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The $12.5 fee added to all single family residential utility bills is used for maintenance and repairs of the stormwater drainage system operated by the City of Valparaiso. Commercial and industrial sites pay more each month based on the square footage of impervious area on their facility. The funds are used to solve flooding problems, as well as a host of other activities. Every resident benefits from these activities because they maintain the systems that drain stormwater from city streets to provide safe travel and transport as well as prevent stagnant water from becoming a problem.
The stormwater system includes anything that would convey the water into a pond, lake, or stream. This includes a resident’s backyard if it drains outside the property lines. The chlorine discharged can damage aquatic life in lakes and streams as well as pose a hazard to other residents downstream. Swimming pool discharge should never be released in such a way that it would inconvenience adjacent properties.
Erosion is the indiscriminate transport of soil sediment by any means. Most erosion happens as the result of rainfall, but wind and vehicular tires also produce erosion. Sediments from erosion settle in swales, ponds, lakes, and streams until they eventually fill them. This then requires excavation to return the drainage features to their original state, many times at the taxpayers' expense.
Any land disturbance may require an erosion control permit. The details on this are in City's UDO Division 15, Section 15.202. Every building permit is reviewed to see if an erosion control permit is needed. Some projects such as landscaping, installation of utilities, or replacement of pavement, that do not require a building permit will still require an erosion control permit.
The Valparaiso City Services picks up yard waste. Porter County Solid Waste District hosts hazardous materials disposal days at throughout the county where residents can drop off hazardous materials that should not even be placed in the trash, let alone poured out on the ground or into an inlet. Please contact the City of Valparaiso if you have any questions about these services.
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System General Permit (MS4GP) is the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM’s) response to the federal mandate known as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Phase II requirements. The EPA's Phase II is the second part of its non-point source pollution regulation under the Clean Water Act. Phase I included all large metropolitan areas in the United States, and Phase II included many of the more moderate sized urban areas. More information on this program can be found at the MS4 webpages.
Everyone is affected by these regulations because individual communities, as a response to the regulations, needed to alter their existing ordinances to reduce the amount of non-point source pollution produced within their boundaries. This would lead to increased maintenance costs, new development design standards, and/or new regulations regarding fertilizer use just to name a few.