Stormwater is the water that cuts through our neighborhoods on its way to area waterways. In St. Peters, we have two types of systems that carry this stormwater into nearby waterways. We have our “gray” systems—these are the gutters, storm sewer inlets, storm sewer pipes and related structures that the City of St. Peters maintains to allow stormwater to run from our surfaces to nearby waterways. Then, there are the “green” stormwater systems—the creeks, streams and stormwater detention basins throughout our City.
Below, learn how stormwater affects you, what you can do about it, and what the City of St. Peters is doing to manage stormwater in our community. Plus, we have useful links concerning stormwater. For more information about stormwater, call City Hall at ext. 1225 at 636-477-6600 or 636-278-2244.
City of St. Peters Stormwater Master Plan
The Stormwater Master Plan (PDF below) will be used for planning of future capital improvements, improving water quality, and continuing compliance with Missouri Department of Natural Resources Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MDNR MS4) regulations. Preliminary investigations have evaluated the existing conditions of the City’s open-channel stormwater infrastructure based on hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, field reconnaissance, water quality modeling, and review of relevant policies at the City, State, and Federal levels.
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Stormwater and You
Have you ever thought about the role you and your property play in our environment? Your behavior and the way you maintain your property affect not only yourself, but also your neighbors, our waterways and wildlife. This is because stormwater that goes through your property also runs through your neighborhood and eventually reaches nature.
When rain falls from the sky and reaches the ground, it’s going to either absorb into the ground, evaporate, or run off surfaces. The more hard surfaces on the ground, the more stormwater run-off. That’s why your neighborhood, full of homes, streets, driveways, and other hard surfaces, can have quite a bit of stormwater runoff when it rains.
Uncontrolled stormwater runoff can negatively impact our creeks by increasing the chances of flooding and erosion, and contribute pollutants picked up from yards, streets and parking surfaces.
You can actually do some things to control stormwater runoff and at the same time beneficially use this water for your lawn and garden. See the "What Can I Do" section below for some ideas.
It's also important to remember to properly dispose of your waste.
Storm sewers are pipes that lead to nearby waterways. Stormwater
enters these pipes through drains you see along street curbs. Drains can
clog from littering, dumping waste, and leaving yard waste (e.g.,
leaves and grass clippings) in the street or on the curb. When waste
clogs a storm sewer drain, this can result in flooding on your street.
Plus, any waste that makes its way through the storm sewer system ends
up in nearby waterways, harming the habitat and wildlife that lives
If you have a stream behind your house, you may find it tempting to
just dump your yard waste over the side of the bank or stack brush and limbs at the top of the stream bank. Be aware that this can destroy the underlying vegetation holding the soil in place along the stream bank. When the
plants on that stream bank die, the water starts to erode the barren
soil. Yard waste that’s dumped along a stream bank also introduces a high level of nitrogen and phosphorous into the stream, and that decreases the stream’s water quality and affects the stream’s habitat.
As the bank erodes, surrounding trees fall into the stream,
blocking the flow of water and any other debris that comes down the
stream. Water runs even faster through the newly developed bottleneck,
speeding the erosion process even more. What seemed like a good idea to
get rid of your yard waste now is threatening your property and maybe
your home. A heavy rain could cause flooding at this bottleneck at any
time. And, the eroding bank may eventually eat into your property. Plus,
you’ve altered the environment in a harmful manner. Yard waste spreads
invasive species of plants that can threaten existing native vegetation
and the health of the stream. When plants decompose and create excess
nutrients, this reduces the oxygen available in streams for fish and
Please, always dispose of your waste properly. Learn more below about what you can do to help prevent erosion, pollution and flooding.
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What Can I Do?
By following the tips below, you can help prevent erosion, pollution and even flooding.
- USE STORMWATER FOR YOUR LAWN & GARDEN. You can do some things to control stormwater runoff and at the same time beneficially use this water for your lawn and garden. The basic idea is to allow the stormwater from your home’s hard surfaces to spread out and absorb into the ground or your lawn before it enters the stormwater drainage system. One simple way to do this is to let your roof downspouts discharge to your yard instead of piping it underground to the nearest stream, stormwater inlet, or street curb. Allowing the water to absorb into the ground or run across your lawn allows natural filtration and reduces the flow entering the nearby stream.
- CONSIDER BUILDING A RAIN GARDEN. If you are planning on installing a garden or a landscaping project, consider constructing a rain garden, which uses native plants and also can absorb rainwater into the ground and reduce stormwater runoff. Rain gardens are also an excellent choice for the low spot in your yard that holds water. Instead of fil
ling the area in and allowing the water to flow away, capture the water in your new beautiful rain garden, which can provide color to your lawn year round. THIS POSTER explains more about rain gardens. DOWNLOAD THIS FLYER to help you plan your own rain garden. Learn more at Raingardens.org and Grownative.org.
- RAIN BARRELS are another great way that you can capture roof runoff and beneficially use the rainwater for watering outside plants and lawns on dry days. Using captured rainwater can reduce your water bill, too. Rain barrels are available for sale at a number of local St. Peters businesses.
- DON'T DUMP WASTE, PERIOD. Throw away all
trash where it belongs. Learn more about solid waste disposal in St. Peters. In St. Peters, we make trash disposal, recycling and yard waste easy with curbside service. St. Peters residents also can drop off yard waste at Earth Centre for free. And, you can recycle items at St. Peters' Recycle City facility or St. Charles County's Recycle Works.
- DON'T SHOOT YOUR GRASS CLIPPINGS INTO THE STREET AND SIDEWALK. Point your mower so that it throws grass clippings onto your yard, not the street. To further reduce yard waste, us
e a mulching mower. For the best results for your lawn, "cut it high and let it lie." This means that when you mow the lawn, you cut it at a higher length so that the grass clippings mulch your lawn but won't choke your lawn. Alternatively, you could mow lower but more often.
- RECYCLE YOUR HAZARDOUS WASTES such as household chemicals, paints, motor oil, cooking oils, etc. Learn more about where you can recycle hazardous wastes.
- DON'T ALLOW SOIL TO ERODE YOUR PROPERTY. Sediment is also a pollutant in streams. Keep up your lawn and use landscaping to avoid bare spots.
- REPORT ILLEGAL DUMPING. Illegal dumping is dumping of any waste upon any public right-of-way, City property or private property, without consent of the owner. Learn how you can report illegal dumping.
- VOLUNTEER! You can join hundreds of other local people who help pick up trash during our Clean Stream Days. Other volunteer options include picking up trash on a regular basis through the City of St. Peters' Adopt-A-Road, Adopt-A-Stream and Adopt-A-Road programs, or you can help plant trees to stabilize stream banks. Learn more about St. Peters volunteer opportunities.
This FALL 2011 MY HOMETOWN MAGAZINE STORY
(pdf format) called "Stormwater and You: What you choose to do can be
the difference between water flowing--and disaster" has great
information and some photos of what happens when we don't properly
dispose of waste, including lawn clippings, brush and tree limbs.
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Reducing 'Pond Scum' -- Don't Fertilize Too Much!
Is your neighborhood’s storm water detention basin growing a layer of pond scum similar to what you see in this photo? If so, it’s quite possible that too many people are using too much fertilizer on their lawns in your neighborhood. Lawn fertilizers usually contain phosphorous and nitrogen, nutrients that plants need to grow. The downside to fertilizer is that feeding your lawn too many nutrients can cause “pond scum” in nearby water bodies. Pond scum is an unhealthy layer of algae. When it rains, excess phosphorous from fertilizer can run off your lawn and promote pond scum, which can cause odor problems and suck oxygen from the water, suffocating fish and other wildlife.
You can help fight this problem by using caution when fertilizing your lawn. Follow product label instructions carefully, apply the fertilizer accurately, and sweep excess fertilizer off of any hard surfaces back into your grass after application. Also, don’t fertilize before rain is expected. A good idea is to test your soil to see what nutrients your lawn needs before fertilizing. The University of Missouri Extension office at 260 Brown Road in St. Peters provides a soil testing service that will give you fertilizer recommendations for a fee. Learn more about soil testing at http://extension.missouri.edu/stcharles/services.aspx.
The extension office also can give you tips on what time of year to fertilize your lawn—September is the best time for many cool-season grasses, for example.
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City of St. Peters Stormwater Management
In St. Peters, we manage storm water in our neighborhoods with thousands of storm drains that lead storm water through 166 miles of storm sewer pipes. The City of St. Peters also has a stormwater plan to help deal with erosion and other stormwater issues through regulations for developers and stormwater improvement projects. LEARN ABOUT PROPOSITION P PROJECTS funded by a 1/2-cent sales tax approved by voters in order to address stormwater issues related to flooding, erosion, pollution and federal guidelines.
DOWNLOAD A PDF DOCUMENT OF THE GENERAL STATE OPERATING PERMIT FOR THE CITY OF ST. PETERS' SMALL MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORM SEWER SYSTEM (MS4)
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Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Plan
The City of St. Peters is listed as a mandatory Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and is required to design a stormwater management program to meet the requirements of its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II permit. Under the NPDES permit, the City of St. Peters must satisfy minimum control measures relating to illicit discharges to the MS4. The City of St. Peters Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE)
plan satisfies the requirements of Minimum Control Measure 3C-1 of the
City of St. Peters MS4 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program. The
purpose of the IDDE plan is to outline the procedures to detect and
remove illicit discharges and improper disposal into the MS4 to the
maximum extent practicable within the City’s jurisdiction.
DOWNLOAD A PDF DOCUMENT OF THE CITY OF ST. PETERS' ILLICIT DISCHARGE AND DETECTION PLAN.
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