The National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is a national permitting program designed to control the pollutants discharged into the surface water such as lakes, ponds, streams and even the ocean. Improvement in our nation’s water quality can become a reality through public education and awareness, and through the implementation of steps that avoid or mitigate the problems associated with water pollution.
Stormwater pollution is a major contributor to the degradation of our rivers and oceans.
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In order to minimize stormwater runoff pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency has mandated that communities such as ours create a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP).
SWMP addresses Best Management Practices (BMP's) that will be implemented to help minimize stormwater runoff pollution to the maximum extent possible.
Since stormwater runoff pollution does not come from one particular source, the way to minimize it is by public education and awareness, and the use of Best Management Practices.
Port St. Lucie has experienced tremendous growth in the past decade. All that growth places an additional burden on our water supply and recreational waterways. Port St. Lucie residents must do their part to ensure that our area's growth does not result in the contamination of our precious and fragile environment.
The City of Port St. Lucie has a maintenance and operation program for its drainage system; however, it is everyone's responsibility to reduce the amount of trash and pollution that is carried into the storm system. Some of the activities that can reduce stormwater runoff pollution would be healthy household habits, and the reporting of illicit discharges to the city's stormwater pollution hotline.
The city is doing its part. Along with the maintenance and operation of the storm system, we conduct employee training annually, and inspect construction sites regularly for compliance with city codes and Department of Environmental Protection regulations. The city's drainage system has been mapped, if needed, to help determine the origin of illicit discharges, and the city has an ongoing water quality-testing program that samples the outfalls of our drainage canals into the North Fork of the St. Lucie River.
Everyone has a part to play. Reducing pollution depends on every person doing all they can to prevent harmful natural or chemical substances from entering the storm system. Activities that may seem harmless or insignificant on a small scale can have an enormous cumulative impact on our waterways.