 12.4 inches per hour to 4.4 inches per hour when the site was changed from forest to suburban lawn. Source:  Penn State Extension

Learn about Impervious Areas

Stormwater Themes