The Village Board created a new utility to account for the costs related to the storm waters of the Village of Howard.
On September 27, 2004, the Village Board was presented two draft ordinances for storm water management and the creation of a new storm water utility. This meeting marked the first time the Village Board reviewed plans for a new utility. Board members expressed opinions on their desires to create (or not create) a utility that would keep track of all storm water related assets, such as storm sewers, ponds, equipment and curb & gutters, and maintain/operate those assets to meet the requirements of state and federal law.
The federal government created the need for more management of storm water through the enactment of a federal clean water act. The State of Wisconsin has been giving grant money to the Village for the creation of a storm water management plan and installation of new detention ponds to help clean storm water run off before the water entered into natural streams and rivers.
With the acceptance of the grant money, the Village of Howard accepted responsibility for constructing and maintaining the new ponds along with other infrastructure and equipment needed to manage the storm water.
The Board decided to create a storm water utility as it was the best way to:
1. Support storm water management operation; and,
2. Allow all entities responsible for storm water runoff to pay for their share of the pollutants in the runoff.
Prior to creation of the storm water utility, only taxable entities (residential and commercial properties) were paying for storm water costs. With the creation of the utility, tax exempt organizations will also be required to pay their share of the cost of the utility.
Billings for the storm water utility will be added to the quarterly water and sanitary sewer billing beginning at the end of January 2005. Billings are based on equivalent residential units (or ERU's) of impervious surface. One ERU is equal to 3,301 square feet of impervious surface per parcel. For each home, business or non-profit organization, the ERU's are calculated to enable billing by the utility.
A rate study has been completed for the storm water utility to determine the ERU charge to be $13/quarter. Some parcels will have more than one ERU and some will have less than one ERU. The ERU of 3,301 square feet was derived by an average of all residential properties within the Village.
MUNICIPAL STORMWATER EFFORTS
Did You Know?
That the Village of Howard has a permit to discharge storm water to wetlands, rivers lakes and streams. That’s wonderful, but the Village must comply with certain requirements on a community wide basis to improve storm water quality.
The requirements include the development of many programs:
♦Public Education and Involvement
•Through the Village’s website, newsletters, presentations, and mailings
♦Detection & Elimination of Illicit Discharges
•Through ongoing storm sewer testing
♦Construction Site Pollutant Control
•Through permitting for proper erosion control
♦Post Construction Storm Water Management
•Through permitting for proper control of stormwater
♦Municipal Pollution Prevention
♦Developed Urban Area Storm Water Quality Improvement
•By bringing stormwater controls in developed areas up to date
♦Storm system mapping
•By creating a comprehensive map of the Village’s stormwater system
♦Annual reporting of activities to comply with the Village’s storm water permit
•Through annual meetings and reports
What Can You Do?
Organize a group to participate in:
♦Howard’s inlet stenciling program
♦Both are easy and supplies are provided. As well as this may qualify for service hours for students or organizations.
♦You can also attend our annual storm water management workshop in May (call for details) and read our annual stormwater report.
If you have storm water related questions or would like to participate in programs call Geoff Farr at: 920-434-4060
What is an Illicit Discharge? With few exceptions, it is the illegal discharge of anything other than pure storm water to the Village’s drainage system (streets, pipes, inlets, storm laterals, & ditches) or to streams, rivers wetlands and lakes. Basically everything added to stormwater is a pollutant that may be discharged, accidentally or on purpose, directly to pipes or indirectly by flowing off of the land surface with rain, snow or ice melt. Obvious pollutant examples include pesticides, paint, garbage, sewage, oil products, antifreeze, household chemicals, biological materials, radioactive substances, etc. Some real life examples are: tanker spills, over fertilization, leaking vehicles, dumping from oil changes, dumping pet waste in inlets, yard trimmings and leaves in the street, used water from steam cleaning carpets, drycleaners, mechanic shops, and septic discharges. Less obvious items include construction refuse, rock, sand, dirt, soil, grass clippings, swimming pool chemicals, fertilizer, pet waste, and even heat. When all of these extra chemicals and pollutants are introduced into the storm water system they can cause weed or invasive species growth and kill aquatic animals. Things to look for might include oil slicks (as seen below), strange colored water, bad smells, and foreign objects in the water. Anything that isn’t clean runoff may constitute an illicit discharge.
Illicit connections are un-documented connections to the Village of Howard’s stormwater system. These include service connections that come off of either industrial or residential property or even pipes that outlet into ditches that have not been approved or designed or documented by the Village.
HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTES
Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW) are common products such as: pesticides, herbicides, cleaning products, acids, bases, pool chemicals, solvents, rodent baits, paints, paint thinner, solvents, gasoline, treated lumber, waste oil, cooking oil, batteries and anti-freeze, florescent lights, ballasts, computers, flares. Look for words like: caution, danger, warning, poison, flammable, corrosive, and combustible on products that should be disposed of as hazardous waste. Always make sure to use products per their instructions.
Did You Know? That 5.5 million pounds of hazardous wastes are in Brown County homes? Can you imagine how much is in the whole state? This is an important environmental issue because as fast as it is disposed of people are buying more. When these items are improperly disposed into storm and sewer drains it goes into our water system and creates a negative impact on our water sources and the animals that occupy them.
What Can You Do?
Take your HHW to the Brown County Material Recycling Facility (MRF) at 2561 South Broadway, open Thursdays from noon to 6 pm and on Saturdays 8 am to 2 pm.
Never pour any material, hazardous or otherwise, down the storm drain or into the ditch where it can mix with stormwater and end in our lakes and rivers without treatment.
For more information call Brown County Waste Disposal at 920-492-4950 or use the following web address: Brown County Website then use the following links “solid waste” then “household hazardous waste”.
BENEFICIAL REUSE OF YARD WASTE AND PROPER USE OF FERTILIZERS AND PESTICIDES
Proper use of fertilizers and pesticides, and proper techniques for recycling leaves and grass clippings help keep stormwater clean. Reuse grass clippings and leaves so they do not add excessive nutrients into waterways, and proper use of fertilizers and pesticides, when excessive amounts of those materials enter the stormwater system they can either create excessive weed growth, kill native plants, or possibly kill native wildlife.
Composting can create nutrient rich soil for a garden or flowers. Having a soil test conducted can tell you exactly which fertilizers to use and in what quantity. Limiting use of pesticides will limit the amount that runs off and contaminates the lakes, rivers and streams.
Did You Know?
Most Wisconsin lawns don't need added phosphorus. There's plenty of it in the soil already and additions of phosphorus fertilizer do not improve turf growth.
One source of phosphorus that enters the water is through runoff that comes from lawn fertilizer. The excess just drains into lakes and streams, which leads to the algae growth and reduced oxygen levels. The State Assembly recently passed a ban that would greatly reduce the ability to use fertilizer that contains phosphorus. Most stores already carry zero phosphorus fertilizers in anticipation of the ban. Just look for the middle number.
For more information about soil testing, contact your UW Extension office at 920-391-4617 or the following web address: Brown County Website then use the following link "UW Extension"
If you decide to fertilize remember to do the following:
♦Use low or zero phosphorus fertilizers
♦Sweep up excess fertilizer that was spread onto sidewalks, driveways and the street and reapply to the lawn
♦A lawn fertilization program should begin in early October and not the spring
♦Fall fertilizer applications should be made when the average daily temperature drops to 50 degrees Fahrenheit
♦Never pour fertilizer down the storm drain
If you determine a pesticide is necessary, REMEMBER:
♦Don’t buy more than you need
♦Only apply what is necessary
♦Do not apply in the rain (unless specified)
♦Never apply on bare ground or near wells, ponds, streams, etc.
♦Never dump excess pesticides on the ground or into the storm sewer
♦Consider sharing leftovers (in their original containers) with neighbors
♦When a container is empty, rinse three times (each time pouring into a sink)
♦Use a Clean Sweep Program to dispose of pesticides and containers properly
Grass clippings contain phosphorus, the nutrient that turns lakes green with algae. One bushel of fresh grass clippings can contain 0.1 lbs of phosphorus; enough to produce 30–50 pounds of algae growth if it finds its way to a lake or river!
What Can You Do?
♦Leave grass clippings on the lawn as natural fertilizer
♦Sweep up grass clippings from streets, driveways, sidewalks and other paved areas and return them to the lawn
♦Set the lawn mower at a higher setting (over 2.5 inches)
♦Mix grass clippings with leaves and soil to make a backyard compost pile
♦Mulch leaves in place by making several passes with a power mower. The shredded leaves will provide nutrients back to your lawn
♦Compost your leaves into mulch to place around your vegetables and flowers
♦Spread leaves in garden beds or under shrubs
♦Follow your community leaf collection policies and schedule
♦Learn about your community yard waste disposal practices
♦Put a tarp over leaf piles between pick-up times to prevent them from blowing away
♦Clean leaves and debris from the gutters and storm sewer outlets
How does this benefit me?
1. Lawns mowed higher are more competitive against weeds.
2. Lawns mowed higher withstand heat stress better, need less watering, and are more resilient, reducing bare spots and soil erosion.
3. Leaving grass clippings in place leaves the equivalent of 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 ft² - the same amount you would get from 1 fertilizer application
4. Use of fertilizers can be reduced by 30- 40% or more by leaving grass clipping on the lawn!
RIPARIAN SHORELINE MANAGEMENT
Proper management of shorelines and stream banks prevents erosion and protects habitats along waterways and water bodies. Property owners along waterways should incorporate responsible management practices such as:
♦Minimizing disturbance of the streambank and land adjacent to streambanks by vehicles, which disturbs vegetation and exposes soil which may cause erosion and loss of the streambank
♦Keep trees and plantings along the banks to slow and filter runoff
♦Allow the waterway to cut its own path rather than attempting to constrict it
♦Leave fallen trees and logs as these provide an anchor for the bank and habitat for creatures
♦Maintain a buffer strip of undisturbed natural growth along your stream bank. Many properties are regulated (permit required) or are prohibited from grading or disturbing the land near a waterway due to existing laws
♦Rip rap may be used to prevent erosion on stream banks but requires a permit
♦Do not build buildings near stream banks, there is a setback requirement, and you run a risk of flooding
♦Do not fill in or dam your creek or stream as this may cause water to back up and cause problems for you and upstream owners as well as downstream owners if your fill were to fail. Dams or any type of stream obstruction is regulated and would require a permit
♦Keep walkout basement grades above the potential flood plain levels
By following the above guidelines,
♦Erosion will be minimized, keeping a clear and beautiful waterway as well as not damaging landscaping or eating away at the banks of the waterway
♦Wild animals may find refuge in the trees and natural habitat left by the bank, as well as fish will enjoy the shelter left by fallen trees or branches in the waterway
♦Water will not be an issue with buildings too close to the bank as well as not be an issue in basements
♦You will have a pleasing waterfront that you can still enjoy while being conscious of the environment
Please feel free to contact Geoff Farr at the Village of Howard Public Works with any questions at 434-4060.
Construction of impervious surfaces, i.e.: houses, driveways, and streets prevent infiltration and contribute to the negative impacts of stream quality. Infiltration adds water to the ground during the wet season which later supplies a base flow to rivers during the dry season. By having a base flow, a river can now support aquatic life during the dry months of the year. Infiltration is most efficient when accomplished before water leaves your property or yard. Use of rain barrels and rain gardens replaces the missing infiltration created by impervious surfaces and minimizes the impacts of base flow reductions.
How Can Infiltration Be Accomplished:
♦Rain Gardens: Plant native species of plants in a shallow basin in your lawn that is placed to collect water from a downspout or other concentrated flow of stormwater. These plants will slow down and absorb stormwater flow.
♦Rain Barrels: A barrel positioned so that it collects storm water from gutters or downspouts. Once collected, it can be later used to water plants or grass and is thereby infiltrated in that way.
For any questions you may contact the Village of Howard Public Works Dept. at 434-4060.
EROSION CONTROL AND POST CONSTRUCTION STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
Reasons for controlling stormwater:
♦During construction proper erosion controls (BMP’s) reduce soil from leaving the construction site and contaminating wetlands and waterways to protect fish and animals and their habitat.
♦After construction proper stormwater management controls (BMP’s) are needed when impervious surfaces are built (roads, parking lots, large structures) to reduce soil and other pollutants and minimize the discharge rate and volume in stormwater leaving the site to protect wetlands and waterways.
♦Restore and enhance infiltration
What is Erosion Control and Post Construction Stormwater Management
♦Erosion Control: is the practice of preventing or controlling wind or water erosion associated with agriculture, land development and construction activities. This typically involves the creation of a physical barrier (Erosion BMP’s), to absorb some of the energy of the wind or water that causes the erosion. Erosion BMP’s include: erosion mat, bales, and fences.
♦Post Construction Storm Water Management: is required when a certain amount of impervious surface is constructed i.e.: parking lots, roofs, etc. A plan must be created to control the discharge of pollutants and increased stromwater rate and volume that is created. Post construction BMP’s include: Ponds (wet and dry), bio-filters, and infiltration basins.
What are the requirements?
♦There are state and local permits, Links to Village of Howard and State requirements are below.
♦Also see flow chart below to help guide you to determine when you need a permit and which entities will require a permit.
The village will hold an annual educational meeting that will be announced in the spring. You may call 434-4060 for more information.
PROMOTING ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE DESIGN AND BUILDING PRACTICES
Environmentally sensitive design places the same amount of homes/properties in the same area as a standard subdivision design would but saves room for "Green Space". Instead of having larger lots the same homes are placed on smaller lots and community green spaces are created. This gives everyone in the community a larger green space rather than a small backyard. Also roads are made narrower and there is less total mileage in the development by incorporating newer road designs such as a "lollipop and stick" design versus the standard "block" design. By designing in this manner money can be saved by not having to develop large lots and saving money by reducing infrastructure needs. By creating larger green spaces there is room for a many shared features including: football fields, parks, community gardens, preserved natural spaces, historically significant buildings or environmental features, ponds or a larger area of trees or plantings, and stormwater controls. Stormwater control is simpler because more open pervious space is preserved and less impervious surfaces are constructed. This reduces the amount of stormwater volume and pollutants discharged while maintaining natural buffer areas and infiltration and space for stormwater treatment devices.
The homes themselves may also be constructed in an environmentally friendly manner as well. Minimal trees may be cut down as well as onsite recycling of extra building materials (small wood scraps). Landscaping can be created in such a manner with natural tall grasses that require less maintained lawn and also have a similar effect as building a rain garden to help with infiltration. By building a berm against the house can help with insulation, as well as incorporating a geothermal heating system. There are also stores which carry used building supplies at a discount (or even free), so leftover building supplies may be used up.
If you have any questions you may contact the Village of Howard Public Works at 434-4060. Here are some links for further reading on Environmentally Sensitive Design.
Below are examples of the same plot of land, the top picture is developed in the standard fasion, whereas the bottom pictures shows a development with Low Impact Development taken into consideration.