City of Gary
The City of Gary has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the City of Gary through the regulation of storm water and non-storm water discharges to the storm drainage system and to protect, conserve and promote the coordinated development of land and water resources within the City of Gary. The City of Gary is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The City of Gary will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. Stormwater fees will be calculated and collected by the City of Gary. The City of Gary, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The City of Gary has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.
City of Gary
Gary, like other municipalities across this nation, must manage stormwater to protect people's health and our environment. Stormwater is runoff from a rainstorm or melting snow. Urban stormwater runs off roofs, streets, and parking lots into sewers, storm drains and ultimately, our rivers and lakes.
Most people are aware that rainstorms and melting snow can cause flooding and property damage. But the stormwater runoff is also a health and environmental concern because it contains potentially high levels of pollutants that wash off our streets, and residential and business properties. Common pollutants include pesticides, fertilizers, fuels, oils, road salt, pet waste, litter, sediment and other debris. Poorly maintained septic systems also contribute to fecal coliform bacteria in stormwater runoff. These pollutants can result in fish kills, the destruction of wildlife and wildlife habitats, and contamination of drinking water supplies and recreational waterways that can threaten public health.
It's the Law
The Gary Storm Water Management District is mandated by Congress under the Clean Water Act to implement controls through a Phase II National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to prevent harmful pollutants from being washed by stormwater runoff into local water bodies such as the Grand Calumet and Little Calumet Rivers, and Lake Michigan, the source of our drinking water. The regulated stormwater management program is called the MS4 (Municipal Separated Storm Sewer System) Permit Program.
Stormwater management is an unfunded federal mandate. Local communities must find the means to pay for stormwater management and protection through fees and tax dollars. The City of Gary and its residents and businesses need to work together to meet the requirements of our NPDES Storm Water permit.
Clean Water Life Essential
Storm Water Pollution Prevention can only be accomplished through the participation and cooperation of residents, business, and municipal departments. The Gary Storm Water Management District is also reaching out to our local, regional, state, and federal partners to reduce flooding and improve water quality today and into the future.
Storm Water Management Permits and Storm Water Monitoring
All construction and remodeling projects, and projects that disturb an acre or more of soil in, the City of Gary must be reviewed by the Gary Storm Water Management District staff for construction and post-construction storm water management permits. During construction, measures must be taken to prevent soil erosion and to stop sediment-laden water and dirt from leaving the construction site and entering storm drains or waterways.
Post Construction stormwater permits require the project owner or developer to manage any stormwater from roofs, roads, or parking lots with a "Best Management Practice" that will keep the storm water on site and prevent it from entering the city sewers and contributing to water pollution and sewer overflows. Gary Storm Water Management District inspectors visit construction sites on a regular basis to document compliance with the stormwater permit requirements.
Gary Storm Water Management staff and inspectors also monitor the Grand Calumet and Little Calumet Rivers by boat or canoe to observe whether there are any illicit or illegal discharges from drain pipes or surface runoff that are contributing to water pollution. These illicit discharges could be the result of oil or chemical spills, poorly maintained septic systems, or intentional dumping of wastes into sewers or onto the ground. Illicit discharges are particularly damaging to water quality and dangerous to public health and wildlife because they are often composed of undiluted chemical or organic waste.
Excerpt from Stormwater Code
Sec. 119-210. - Inspection, maintenance, recordkeeping, and reporting.
(a) After the approval of the stormwater management permit by the GSWMD and the commencement of construction activities, the GSWMD has the authority to conduct inspections of the work being done to ensure full compliance with the provisions of this article, the city design standards manual, and the terms and conditions of the approved permit.
(b) Stormwater quality facilities shall be maintained in good condition, in accordance with the operation and maintenance procedures and schedules listed in the state stormwater quality manual and the city design standards manual, and the terms and conditions of the approved stormwater permit, and shall not be subsequently altered, revised, or replaced except in accordance with the approved stormwater permit, or in accordance with approved amendments or revisions in the permit. Following construction completion, inspection and maintenance of stormwater quality facilities shall be the long-term responsibility of the owner. Stormwater detention/retention basins may be donated to the city or other unit of government approved by the GSWMD, for ownership and permanent maintenance providing the GSWMD or other governmental unit is willing to accept such responsibility.
(c) The GSWMD also has the authority to perform long-term, post-construction inspection of all public or privately owned stormwater quality facilities. The inspections will follow the operation and maintenance procedures included in the city design standards manual and/or the permit application for each specific BMP. The inspection will cover physical conditions, available water quality storage capacity and the operational condition of key facility elements. Noted deficiencies and recommended corrective action will be included in an inspection report.
Gary Storm Water Webpage
Gary Storm Water Quality Prevention Plan
Gary Storm Water Ordinances
City of Gary Stormwater Utility Fee Fact Sheet