Public Education and Outreach

Overview
Storm water discharges associated with the City of Bartlet are regulated through the use of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. The Storm Water Management Program for the City of Bartlett is designed to reduce the amount of sediment and pollution that enters surface and ground water from storm sewer systems to the maximum extent practicable. But the responsibility for water quality is not entirely in the hands of public officials. Public and private spaces contribute to urban storm water pollution. While city officials can control the public sources of storm water pollution, it’s ultimately in the hands of private citizens to change the way they do small things that will have a dramatic effect on the quality of water.

Why should I be concerned with storm water runoff pollution?
According to the 1996 National Water Quality Inventory, storm water runoff is a leading source of water pollution. Storm water runoff can harm surface waters such as rivers, lakes, and streams which in turn cause or contribute to water quality standards being exceeded.

What are some other problems associated with storm water runoff?
Storm water runoff can change natural hydrologic patterns, accelerate stream flows, destroy aquatic habitats, and elevate pollutant concentrations and loadings. Development substantially increases impervious surfaces thereby increasing runoff from city streets, driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks, on which pollutants from human activities settle.

The storm water looks clean to me. What pollutants are you talking about?
Common pollutants in runoff include pesticides, fertilizers, oils, metals, pathogens, salt, sediment, litter and other debris transported via storm water and discharged - untreated - to water resources through storm sewer systems. Yes, some of these pollutants can’t be seen or smelt.

Okay, but I’m only one person. Surely I can’t make that big of a difference.
All it takes is one person to start. Then educate someone else, now there are two and educate someone else and then on and on. Soon, you can have everyone in your neighborhood practicing these simple steps to reduce storm water pollution and improve the quality of the water:
  1. Fertilize established lawns with phosphorus-free fertilizer and don’t overspray fertilizer into the street or sidewalk.
  2. Rake leaves and sweep grass clippings away from curbs. Clean curbs mean clean water.
  3. When you wash your car or truck, direct water onto your lawn to soak up soap.
  4. Direct your home’s gutters onto your lawn. Water that doesn’t make it to the curb can’t carry pollutants into the drainage streams and eventually to streams and lakes.
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