What is stormwater?
Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that does not immediately soak into the ground. Instead, stormwater flows across hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt pavement and picks up pollutants like lawn chemicals, automobile oil and grease, sediments, and pet waste. Stormwater that flows into storm drains carries these pollutants to the Boise River, canals, or to our ground water.
The Clean Water Act of 1972, as amended in 1987, requires that stormwater discharges to surface waters comply with a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. As a result, Boise is required to comply with the issued Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. This permit outlines how our community must work together to keep pollutants out of our stormwater and our environment.
Boise's Stormwater Program
Since 1997, The Boise Public Works Department has administered the stormwater program. Among other MS4 permit requirements, such as developing a drainage control program, Boise City is required to provide stormwater education and outreach to residents within Boise city limits.
Boise City is a member of Partners for Clean Water. The organization's mission is to reduce pollutants in stormwater and create a conscious and responsible public that knows that clean water is good for the environment, business, and our community. A number of outreach documents have been produced to help engineers, architects, and other design professionals understand the importance of keeping stormwater clean.