National Polutant Discharge Elimination System
- Preventing Stormwater Pollution
- Pollution Prevention Tips
- Household Chemical Disposal
- Report Illegal Dumping
About the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
Water pollution degrades surface waters making them unsafe for drinking, fishing, swimming, and other activities. As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program 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 permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters. In most cases, the NPDES permit program is administered by authorized states. Since its introduction in 1972, the NPDES permit program is responsible for significant improvements to our Nation’s water quality.
Complying with the Clean Water Act
The City of Lynn Haven is in the process of complying with the Clean Water Act to improve the health of our environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System stormwater program. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was designated to execute the program in October 2000.
Draining into North Bay
The identification and prevention of discharging pollutants into North Bay is one part of the City’s permit. It is important to understand that all stormwater from our City eventually drains to North Bay. North Bay is where dolphin raise their young and we harvest oysters, blue claw crab and many species of fish. Please keep this in mind when yard debris or trash is put out for pickup. Only allow rain water to go down the drain.
The biggest threat to clean waterways is polluted stormwater. Also, when rain cannot flow freely through the stormwater management system, flooding can be the result. It is not the tidal waters of the bay system that cause the most flooding. It is rainfall from our frequent and sometimes intensely stormy weather.
Fish, frogs and plants all enjoy a good rain. But as rain flows off our rooftops, over our driveways, lawns, and sidewalks, it gathers litter, chemicals, and other pollutants. Rain then becomes polluted runoff water, which poses the number one threat to clean water. All waters that enter the storm drainage system ultimately flows to a natural water body such as a lake, stream, wetland, bay or coastal water. This storm water needs to be able to flow through a clog free drain and come out at the end of the drainage system pollution free.
We all need the rain, so do your part to prevent pollution and to prevent storm drain and drainage ditch clogs that lead to flooding. By taking the following actions you will allow the benefits of rain to flow into the drainage system:
- Don't put soil, grass or leaves into the street or storm drain. Soils and sediments clog waterways making it difficult for plant growth. In addition, they can impede stormwater flow.
- Both pet waste and faulty septic systems contribute to fecal coliform in our recreational waters. Clean up pet waste and flush it down the toilet or put it in the garbage. Have septic tanks pumped and inspected every 3 to 5 years so they don't leak.
- Keep your car working properly so motor oil and fluids don't leak onto roads and into stormwater systems and stormwater bodies.
- Wash your car at a commercial car wash where wastewater is captured and treated or wash it on the lawn rather than over the driveway.
- Never pour waste oil or antifreeze on the ground, into the street, or down a storm drain.
- Take unwanted hazardous household chemicals to a drop off location for proper disposal or recycling.
- Use lawn chemicals wisely and fertilize sparingly. Excess fertilizer flows downstream and often results in algae bloom in ponds and lakes.
- Litter collects in ditches and waterways after storms. This is a great time for community trash pick up project.
Bay County runs a recycling program called 'Taklin' Trash: A Guide to Solid Waster Disposal and Recycling in Bay County Florida". To find out more about the program, call 850-236-2213.
To report illegal discharging or illegal dumping please call 850-265-5989.. You can also send these concerns by email to the Public Works Department.
Example drain with "Drains to Bay" placard. All drains that drain directly to the Bay are labeled with this icon as an extra warning to not illegally dump as anything going to this drain goes directly to the Bay.
North Bay is conditionally classified as an area where oysters can be harvested, making it very important to keep the waterway clean by preventing pollutants from going down drains, reporting illegal dumping, etc.