Weld County Code
Stormwater Management Programs
MS4 Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) is a federally mandated program, meaning the rules and regulations MS4 establishes are not necessarily the same rules and regulations Weld County would establish if left to its own means. Following MS4 requirements, Weld County developed a "Stormwater Management Program . . . with the goal of reducing the amount [of] stormwater pollution entering local creeks, streams and rivers." Weld County must implement Public Education and Outreach, Public Participation/Involvement, Illicit Detection and Elimination, Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control, Post-construction Site Stormwater Management and Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations.
Water is vital to the existence of life. Water is an extremely important topic no matter where you live on this planet. But, in Weld County, water is an even greater issue. Not everyone knows it, but it's a miracle Weld County has water in the first place. A series of ditches, a massive irrigation network and many storage systems work together to bring water to a place that would otherwise remain dry and barren. (How water was brought to Weld County and how a water system has been maintained in the area is actually quite interesting. It's definitely a history worth learning a little more about.)
That's why being aware and up to date with how our government is handling the area's water supply is absolutely crucial. Water issues have long been featured in news stories, but lately we have seen at least two of grave importance. One occurred in Flint, Michigan, where water from residents' taps were found to be so full of toxic lead that the city had to turn off its water supply. The second occurred in Houston, Texas, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, where stormwater run off was heavily polluted with chemicals from surrounding chemical plants.
"Stormwater pollution occurs when rain or melting snow flows over land or pavement and picks up bacteria, sediment, chemicals, trash and other pollutants as it travels. These pollutants are then carried to the stormwater drainage system and eventually drain into nearby creeks, streams and rivers. Unlike the water we use in our households, stormwater flows directly into our waterways without being treated first."
Knowing who's in charge of our quality of water and which areas of government are involved in decisions affecting the quality of our water is essential. If we as residents don't know which agency or which individuals are in charge of maintaining the quality of our water, then we will have no idea who we need to keep responsible on this issue and whose actions we need to watch most closely in concern for the quality of our water. After all, you'd probably feel more confident using water from your tap if you were more in tune with and knowledgable of Weld County's active efforts at "preventing potential pollutants from entering local creeks, streams and rivers."