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Ripon looks at storm runoff for pollutants
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The City of Ripon is required to maintain its existing storm water permit program while implementing new permit requirements that gradually takes effect over a five-year term.

In this case, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and its year two of the Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems General Permit.

All cities with a population of over 10,000 fall under Phase II of the general permit requirements, according to Engineering Supervisor James Pease at last Tuesday’s Ripon City Council meeting.

Elected leaders agreed to go with the WGR Southwest, Inc. as the consultant to assist the city engineering staff in completing the requirement activities and the year two annual report. Cost for this service is in the amount not exceeding $21,979.

“Since this is a multi-year process and the city is in year two (of the five-year permit term) will there be different requirements every year,” Mayor Leo Zuber asked.

Each year has different requirements, Pease noted. “At the end of the fifth year a new term will begin with new requirements,” he added.

The new requirements for year two are scheduled to be implemented on July 1.

Councilman Mark Winchell asked if the rain water tests examine pollutants.

“Part of the monitoring does address (the pollutants) and is required in annual report,” Pease said.

Discharge of pollutants to water throughout the states from any point source is unless the discharge is in compliance with a NPDES permit.

Car emissions, car maintenance waste, municipal sewage, pesticides, household hazardous wastes, pet wastes, trash, etc. make up the pollutants found in the municipal separate storm sewer system in Ripon or any other developed urban areas. Couple that with highways, streets, rooftops, walkways, and parking lots hampering the natural absorption and infiltration abilities of the land.

“As a result, the runoff leaving developed urban area is significantly greater in volume, velocity, rate and duration (of the runoff),” Pease said.

This increased runoff can also greatly accelerate the erosion of downstream natural channels, he noted.

“Looking forward, the monitoring and reporting requirements for year three are going to be similar to the year two requirement,” Pease said in his staff report. “It is anticipated, to effectively manage the permit, it will require a combination of city staff and consultant services.”