Definition of Stormwater

Stormwater is the discharge of water resulting from the run-off of precipitation. Stormwater can occur during a storm, during a so-called rain event or as the result of snow melt. Any water occurring from precipitation and making its way back into the water cycle is stormwater.

Why Regulation Matters

Stormwater has the potential to carry loads of pollution, cause serious erosion issues and flooding and impair natural habitats. The problem is caused when impervious surfaces, such as roofs, driveways, sidewalks and streets, cause water to rush into storm sewer inlets instead of trickling through the soil and recharging the water table. The pipes that make up the storm sewer system drain directly into the City’s waterways, and all that water winds up in the Olentangy River. Garbage, vehicle fluids or sediments on those impervious surfaces can wash right into the pipes and into the river completely untreated. In addition to carrying all that pollution, large volumes of stormwater draining to the storm sewer system rush into the waterways and cause erosion. Large portions of stream banks can become unstable and wash away, adding more pollution in the form of sediment to the streams and rivers in Worthington. Take the Storm Water Survey

City Initiatives

Since 2003, the City of Worthington has been continually developing and following a Stormwater Management Plan. The plan uses six minimum control measures mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency to execute the plan. These six measures are:

  • Public education - Seminars, newsletters and websites explaining stormwater issues
  • Public involvement - Programs, such as rain garden projects, stream cleanup days and events, that help people get involved in stormwater management
  • Illicit discharge detection and elimination - Making sure that only rain goes down the drain
  • Pre-construction - Reviewing site plans on construction projects to make sure the waterways will be protected from sediment, excessive run-off and other pollution
  • Post-construction - Making sure structures for controlling run-off and pollution are maintained
  • Good housekeeping - Taking measures within City maintenance operations to protect waterways from pollution, erosion and sedimentation through programs such as leaf collection and street sweeping

These measures are regulated through City Stormwater Code and are enforceable by law.

For more information on stormwater management, contact the Service & Engineering Department at (614) 431-2425.