Water Quality Tips:

When it rains, much of the stormwater can go directly to a ditch, stream, pond or river without receiving any kind of water quality treatment.

That means that anything that is carried from your street or property by the rainwater may also go directly into a water body. As you landscape and care for your lawn, keep in mind these ideas to help keep our streams clean:

Clean Up the Clippings -- If grass clippings blow onto your driveway or into the street when you mow, sweep or blow them back onto the lawn. They provide a natural fertilizer for the grass. If clippings are allowed to wash into the storm drain they can clog the drain and may cause street flooding in the future.

Responsible Lawn Care -- When applying chemicals to your lawn, follow the manufacturer's directions to avoid overapplying and use a phosphorus-free fertilizer. If there is extra fertilizer or dirt on your driveway or sidewalk, sweep that back onto the lawn. If you hose down the driveway, water will carry these pollutants into the storm sewer. Fertilizer may cause algae to grow in local ponds or streams and can make it difficult for some species of plants and wildlife to live.

Only Rain in the Drain -- Never dump anything down a storm drain other than clean water! Remember that stormdrains are not trash cans. Household hazardous waste (HHW) such as motor oil, antifreeze and many cleaning agents should be disposed of properly at a HHW collection facility.

Don't be a Litter Bug -- Put trash in its place, or it could end up in our rivers and streams.

Pick Up Pet Waste -- Pick up your pet's waste and dispose of it in your toilet or trash so that it does not wash into the stormdrains.

The Allen County Partnership for Water Quality provides education, outreach, resources, and information concerning issues impacting the water quality of our streams and rivers. You can visit the Allen County Partnership for Water Quality website at http://www.acwater.org.


pdfRain Gardens: A Household Way to Improve Water Quality

pdfRain Garden Design

pdfResidential Runoff- Slow it Down, Keep it Clean

pdfFilling Dredging Excavating Permit Guide

pdfWaterways Permitting Handbook


Allen County Solid Waste Management District Website:


Info on IDEM Stormwater Permitting:


Info on the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Program:


Info on Stormwater Best Management Practices:


Video on Two-Stage Ditch Design:


Storm Drain Marking

Do you want to be involved in cleaning up your community's stormwater? Become part of the Allen County Storm Drain Marking Program. By affixing a special "No Dumping, Drains to Stream" emblem on storm drains, residents and passers-by become aware that what flows down those drains is not treated before reaching the streams and rivers of Allen County, Dumping pollutants down the storm drains can harm the waterways of our community where we fish, swim, and obtain our drinking water. The Allen County Surveyor's Office will supply all materials, a map of where the storm drains are located within your community or subdivision, and instructions necessary to mark these drains. Call or sign up today to become part of a program that will serve for many years as an important reminder to keep garbage, chemicals and hazardous waste out of the storm pipe system. To volunteer call (260) 449-7625 or complete the following forms and return to the Allen County Surveyor's Office at the address provided on the forms.

pdfAllen County Storm Drain Marking Application

pdfStorm Marking Liability Waiver Form

The following documents are provided to assist individuals and groups in planning and implementing a successful storm drain marking activity or event and to provide information on what citizens can do to prevent or reduce pollution that enters our waterways through storm drains.

pdfAllen County Storm Drain Marking Guide

pdfStorm Drain Marking Outreach Flyer

Hoosier Riverwatch

Would you like to be involved in monitoring our rivers and streams? Hoosier Riverwatch is a state-sponsored water quality monitoring initiative. The program was started in 1994 to increase public awareness of water quality issues and concerns by training volunteers to monitor stream water quality. By attending a Hoosier Riverwatch Workshop, you or a group can adopt a site and monitor the quality of the stream water. Hoosier Riverwatch staff and facilitators hold workshops at various locations throughout the State during the spring and summer months.

You can learn more about Hoosier Riverwatch by dialing 260-484-5848, or by visiting the following website:


Water Resource Education and Outreach

Allen County through the Allen County Partnership for Water Quality relies on adult volunteers to reach citizens with water resource education and outreach. To learn of the various education and outreach volunteer opportunities available, contact the Allen County Partnership for Water Quality at 260-484-5848 ext. 111.

NPDES Phase II Storm Water Program

In 1972, Congress took aim at industrial wastewater and municipal sewage discharges by passing the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments, commonly known as the Clean Water Act. The purpose of the act was to "restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters." The Clean Water Act allowed the states to administer the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. Once the U.S. EPA approved their request, state NPDES authorities administered the program consistent with minimum federal requirements for monitoring, reporting, enforcement, and other practices.

In 1987 Congress enacted the Water Quality Act (WQA), which amended the 1972 Clean Water Act and required the U.S. EPA to apply NPDES permit program requirements to farms, factories, and city streets.

Then, beginning in 1990, the EPA required large municipalities, certain industrial facilities, and construction sites disturbing at least 5 acres of land to obtain NPDES permits for their stormwater discharges. Dubbed "Phase I," the program required municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) located in counties or metropolitan areas with populations larger than 100,000 to obtain NPDES permit coverage.

In 1998, the EPA proposed regulations to expand the NPDES Phase I stormwater program to include small municipalities and counties, as well as construction sites disturbing at least 1 acre of land. On December 8, 1999, the EPA issued regulations that expanded the existing NPDES Storm Water Program to regulate most MS4 entities (cities, towns, universities, colleges, correctional facilities, hospitals, conservancy districts, homeowner's associations and military bases) located within mapped urbanized areas, as delineated by the U.S. Census Bureau, or, for those MS4 areas outside of urbanized areas, serving an urban population greater than 7,000 people. In addition to these generalized criteria, designation of MS4 entities is potentially determined by other factors, including population growth and documentation which indicates water quality impairment. These regulations are referred to as the NPDES Phase II Storm Water Program. The urbanized area of Allen County, the Town of Huntertown, and the Town of Leo-Cedarville met these criteria and were consequently designated as MS4 entities.

In the State of Indiana, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is responsible for the development and oversight of the NPDES Phase II Program. The IDEM initiated adoption of the Phase II Rules that were ultimately codified as 327 IAC 15-13 (Rule 13) became effective on August 6, 2003. Rule 13 requires designated MS4 entities to apply for permit coverage by submitting a Notice of Intent (NOI) and developing Storm Water Quality Management Plans (SWQMPs) through a phased submittal process. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management's phased submittal requirements include the submittal of an Initial Application, a Baseline Characterization Report, and a Program Implementation Plan. Allen County and the Towns of Huntertown and Leo-Cedarville have completed these submittal requirements and are moving forward with the Program Implementation Plan.

For more information on water quality topics, visit the following websites:

Allen County Partnership for Water Quality - www.acwater.org

Allen County Soil & Water Conservation District - www.allenswcd.org

St. Joe River Watershed Initiative - www.sjrwi.org

Maumee River Basin Commission - www.mrbc.org

Little River Wetland Project - www.lrwp.org

Upper Maumee River Watershed Group - http://www.uppermaumeewatershed.com/

St. Marys River Watershed Project - http://www.stmarysriverwatershed.org/

Center for Watershed Protection - www.cwp.org

Natural Resources Conservation Service - http://www.in.nrcs.usda.gov/

Additionally, AllenCounty, the Town of Huntertown, and the Town of Leo-Cedarville are working under a joint permit to fulfill the requirements of Rule 13 and the six minimum control measures mandated by the NPDES Phase II water quality regulations. Below are links to the websites of the Town of Huntertown and the Town of Leo-Cedarville.