STORMWATER MANAGEMENT


What is Stormwater?

After it rains or snows, watch the water run off your roof, across your driveway, and down the street. Water makes its way to the nearest stream, lake, river, or wetland picking up litter, bacteria, chemicals, sand, and other pollutants. Some of the water evaporates back into the air, some water soaks into the ground, and some water travels over the surface of the land. This water is referred to as "Stormwater".

Stormwater runoff is rain or snowmelt that falls on streets and other impermeable surfaces and is difficult to control. The contamination of stormwater is caused by everyone, because we all have an impact on our landscape and we all contribute to stormwater pollution by what's on the ground:
Oil, grease, metals and coolants from vehicles;
Fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals from residential, commercial, and agricultural landscapes;
Bacteria from pet waste;
Soil from construction sites and other bare ground;
Soaps from car or equipment washing;
Cigarette butts and other litter; and
Accidental spills, leaky storage containers, and whatever else ends up on the ground.
That contaminated stormwater runoff then runs into nearby gutters and storm drains and into streams, lakes, rivers. In most areas, stormwater runoff enters these waters without being cleaned of pollutants. These pollutants may harm or kill aquatic life, reduce the beauty of the natural resources, and impair waters to the point that they must be closed to fishing and swimming. The City of Aztec encourages local residents and visitors to the Animas River and area waters to help prevent stormwater pollution.

History of Law and Program

As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources and discharge pollutants into the waters of the United States. Point sources are conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Municipal facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly into surface waters. San Juan County and the City of Aztec must develop and implement a storm water management program within the urbanized area as defined in the 2010 Census and Region Six EPA.

On March 7, 2003 a joint Notice of Intent (NOI) was submitted by the County and the City to obtain general permit coverage under the NPDES storm water program for small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (small MS4's). The permit became effective on July 1, 2003. An amended Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP) was submitted on August 2, 2007. As part of the permit requirements this SWMP is available for public review at the Public Works Office located at 610 Western Dr, Aztec, New Mexico, during normal business hours.


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Links


New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Links


Climate Links


For questions or concerns regarding City Stormwater issues:

William Watson
City Engineer - Public Works Director
(505) 334-7660