Skip to main content
Return to Weldon Spring home page.

Stormwater Management

See our City newsletter for latest seasonal information. Our new MS4 Permit has been issued by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. 

You can find the MS4 Permit here :MS4 Permit link
In 2019 the Missouri Department of Natural Resources conducted an audit of our MS4 Program. The full audit is available here.

Program Background

In 1972, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program was established under the authority of the Clean Water Act. Phase I of the NPDES Stormwater program was established n 1990. It required NPDES permit coverage for large or medium municipalities that had populations of 100,000 or more. The Phase II program extends permit coverage to smaller (less than 100,000 pop.) communities and public entities that own or operate a municipal separate storm sewer system.

Program Authority and Implementation
Phase II of the NPDES Stormwater program was signed into law in December 1999.  This regulation builds upon the existing Phase I program by requiring smaller communities and public entities that own and operate an MS4 to apply and obtain an NPDES permit for Stormwater discharges. 

Who is designated for coverage in the Phase II program?
Federal law requires communities and public entities that own or operate an MS4 and that satisfy either of the following two conditions to obtain an NPDES Phase II Stormwater permit:
1.     The MS4 is located in an urbanized area as determined by the latest Decennial Census of the Bureau of the Census.  (If the MS4 is not located entirely within an urbanized area, only the portion that is within the urbanized area is regulated).
2.     The community or public entity is designated by the NPDES permitting authority.

What is required under a Phase II permit?
EPA regulation  requires permitted municipalities at a minimum to develop, implement, and enforce a Stormwater program designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants from the MS4 to the maximum extent practicable.  The Stormwater management program must include six minimum control measures.

Public Education and Outreach on Stormwater Impacts
This minimum measure being addressed through this website and future planned events and programs. Its main focus is to get the public more involved and educated on the importance of the success of this program.  Some of these are:
- Brochures and fact sheets
- General group education
- School group education
- In-house employee training/education

Public Involvement and Participation
This minimum measure is being addressed through the development of various volunteer programs. Its main focus is much like Public Education and Outreach in that it is to inform and educate the public by getting people more involved in local stormwater issues.  Some of these are:
- Storm drain markings throughout the City  
- Public meetings

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
This minimum measure is being addressed through the development of new regulations and ordinances as well as enforcing or amending existing regulations and ordinances.  Its main focus is to eliminate and prevent illicit discharge of pollutants into the stormwater system through early detection. Some of these are:
- Develop ordinances/amend existing ordinances
- Easy ways to contact the City staff to address any stormwater concerns
- Develop methods to identify and eliminate sources
Storm sewer mapping through GIS
- Fine assessment established for violators
Recycle Day (being coordinated)
Monitoring/testing stations

Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
This measure is being addressed before construction begins through plan review by the City Engineer prior to grading a new development or redevelopment. Construction Inspectors will inspect areas on a regular basis to make sure this compliance is maintained.  Some of the ways we are going to accomplish this are:
-  Site Plan Review and Construction requirements
- Inspections and Penalties for violators of City Code

Post Construction Storm Water Management in New Development and Redevelopment
This measure is being addressed before construction begins through plan review prior to grading a new development or redevelopment. The City Engineer, Stormwater Manager or Construction Inspectors will inspect areas on a regular basis during construction to make sure this compliance is maintained. Areas will be inspected by volunteers, residents, home owners associations post construction to make sure control measures remain in place.  Some of the ways we are going to accomplish this are:
- Site  Review for compliance with construction requirements
- Detention basins inspections
-  Vegetative practices checked for effectiveness and growing status

Pollution Prevention/Good housekeeping within Municipal Operations
This measure is being addressed continuously through a combination of the previous five BMP measures and long term monitoring of the Stormwater system. Some of these are:
Maintenance activities and schedule
Staff Training
Long-term inspections of City Park property
Fines assessed for violators
Monitoring/Testing stations
Since the above are all minimum measures, we will be constantly looking for new ways to improve on our measures and expand our efforts. Please feel free to make suggestions through our Web site.

No matter where you go, from small towns to big cities, down on the farm or back at the ranch, you're always in a watershed. They come in all shapes and sizes, from millions of square miles to just a few acres. A watershed is an area of land that catches rainfall and melting snow, which in turn, drain into low lying bodies of water. Each one is a dynamic, unique place we call home. It's where we live, work and play. And, how we do each of those things affects the water in the watershed. You may also hear a watershed referred to as a drainage basin or catchment area. More information and a Map is available at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Current Events and News
View the latest Stormwater Management news and event listings on our City website.

Education and Outreach
As required by the NPDES Phase 2 requirements, public education and outreach is mandatory.  This program implements the requirements outlined in their guidelines. Therefore the City will be actively establishing public education courses, seeking volunteers, and using publications to educate the public on proper care of Stormwater facilities. There are a few community service based projects that would be great opportunities for youth groups, boy and girl scouts, home owner's associations, church groups, and individuals to make a difference in our community. 
If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, educational resources, or other aspects of this program, please contact our Stormwater Manager at (636) 441-2210 ext 108, or email at [email protected].

Stormdrain Marking
The City is currently in the process of trying to mark the major subdivision storm drains throughout the City. Some of these systems are privately maintained and permission from the Homeowner Associations must be obtained. This project involves a pre-made marker which the City provides that we can epoxy to the top of the storm inlet. We are currently working with the City engineering staff in regards to obtaining maps for the storm sewer system to assist in this project. Eventually, the City will require developers to mark their own inlets as they get installed, however additional markings for the existing inlets will require volunteer services.

Illicit Discharge
An Illicit Discharge is the dumping of pollutants or non-storm water materials to storm sewer systems by either directly or indirectly dumping such items into the storm sewer system. Some examples of illicit discharges include chemicals, cleaners, oils, paints, grass clippings, pet waste, leaves, trash, and more in or around a catch basin. 
All of the materials listed above, including storm water, flows directly through the piping, untreated, and dumps into the creeks. The creeks then feed the river, and the river is where we get our drinking water from! It is also the same water from which we swim and fish in. Therefore if the water that returns to the river is heavily polluted, then it costs more to clean and treat it before it can be used again, which ultimately means higher water bills. 
Because the City cannot monitor every single outlet pipe every day, it is up to you, the residents, to identify polluters. Once we are made aware of such offenders, then we can proceed to educate the public to minimize ongoing future discharges.

There is a City Ordinance making it illegal to discharge debris, organic waste and tainted water etc., onto the public streets, or into storm sewers and water courses within the City. This is defined in our Municipal Code:
Chapter 216: Offenses Against the Environment,
The entire Weldon Spring Municipal Code is available on line at our website.

The City is in the process of inventorying all of the Stormwater structures and systems throughout the City limits. Ultimately, there will be a database and a map system that will identify the structures, their output drainage locations, and if the structure has been stenciled. These structures will help us identify which systems drain into which steams and are a part of which sub watershed.
This mapping system will also help us specify areas of pollutants as a result from testing results for illicit discharges and focus on a solution. There will be an ongoing series of tests conducted at various stream locations that will help establish where the pollutants are at and where they are coming from.

The Stormwater Manager will be performing periodic tests as needed throughout the City to pinpoint and isolate suspected pollution types and sources. These tests will usually be the result of a complaint filed with the City or the Stormwater Manager observing a suspicious discharge. The City will use the following procedure:
1.     Complete/update the database of the storm sewers and their outlets.
2.     Take a photographic record during dry events (long periods of no rain): Photographs will show all of the conditions of the pipes and will help justify reasons to investigate further. These photos will be linked to the GIS database for a quick view of the system.
3.     Inspect the outlets: The outlets will be inspected to observe items that could lead us to believe there is pollution coming through. Discolorations, leaks, broken pipes are all items that will be monitored. We will also be looking for vegetation immediately after the outlet to look for plant growth and water quality.
4.     Water quality tests: The water will be tested for various levels including pH, ammonia (flag for fertilizers), bacteria (E-coli, which would be a flag that there is sanitary discharge), turbidity, surfactants (this is found in detergents), trash, and conductivity (a higher count would meant that the water is contaminated).
5.     Outlet database: A database in cooperation with the GIS database will be used to get a regular update of the outlets and the water quality tests taken at them. Reports can then be generated and then we can investigate pollution sources.

Construction Site Runoff Control

Plan Review

Buffer Zones
An aquatic buffer is an area along a shoreline, wetland, or stream where development is restricted or prohibited. The primary function of aquatic buffers is to physically protect and separate a stream, lake or wetland from future disturbance or encroachment. If properly designed, buffers can provide Stormwater Management and act as a right-of-way during floods, sustaining the integrity of stream ecosystems and habitats. Technically aquatic buffers are one type of conservation area, function as an integral part of the aquatic ecosystem, and can also function as part of an urban forest
Erosion and Sediment Control
If you observe any problems with or lack of siltation control within your neighborhood or development, or perhaps if you have even seen it while out and about, please contact us so that we can address it .
Inspections are performed by the City Engineer and Construction Inspectors during construction as well as by the Stormwater Manager. If you see something that does not look correct or feel needs attention please do not hesitate to contact the City and we will come out and inspect it.

Post-Construction Management

The City has several residential and commercial detention basins within its limits. The Stormwater Manager continuously checks the basins to insure they are functioning properly and are being maintained by the owners per the approved construction plans for their construction. This also includes maintaining the vegetation within the basin, cleaning out debris and keeping the grass cut to the correct maximum height per City Code.
Detention Basins
When a subdivision is completed and the final escrow is released, many residents do not realize that common ground and detention basin maintenance, repair, etc. fall under the responsibility of the subdivision/home owners association.  As with storm sewer outlets, detention basins empty into a creek or stream.  Improper drainage, trash, sediment and other pollutants can cause many issues for the subdivision and wreak havoc on our water systems.  It is vital that these basins be maintained properly and problems addressed in a timely manner.  As with wetlands, there may be some financial assistance or grants available through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Dredging is a process of cleaning out a detention basin by removing sediment that has been accumulated within the basin from storm water entering into the basin systems. Many residential developments have their detention basins dredged a few years after it has been built because the erosion has accumulated so much. This is usually the responsibility of the Homeowners Association.
One of the keys to minimizing erosion is to have fully established healthy vegetation. The grasses and roots keep the soil in place, and the plants help filter out Stormwater before it reaches a stream or creek. Weeds and other non-grass vegetation need to be replaced with native grasses as indicated on the construction plans for the basins.
The City of Weldon Spring does have the presence of wetlands in areas along the River.  Any home owners associations must accept the responsibility of working with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers to maintain these protected areas if they are with their subdivision.  There may be grants and financial assistance available if you qualify through these entities and the EPA.  For more information, visit their sites.
Army Corps of Engineers
Environmental Protection  Agency – Wetlands
Missouri Department of Natural Resources – Wetlands

Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping

Parking Lots
The City encourages businesses to contract or regularly clean their parking lots or paved surfaces  throughout the City. This picks up a lot of trash and debris that would otherwise be discharged into the streams.
Pest Control
Pesticides are a contributor to pollution in stormwater. Most bugs that one sees near their residence does not necessary imply a problem, and it is not necessary to eradicate every single one. It is the overly cautious preventative measures that are performed that can be contaminating to storm water.
Pet Waste
Pet waste, when it has run off into the storm sewer, is a major pollutant. Being waste, it contains a lot of bacteria such as e-coli that can make the waters contaminated. The bacteria also promotes algae growth in waters, which consumes the dissolved oxygen killing off aquatic wildlife. Pet waste needs to be cleaned up regularly and disposed of properly.
The City has installed a pet waste disposal stations in the City Hall Park. There also may be an Ordinance against leaving pet waste uncollected.
Swimming Pools
Chlorinated water is something that we do not want into the storm sewers. The chlorine is used to kill bacteria and can affect aquatic wildlife. We are recommending that the water be checked with a simple test kit and that the chlorine be allowed to dissipate before discharging or to discharge their swimming pools into the sanitary sewer system.
Vehicle Maintenance
We encourage people to fix their vehicles when a problem occurs, because aside from it preventing pollution, it also can help save you money by taking action immediately.  Commercial repair or oil change businesses dispose of any hazardous materials in a proper manner.
Vehicle Washing
We encourage home owners to wash their vehicles in the grass or to take their vehicles to a commercial car wash. If washed on the grass, the soap infiltrates into the ground and becomes filtered before reaching ground water. If you have any questions or comments please contact:

Association links
American Public Works Association
American Society of Civil Engineers
American Water Works Association
Missouri Stream Team
National Association of Flood & Stormwater Management Agencies

Environment links
Center for Disease Control - West Nile Virus
EnviroLink Library
International Erosion Control Association

Water Quality links
Center for Watershed Protection
The Groundwater Foundation
Rivers Network
Water Education Foundation

Education and Public Involvement links
EPA: Surf Your Watershed
Green Infrastructure Wizard (GIWiz)
Water Conservation Throughout the Home
Government links

EPA: Office of Water
US Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern District
US Fish & Wildlife Services
USGS Central Midwest Water Science Center

Storm Sewer Maintenance Issues

Many storm sewer issues fall under storm sewer maintenance.  Such issues could include, but are not limited to, blocked inlets, sinking around storm sewer inlet, water backing up in detention basins, missing lid etc.  These are normally addressed by St. Charles County for the public streets and the Homeowners Association for private streets and storm systems and detention basins. If you feel that you have a maintenance issue please contact the City.

Suspect Illegal Dumping
Just a reminder: If you see any suspicious dumping of liquids or debris into the storm sewers, roadside ditches or waterways within the City of Weldon Spring, or see a visible sheen on the ground or on water, please contact the City as soon as possible. Also foul smelling or strange looking emissions into the air should be reported. 

You may contact either:

Bill Schnell

Stormwater Manager
(636) 441-2110 ext 110
Mark Rockamann
Code Enforcement Official
(636) 441-2110 ext 107