Stormwater Management

The City Engineer manages the City’s program to develop, implement and enforce a stormwater management program designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable to protect water quality. Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation or snow melt flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not infiltrate into the ground. As the runoff flows over the land or impervious surfaces (paved streets, parking lots, sidewalks and building rooftops), it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment, or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality if the runoff is discharged untreated. The primary method to control stormwater discharges is the use of best management practices (BMPs). In addition, most stormwater discharges are considered point sources and require coverage under an NPDES/MS4 permit. 

Water pollution degrades surface waters making them unsafe for drinking, fishing, swimming, and other activities. Authorized by the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program for MS4 controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an NPDES/MS4 permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters. Since its introduction in 1972, the NPDES permit program is responsible for significant improvements to our Nation’s water quality. Communities with 1000 people or more per square mile must follow the NPDES General Permit for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4). The City of Ontario became a small MS4 in 2009 and is required to maintain a small MS4 permit through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. These regulations require designated communities to develop and implement a storm water management plan (SWMP).

This is accomplished by implementing six minimum control measures (click on each of the 6). 

  1. Public Education and Outreach —
    BMPs for MS4s to inform individuals and households about ways to reduce stormwater pollution.
  2. Public Involvement and Participation —
    BMPs for MS4s to involve the public in the development, implementation, and review of an MS4’s stormwater management program.
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination —
    BMPs for identifying and eliminating illicit discharges and spills to storm drain systems.
  4. Construction Runoff Control —
    BMPs for MS4s and construction site operators to address stormwater runoff from active construction sites.
  5. Post-construction Runoff Control —
    BMPs for MS4s, developers, and property owners to address stormwater runoff after construction activities have completed. 
  6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping —
    BMPs for MS4s to address stormwater runoff from their own facilities and activities.

Stormwater Control Measures Inspection Forms

Public Education and Outreach

Stormwater Theme 2024

“Pollution Prevention- Focus on opportunities for business and residents to prevent stormwater pollution by incorporating proper use of lawn and garden chemicals, yard waste disposal, hazardous waste disposal, recycling opportunities, how to report illegal dumping and more.”

Rain and snowmelt run over the many hard surfaces in urbanized areas — roads, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, roof tops, etc. — and pick up pesticides, fertilizers, oils, metals, detergents, road salt, sediment, trash, and other pollutants and carry them into storm drains. Anything that enters the storm sewer system is discharged untreated into our waterbodies.

It is the City’s goal to educate businesses and residents on healthy habits we can adopt to prevent common pollutants from entering the storm sewer system and ultimately contributing to surface water pollution. Below are some practices that can be adopted to prevent pollutants from mixing with stormwater and contributing to water pollution.

Household/Place of Business

Use nontoxic household products, dispose of hazardous household products properly, reduce the water used within a residence/place of business through water conservation practices, recycle and properly dispose of trash, don’t let pollutants go down the drain inside or outside, ensure pollutant sources are not exposed to precipitation.

Vehicle and Garage

Properly dispose of vehicle maintenance fluids and perform regular maintenance to prevent leaks from contributing to pollution. Take your car to a commercial carwash or wash vehicles on pervious (gravel or vegetated) areas to prevent pollutants from discharging directly to the storm sewer system.

Lawn and Garden

Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly, use natural fertilizers for yard and landscaping, consider conservations practices to utilize as much rainwater and reduce lawn watering from municipal sources, properly management of yard and pet waste.

Home Repairs and Improvements

Prevent construction debris and sediment from entering nearby storm drains and revegetate disturbed areas as soon as possible to prevent erosion. Ensure all infrastructure installed that will receive precipitation or runoff only receive stormwater runoff. Ensure any infrastructure that will receive wastewater or wash water are not exposed to precipitation or connected to the storm sewer system to prevent mixing with stormwater. Any discharges that are not entirely comprised of stormwater runoff should be directed to sanitary infrastructure or a home sewage treatment system (HSTS). If a lot has a septic system (HSTS), ensure regular maintenance is performed and the system remains in working order.

Addressing an Emerging Contaminant of Concern: Microplastics

Microplastics are becoming more recognized as a contaminant of concern in urban stormwater runoff. Microplastics typically mix with stormwater runoff from weathering and breakdown of consumer plastic products. Although it is extremely difficult to eliminate all inputs of microplastics to the storm sewer, proper waste disposal, recycling practices, and litter cleanup can reduce the chance of consumer plastic products contributing to microplastic stormwater pollution.

See the Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination section below for the specifics of the City of Ontario Illicit Discharge and Connection Stormwater Regulation and how to report suspected illegal dumping/discharge.

See the below resources for additional information on becoming part of the solution to urban waters pollution.

How You Can Help by EPA

Make your Home The Solution to Stormwater Pollution Brochure by EPA

Public Involvement and Participation

Events page:

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

Illicit Discharge Detection Flyer by Respect Our Waters
Chapter 938 Illicit Discharge and Connection Stormwater Regulation

Contact the City of Ontario to report
suspected illegal dumping or illicit discharge

Michael Morton, Zoning Inspector
3375 Milligan Road, Ontario, Ohio 44906
Office: 419-529-2530
Cell: 419-961-7222

Construction and Post Construction Runoff

Chapter 937 Stormwater Management
Chapter 1353 Erosion and Sediment Control
Chapter 1354 Riparian and Wetland Setbacks
Ontario Codes and Ordinances

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