SITE CREDITS:
Dan Wright - City of Ringgold
Randall Franks - City of Ringgold
G. Larry Black - City of Ringgold
Bill McMillion - City of Ringgold
Daniel Shepherd - City of Ringgold

Agile Development Solutions
Ringgold, GA 30736

What is Storm Water?

Storm water is exactly what it sounds like.  It is the water that falls during a storm.  It sounds simple enough.  But what most people don't realize is that in the journey from the sky to streets to the streams, storm water runoff picks up various chemicals and pollutants that can contaminate our waterways.

For educational resources on storm water, CLICK HERE.


Why does Ringgold need to manage its storm water?

We all contribute.

Unfortunately, we all contribute to storm water pollution just by our everyday life.  The grass clippings from your lawn accumulate and carry excess amounts of nutrients into our waterways, which also serves as the source for our drinking water.

Pet waste, fertilizer, soap from washing a car, and oil from your car, are all common pollutants that affect our water quality.  This type of pollution is called non-point source pollution because it comes from many different places and is caused by many different activities.  Proper storm water management is needed to help reduce the amount of non-point source pollution that enters our local waters, especially if we are to keep them safe for fishing and swimming.  We all must share the responsibility of proper storm water management.

We all benefit.

The issue of storm water management affects us all.  The goals of the Ringgold storm water program are to control street flooding, reduce the discharge of harmful pollutants associated with storm water runoff, and to protect the water quality of our streams and rivers.  To achieve these goals, the Ringgold storm water program is dedicated to improving storm water management practices and educating the public on how they can help us better manage storm water pollution.

Storm Drain Marker


Storm drains with this marking drain directly into creeks in the city.
Freddy the Fish teaches kids about what happens to rain after it hits the ground, where storm drains lead to, and what we can do to help prevent water pollution.

How does this affect you?

Federal and state permit compliance

 

Just as we as residents have laws we must abide by in order to have a safe and cohesive country, local governments have laws, or mandates, they must abide by as well.  One of those is the Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act

On October 18, 1972, the Federal Water Pollution Act of 1972 was enacted.  Better known as the Clean Water Act, it was established "... to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters."  This act ensures that residents can be confident that their local communities are working diligently to protect the waters in their area.

Point Source Pollution

The Clean Water Act first established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit system to control pollutants in the form of direct or point source discharges, which enter our Nation's waters directly from industrial sites and wastewater treatment facilities.  By 1985, there was a marked improvement in the quality of America's rivers and streams as a result of this landmark legislation, but there were still problems that needed to be addressed.

Non-point Source Pollution

The Water Quality Act of 1987 amended the NPDES permit system to address non-point source pollution.  Non-point source pollution is created when pollutants from across the watershed are carried by storm water into area waters.  For example, the oil and gas that drips from our cars; not to mention the trash thrown out of the window - collect on roadways and parking lots and eventually rushes unobstructed into local waterways.  This is one example of non-point source pollution.

Municipal Separate Sewer System (MS4)

Non-point source pollution is one of the biggest threats facing the health of our Nation's waters.  For this reason, the Federal Government has required that the City of Ringgold, and hundreds of other towns of similar size all across the country, meet certain guidelines in how to properly manage storm water.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Municipal Separate Sewer System (MS4) NPDES Permit System to address non-point source pollution.  The MS4 storm water discharge permit establishes guidelines for local governments to minimize pollutants in storm water runoff to the "maximum extent practicable."

Phase II Permit

Because the City of Ringgold population was more than 100,000 in the 2000 Census, it was designated a NPDES Phase II municipality by the EPA.  This designation required the City of Ringgold to develop a storm water management program addressing six key areas:

  1. Public education

  2. Public involvement the program

  3. Elimination of unlawful discharges

  4. Controls on new construction

  5. Post-construction management of wet weather runoff

  6. Implementation of good housekeeping activities for municipal operations

In accordance with the Phase II permit, the City of Ringgold was required to develop, implement, and enforce Best Management Practices (BMP's) for storm water management.

For Our Future

By working proactively, the City of Ringgold is taking the extra steps needed to ensure that the storm water problems of The City of Ringgold are not left for our children to fix.

Quality of Life

Whether you know it or not, all of us are directly affected by the status of the Chickamauga Creek.  The health of the creek and its tributaries affects the quality of life for your family.

In addition to providing safe water for the community to drink, the Chickamauga Creek facilitates recreation for our residents and is home to a variety of wildlife that depends on the creekr for life.

Poor storm water management can lead to destruction of the ecosystem.  Pollutants such as bacteria, sediment, oil and grease, heavy metals, pesticides, fertilizers, and trash, run from our roadways, parking lots, and yards, into the creek and severely disrupt this fragile system.

Public Education and Capital Improvements

Through public education and capital improvements, the City of Ringgold Storm Water Program will act to make sure that our rivers and streams are safe for the inhabitants of The City of Ringgold to enjoy for years to come.

Quality Growth

The state of our waterways not only affects your family, but also the growth of the community depends on it as well.  Storm Water must be properly managed if we are to continue to grow in a manner that also accommodates protection of our water resources, which has been the lifeblood of our county since its founding.

Standards Before Building

The implementation of the City of Ringgold storm water program will encourage quality growth in the community.  Developments that take measures to limit storm water runoff and contribute to a healthy watershed will be encouraged.  By adopting a new Storm Water Management Ordinance, The City of Ringgold policymakers have ensured that developers have standards before they build, and all property designs can begin to incorporate sensitivity for long-term environmental stewardship.

Developers and City of Ringgold Staff Work Together

Pre-application meetings will be conducted between developers and The City of Ringgold staff to ensure that there are no surprises in the permitting process, as it will now relate to storm water management.  These measures, and more, will ensure quality growth continues in the City of Ringgold.

What can you do?

Individuals:

  • Conserve water.  Do not over-water your lawns and gardens.  Water early in the day or late in the evening (between 6 pm and 10 am).

  • Pick up after pets and properly dispose of the waste in the toilet.

  • Keep pets away from waterside areas.

  • Compost grass clippings and leaves.  Do not allow them to be washed away into roadways or intentionally place them into storm drains or bodies of water.

  • Take your car to a commercial car wash to conserve water and to prevent detergents and toxins from flowing into storm drains or bodies of water.

  • If you must wash your car at home, do so on your lawn or some other pervious surface instead of in the driveway or street.

  • Don't overuse pesticides.  Whenever possible use natural alternatives.

  • Service your car regularly to avoid oil, antifreeze, and other chemical leaks.

  • Maintain your septic system to avoid the pollution of groundwater, seepage, and runoff.

  • Click here to download proper complaint form


     

Businesses:

  • Use dry methods for the clean-up of spills, such as cat litter or dry sweep compound. Do not hose spills, as the water will flow into storm drains.

  • Recycle grease and oil.  Do not pour them into sinks or onto parking lots or streets.

  • Store materials in a safe place.  Keep all toxic materials in their original containers.

  • Make sure contaminated wash water and chemical discharges are disposed of properly. Do not dump wash water into storm drains.

  • Keep your dumpsters clean and the lids closed, and make sure they are not leaking.

  • Click here to download proper complaint form


     

 

Land Developers:

  • Identify and conserve environmentally sensitive areas on your site and design your site around these areas.

  • Use low impact site design principles.  For "Better Site Design" development tools and tips visit the Center for Watershed Protection and the Georgia Storm Water Management Manual.

  • Implement and maintain aggressive erosion control measures to prevent sediment runoff.

  • Locate your site away from any down sloping street or driveway, and any stream, lake, or drainage way.

  • Maintain construction entrances, and clean up sediments daily by sweeping or scraping up soils tracked onto roadways.

  • Prevent root damage of trees and shrubbery by placing barriers around plant life and limiting construction within those barriers.

  • Re-vegetate through seeding and mulching, as vegetation is most effective in erosion control.

  • Click here to download proper complaint form


     

 

Report a concern

Click here to download proper complaint form


Stormwater Activities for Kids


Did you know?

Important Facts

  • Did you know that less than 1% of the water on the earth can actually be used by human beings?

  • Did you know that storm drains do not remove pollutants and were designed for the specific purpose of draining water from sidewalks and streets?

  • Did you know that anything you place in storm drains goes directly into a lake or stream?

  • Did you know it is illegal to dump wastewater or water containing soaps, cleaning products, or grease and oil into streets or storm drains?

  • Did you know that washing your car at home uses more water than a commercial car wash?

  • Did you know that washing your car at home may allow soaps, detergents, oil and other toxic substances to flow into storm drains?

  • Did you know one of the most common pollutants found in storm drains and creeks is detergent from the washing of cars?

  • Did you know that the improper use of lawn fertilizers can be a main source of water pollution?

  • Did you know that some landscaping practices can help reduce storm water runoff from your yard?

  • Did you know that trees and shrubs require less fertilizer than other plants, helping to further reduce the chance of pollution?

  • Did you know that most water pollution is preventable?

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