Soil sediment is the single greatest source of pollution in the lakes, rivers and wetlands of Minnesota. Across the country, approximately 1 billion metric tons of soil is lost each year in non-agricultural settings. A lot of this can be associated with erosion from all types of construction sites, including roads. Construction sites have the potential to contribute to soil erosion at a rate of up to 2,000 times that of erosion from other land uses.
The City of Hutchinson has set up a program, in conjunction with the requirements of the NPDES Program, to help address these issues. This program focuses on education and enforcement of erosion and sediment control measures:
Controlling the velocity and volume of runoff across project sites
Minimizing the amount of erosion that occurs
Managing the sediments that are inevitable
Erosion control is important even for home sites of an acre or less. The materials needed are easy to find and relatively inexpensive - sod strips or silt fence, rock entrances, quick growing grass seed. Putting these materials to use is a straight forward process. Only a few controls are needed on most sites. Erosion Control measures for all sites should include at a minimum:
Preserve existing trees and grass where ever possible to prevent erosion.
Revegetating bare soil on the site as soon as possible with sod or appropriate seed mix. Vegetation is the most effective way to prevent erosion.
Two rows of sod or properly installed silt fence can help protect the storm drains and trap sediment on the down slope sites of the lot
Placing soil piles away from any roads or waterways.
Install a 1 ¼” rock by 4” deep by 25’ access drive to be used by all vehicles to prevent tracking mud onto the road. There are alternate approved entrances as well.
Clean up sediment that does get carried off-site by vehicles or storms immediately.
Dispose of concrete wash water in a designated area away from areas that can reach storm drains or other waters of the state.
Downspout extenders to prevent erosion from roof runoff.
Properly dispose of waste – it is illegal to dispose down the storm sewer.
Follow all required erosion and sediment control measures on construction sites.
Inspect the site after each ½ “ or more rainfalls and perform repairs with 24 hours of discovery.
Site dewatering may not be discharged in a manner that causes erosion, sedimentation, or flooding on the site, on downstream properties, in the receiving channels, or in any wetland.
Proper maintenance of all BMP’s is as important as having them installed correctly.
For information on appropriate measures for your site, contact the City of Hutchinson Environmental Specialist at 320.234.5682.
Erosion Control for Homebuilders and Small Construction Sites
Sediment and Erosion Control for New Homeowners
Prohibited Discharge Detection
Prohibited discharges are a major threat to water quality everywhere. These discharges exist in many forms but all have a negative effect on the environment. Prohibited discharge detection and elimination presents many obstacles that can be resolved. Through cooperation of the city staff with residents and businesses, detection of prohibited discharges is a very effective way of reducing water pollution. A prohibited discharge is a non-storm water discharge into the storm water system or a natural water, including but not limited to:
Debris or other materials such as grass clippings, vegetative materials, tree branches, earth fill, rocks, concrete chunks, metal, other demolition or construction materials, or structures.
The disposal or misuse of chemicals or any other materials that would degrade the quality of waters within the system, including, but not limited to chemicals (fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, etc.) or petroleum based products (gasoline, oil, fuels, solvents, paints, etc.).
Erosion and sediment originating from a property and deposited onto City streets, private properties or into the storm water conveyance system.
Failure to remove sediments transported or tracked onto City streets by vehicles or construction traffic within 24 hours of it being deposited on the street.
If you suspect or witness a prohibited discharge occurring, be responsible and report it to the City of Hutchinson Environmental Specialist at 320.234.5682.
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Ponding is utilized throughout the City. These ponds are constructed to meet a variety of requirements related to the control of the quantity and quality of stormwater.
Ponds that are either dry or wet may be constructed to provide a location for stormwater to go during larger rainfall events. These ponds are generally designed to hold up to “100-year” events. These events have a 1% potential for occurring each year. A typical “dry” pond is the one located at Elks Park in south-east Hutchinson. However, these ponds provide virtually no quality control. It is much more typical to find “wet” ponds in new construction areas such as Rolling Meadows, Island View Heights or Summerset Additions, or at HTI, Wal-Mart, Target, Menards or the Middle School.
Quality ponds usually have a pool of water deep enough to slow down water flow and allow sediment to settle. Quality ponds may include the “wet” ponds noted above, as well as specially constructed dry ponds. Sometimes the ‘quantity” ponding can be if a parking lot or handled separately and the “quality” pond may be fairly small (i.e. Word of Life Church, Burger King).
Some properties with limited space utilize specialized buried structures to provide quality control. Both Emma Dees Restaurant and the Century Cinema utilize these structures. The City of Hutchinson also has constructed structures to serve roadways.
Maintenance and design of these ponds is a major focus of the Public Works Group.
Storm Water Utility
The City of Hutchinson initiated a “Storm Water Utility” fee in 2001 to help support surface water management efforts. Many hearings and meetings were held prior to its adoption. The following Q&A section covers questions the have arisen.
Storm Water Utility Ordinance and Policy
Storm Water Utility Q&A
Click on this link to view Monthly Storm Water Rates
Sump Pump Discharge Regulations
For a typical house, a sump pump may discharge up to 5000 gallons per day of “clean” water, compared to approximately 200 gallons per day of wastewater (sewage). In the City of Hutchinson prior to the sump pump discharge elimination program, it was estimated that over 180 million gallons a year of sump pump water was discharged into the sanitary sewer system. It was not uncommon to have flows in the sanitary sewer system triple (or more) during rainfall events. This created increasingly more problems and concerns that needed to be addressed.
Sanitary sewer systems were backing up into some homes during large rainfall events. Significant damage was being caused by the excess flows from sump pump discharge.
The capacity of the Wastewater Treatment Facility was being reached during the peak flows, and the facility had the possibility for being overloaded, potentially leading to raw sewage entering the river. The City was looking at large operating costs for handling “clean” water and the potential expansion of a multi-million dollar facility just to provide capacity for sump pump discharge.
It has been illegal to hook up a sump pump discharge to the sanitary sewer for decades. However due to the known problems with sump pumps running year round, the nuisance issues, and the lack of troubles associated with the discharge the City of Hutchinson has not pursued strong measures of enforcement. As the issues above have increased in frequency and magnitude, it became clear that the City had to act to correct the situation.
Connecting Your Sump Pump to a City Tile
In some areas of town you may have the option of connecting your sump pump discharge to a city tile line that may be located behind the curb line. Only sump pump water is allowed to discharge into the tile line. No down spouts or surface inlets are allowed to be connected because of the potential of plugging the tile line. You will need to obtain an excavation permit to perform the work and make the connection. We will also provide you with specifications to ensure that your system operates as intended. An inspection will need to be done by city staff to verify that the connection was made according to the city specifications.
If you are interested in connecting your sump pump discharge, would like to know if the tile is available adjacent to your property, or you have any other questions please call: (320)234-5682.
Sump Pump Q&A
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