What is the source of water pollution?
Water pollution originates from various sources. Typically, it is categorized into one of two sources known as either "point source" or "non-point source" pollution. Point source pollution traditionally includes treated discharges from a wastewater treatment plant or an industrial facility directly to a body of water. These discharges contain measurable quantities of water and pollutants. Non-point source pollution occurs by the transport of pollutants in stormwater runoff overland to a body of water, such as a stream, river or canal. Sources of this type of pollution include oil and grease from roadways, lawn and garden pesticides and other litter and debris. Even soil and sediment erosion from exposed soils such as on a construction site is considered a pollutant. The amount of these types of pollutants is dependant on the amount of rainfall and the land uses in a particular watershed. The more intensely a watershed is developed, the more stormwater runoff and pollutants enter the drainage system. Therefore, urbanized and developing areas tend to generate a great deal of non-point source pollution.
What is the state and federal government doing to prevent water pollution?
Recognizing the importance of controlling water pollution, the Federal government authorized the Clean Water Act of 1987, part of which mandated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prepare a plan to characterize and address non-point source pollution. In response, the EPA developed the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permitting program. The program was to be introduced in two phases. Phase I began in 1990 and Phase II in 1999. Phase II of the NPDES stormwater permitting program regulates Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System's (MS4's), such as ours in Umatilla. A MS4 is a publicly owned conveyance or system of conveyances (i.e. ditches, canals, curbs, catch basins, underground pipes, etc.) that is designed for the discharge of stormwater to surface waters of the state. Cities, counties and drainage districts typically operate MS4's. In October 2000, EPA authorized the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to implement the NPDES stormwater permitting program in Florida. FDEP currently regulates several sources of point source and non-point source pollution through their NPDES Stormwater Program.
To report a potential illicit discharge within the City of Umatilla contact Umatilla City Hall at (352) 669-3125.
The City of Umatilla’s permit establishes several "Best Management Practices" (BMP's) and measurable goals that Umatilla must implement to reduce pollutants to the maximum extent practical to improve water quality within its MS4 over a five-year period. The required BMP elements outlined in the City’s NPDES permit can be summarized as follows:
Public Education and Outreach
To distribute educational materials and perform outreach to inform citizens, businesses and farmers about the impacts polluted stormwater runoff discharges can have on water quality.
Public Participation and Involvement To provide opportunities for citizens to participate in the development and implementation of a stormwater management program for Umatilla.
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
To develop, implement and enforce a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the City's storm drainage system.
Construction Site Runoff
To develop, implement and enforce an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities that disturb one acre or more of land.
Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
To develop and implement a program to reduce or eliminate pollutant runoff from City facilities and operations.
Why should controlling water pollution matter to me?
Non-point source pollutants eventually make their way through the City's drainage system to major water bodies. They can have significant impacts on water quality, affecting the habitat for fish, aquatic organisms and other wildlife. This ultimately leads to degradation and reduced use and benefits of these great environmental resources to the residents and economy of Umatilla.
Homeowners can reduce water pollution by making simple changes, such as reducing the amount they water and fertilize their lawns to proper maintenance of their drainage swales. Did you know that besides draining our properties, swales act as a filter to remove pollutants from stormwater runoff and can promote groundwater recharge?
The Storm Water Division distributes numerous Publications filled with useful information on a variety of topics that impact local water resources. They are distributed at community events around the county and are available at Clean Water Centers listed below. You may also, click to view and print copies of most items shown on this page. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print some materials.) Stormwater Brochure
You can request pre-printed items by calling (352) 669-3125. There is no charge for any publication produced by the Storm Water Division, although availability may be limited.