Storm water runoff is the water that runs off surfaces, such as rooftops, paved streets, highways, and parking lots during rain events and snow melt. It can also come from hard grassy surfaces, such as golf courses, lawns, parks, and play fields. As the water flows, it collects debris, soil, garbage, pet waste, chemicals, salt and hazardous wastes. The storm water quality in the village can deteriorate due to the accumulation of these materials.
Water quality is important to protect fish, wildlife, aquatic life habitats, aesthetic value, and most important, public health. Please look around your property to see what items may be contributing to poor water quality. Do not dump any materials into storm sewers, inlets, drainage ditches, wetlands, or rivers.
The Federal Clean Water Act requires that practical measures be taken to ensure that pollutants are not discharged into Waters of the United States. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is the permit program that authorizes discharges into the Waters of the United States. Under the second phase of the NPDES, small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) must obtain a permit for discharges.
Fox Lake filed its first Notice of Intent (NOI) to comply with the statewide general permit conditions in 2003. The regulations require that the NOI address how the community will meet the six minimum control measures within five years of the initial NOI. The six measures are:
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Participation/Involvement
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Runoff Control
- Post-Construction Runoff Control
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
The NPDES Phase II regulations authorize communities to take credit for work done by Qualified Local Programs (QLP). In Lake County, the Lake County Storm Water Management Commission serves as the QLP. Lake County's Watershed Development Ordinance, which was adopted by Fox Lake, is the regulatory document for development in the county. Compliance with the ordinance ensures that water quality is maintained both during and after construction of new developments. The Village takes credit for SMC activities for all minimum control measures with the exception of the Illicit Discharge programs and housekeeping activities.
Fox Lake attends all Municipal Advisory Committee (MAC) meetings hosted by SMC. The MAC consists of municipal, township, drainage district, consulting, and county representatives who come together to assist each other in developing NOIs for each community. Communities benefit by incorporating ideas discussed at MAC meetings into their NOI. In doing so, communities ensure that their program is consistent with adjacent communities.
For more information on NPDES Phase II, visit the following sites: