Rossville Georgia Storm water Web page 09/23/2013

Stormwater Management

The City of Rossville is committed to a clean and healthy environment as part of high quality of life.  In
addition, state and federal mandates require that Rossville implement a comprehensive stormwater
management program to protect water quality in the state’s waterways. Protection of long-term water
supplies is critical to ensuring a sustainable future for all.

What is stormwater pollution?   Stormwater is the runoff that comes from parking lots, roads and rooftops
and flows into our storm drains and streams during and/or immediately after a rainstorm. Stormwater carries
nutrient laden sediment, heavy metals, oils, and other materials which have accumulated on the land
between rain events and flushes them into streams, rivers, and lakes carrying silt, debris, fertilizer and other
pollutants with it.  Since stormwater runoff is untreated, pollutants end up in our lakes and other water

Stormwater pollution can impact our drinking water sources, cause adverse impacts to habitat for fish,
macroinvertebrates and wildlife, and pose a threat to humans due to the presence of elevated fecal coliform
levels.  In addition to adding pollutants to stormwater, urban development increases the amount and velocity
of runoff that occurs, so that downstream properties are flooded, channels and streams become eroded
over time, and natural beauty and habitat are lost.  Uncontrolled stormwater pollution affects the way a
stream or other water body looks and smells, making it unpleasant to be near. This can impact the quality of
life for everyone living in and around a community.

Sources of Stormwater Pollution - There are many different types and sources of stormwater pollution.
Examples include:

•        Commercial businesses that are retail oriented or perform services for customers. Examples include
auto service shops, gas stations, restaurants and lawn care services.   Motor oil, antifreeze, oil filters and
cleaners can all be potentially harmful to the environment if not recycled. Oil and grease contain
hydrocarbon compounds, some of which can injure or kill aquatic life even at low concentrations.  

•        Industrial facilities that are engaged in manufacturing, production, transportation and/or construction-
related activities.  Waste generated at an industrial site, when exposed to rain or outdoor watering, can
wash into rivers, streams and lakes.

•        Residential areas and neighborhoods can significantly impact rivers, lakes and streams due to
improper disposal of yard clippings, fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides as well as vehicle washing on
impervious surfaces that result in the runoff of soapy water and other cleaning chemicals down the street
into a storm drain and the nearest stream. Household hazardous wastes in and around a home can cause
harm to family members and pets and can also be toxic to local wildlife and fish. Dog waste can be
especially problematic and known to contaminate nearby streams, rivers and lakes with unhealthy levels of

•        Institutions such as schools, universities, hospitals, churches and government facilities can cause
water pollution in the same way that businesses and residents can generate it. The types of waste are
similar to that of any home or work environment and if not disposed of or managed properly can cause
adverse effects on the environment.

Preventing Stormwater Problems

City of Rossville is involved in a number of activities designed to educate local school children, residents,
business owners and operators as well as municipal employees on the importance of preventing stormwater
runoff.  Example projects are listed below.  

Stream Cleanups – City officials, staff, local churches and residents collect litter and other debris from local
streets, neighborhoods and streams as part of the Great American Cleanup in April and Rivers Alive in
October.  To volunteer, please contact the City of Rossville at (706) 866-1611.  

City Employee Training Program – City managers and staff are committed to ensuring that all public facilities
and operations employ pollution prevention practices to prevent polluted stormwater runoff.  All staff
involved in stormwater management receive at least a training once each year.

Development Services - New commercial and residential development is occurring in the City of Rossville.  
All construction activities in the City are required to prevent polluted stormwater runoff during construction
and to utilize various structural and/or vegetative approaches to control and treat large volumes of
stormwater runoff after construction is complete.  Design engineers and contractors must utilize the Georgia
Stormwater Management Manual in addition to other required technical regulations and best management
practices to prevent polluted stormwater runoff from new development both during and after construction.

Improving Water Quality

Dry Weather Outfall Screening Program – City of Rossville conducts field inspections of outfalls located
throughout the City to identify and eliminate suspicious discharges that could impact stream and lake biota.  
Examples of potential problem discharges include: oil, soapy water, grease, and sediment.  Once identified,
all illicit discharges are eliminated as soon as possible through education and enforcement activities, if

Business Inspection Program - The City’s Business Education and Inspection Program helps owners and
operators of local businesses and industries utilize best management practices to eliminate polluted
stormwater runoff from their sites.  Pollutants of greatest concern are: grease, oil, soap, sediment and

Inspection, Operations and Maintenance Program – The City actively inspects both public and private storm
sewer systems and facilities, such as detention ponds to ensure they function as designed to reduce
stormwater velocity and improve the quality of stormwater entering local streams and lakes.  Owners of
private detention ponds are responsible for maintaining their storm sewer system and stormwater
management facilities which may include ponds, ditches, pipes, inlets, catch basins, etc.

You Can Help by Preventing Pollution at Home

•        Never dump anything down a storm drain or drainage ditch.
•        Recycle motor oil and other vehicle fluids.
•        Throw litter in its place.
•        Clean up after your pet.
•        Check your vehicles for leaks (repair them!)
•        Reduce the amount of household hazardous wastes generated at home.
•        Compost yard clippings.
•        Use fertilizer and pesticide only when needed. (Read the label!)
•        If you wash your vehicle at home, do so on the lawn rather than on pavement.
•        Tell a friend or neighbor about how to prevent stormwater pollution.
•        Volunteer to help clean up our community at the Great American Cleanup in April and Rivers Alive in
October each year.  

Report a Problem

To report a stormwater problem, such as: illegal dumping; suspicious discharge; muddy runoff; clogged
drainage structures; flooding; and/or structure repairs, please contact the City of Rossville at (706) 866-
1325.  All reported problems will be addressed during the hours of: 9:00 am - 4:300 pm Monday Through
Friday.  Please call 911 to report immediate emergencies.   

Additional Resources. Copy and paste the URL into the address bar.

•        Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District
•        Center for Watershed Protection
•        Stormcenter
•        Stormwater Outreach Materials
•        Low Impact Development Center
•        Environmental Compliance for Auto Recyclers
•        Georgia Stormwater Management Manual
•        American Rivers

Kids Corner

Check out these great links to find streams in our community, games, experiments and more! Copy and
paste the URL into the address bar.

•        Surf Your Watershed
•        Non-point Source Pollution Kids Page
•        Environmental Kids Club
•        Clean Water Campaign
•        Kid’s Playhouse
•        Make a Water Filter
•        Droplet and the Water Cycle
•        USGS Water Science for schools
web counter