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Stormwater In Sedona

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Stormwater In Sedona

 STORMWATER MASTER PLAN - EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

To review the complete Stormwater Master Plan, please contact the Public Works Department at 928-204-7111 to arrange an appointment.

 

Oak Creek Watershed Improvement Plan Completed 

 

The City of Sedona is concerned about the quality and the quantity of stormwater.

Quality - Concerns about the quality of stormwater are being addressed through the Stormwater Management Plan. This plan was submitted to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality in November 2003.

Quantity - Concerns about the amount of stormwater are addressed through the Stormwater Master Plan. This plan is available by contacting the Public Works Department in regards to criteria for development of new storm drainage facilities.  It has also been incorporated into the Land Development Code section 805.06, "Drainage Design and Treatment."

City of Sedona Stormwater Quality Management Plan

The City of Sedona is permitted to discharge stormwater pursuant to the Permit No. AZG2002-002 issued by Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). This permit is titled “General Permit For Discharge From Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s)”. The City filed a Notice of Intent to operate under this permit with ADEQ on November 20, 2003. The Notice included the City of Sedona Stormwater Management Program which has been updated several times. Each year a report regarding the program has been prepared. 

On July 22, 2008, the Sedona City Council approved a revised Stormwater Management Plan. A copy of this Plan was sent to ADEQ. In a letter dated September 5, 2008, ADEQ notified the City that the program was acceptable.

Public Education

The City has undertaken a public education campaign regarding prevention of stormwater pollution. With the help of a grant in 2004 funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and ADEQ the city prepared three brochures and developed signs that are posted near washes through out the community.

The resident brochures have been mailed out once a year to approximately 6000 addresses since 2005.

The City staff will also speak to groups, organizations, and schools within Sedona about stormwater issues.  A list of possible topics has been developed.  Please contact a City Engineer at (928) 204-7111 to arrange for a speaker.

Public Participation Program

The City encourages citizens, businesses, and visitors to participate in efforts to keep Sedona’s storm water clean. Some of these efforts include:

  • Personal responsibility to put trash and garbage in proper receptacles
  • Picking up after domestic animals
  • Participating in organizations such as Keep Sedona Beautiful. They pick up debris through the Sedona area
  • Participating in neighborhood trash pick-up days
  • Properly disposing of waste oil
  • Sweeping instead of washing driveways
  • Not draining garbage can and other container wash water to the storm drainage system

The City also invites comments and reports regarding water quality issues. You may call the Public Works Department at (928) 204-7111 or contact Assistant Engineer.

The City wishes to make the community aware of the Oak Creek Watershed Improvements' activities to investigate and make improvements to the Oak Creek Watershed.  You may view these activities by going to their website at http://www.oakcreekwatershed.org

Clean-up Activities

In addition to radio announcements, information distribution as part of the City’s Public Works Week activities at the end of May, and information in the City newsletter, the City also sponsors and helps sponsor clean up activities in the Sedona area. These activities include brush collection and Christmas Tree collection.

Legal Activities

In order to promote practices that contribute to reducing pollution the City of Sedona has passed regulations, incorporated language into its construction specifications, required development of stormwater pollution control plans as part of the private land development process, and included certain conditions in right-of-way and grading permits. Specifically the City revised its Land Development Code in 2006 as pertains to grading and development of stormwater pollution control plans, and also passed a covered/secured load ordinance in 2006.

The City Council approved on November 13, 2007 the Stormwater Ordinance which addresses proper and illicit discharges to the storm drainage system (link to copy of the ordinance).

The City staff will be conducting a campaign to notify and educate businesses, residents, and others regarding what the ordinance requires.

The City also requires all grading activities exceeding an acre in area, or that are part of a plan one acre or larger in area, or that are within ¼ mile of Oak Creek to secure a Storm Water Construction Permit from ADEQ.

Pollutant Concerns

The City of Sedona’s major pollutant concerns are soil erosion, trash, and oils and greases from roadways and parking lots. In addition the City is concerned about proper disposal of paints and other construction related materials and picking up domesticated animal wastes.

Although the basic rule for discharge to the city’s storm drainage system is that only storm drainage shall enter the system, the City’s stormwater program allows types of discharges that are considered not to be significant contributors of pollutants to the City system. If , however, in a given instance the discharge is found to be a significant contributor the City may disallow the discharge. Below is the current list of allowable Non-stormwater discharges.

  1. Water line flushing
  2. Landscape irrigation
  3. Diverted stream flows
  4. Rising ground waters
  5. Uncontaminated ground water infiltration
  6. Uncontaminated pumped groundwater
  7. Discharges from potable water sources
  8. Foundation drains
  9. Air conditioning condensate
  10. Irrigation water
  11. Springs
  12. Water from crawl space pumps
  13. Footing drains
  14. Lawn watering
  15. Individual residential car washing
  16. Discharges from riparian habitats and wetlands
  17. De-chlorinated swimming pool discharges
  18. Street wash water
  19. Discharges of flows from emergency fire fighting activities

Stormwater Pollution

Stormwater pollution is a continuing problem throughout the United States even in our part of Arizona. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 40 percent of surveyed U.S. surface waters do not meet water quality standards. Pollution from stormwater runoff is believed to be one of the lead sources of this contamination.

Stormwater runoff in Sedona is just as significant as any city within the United States, if not more so because of how little rain we do get. Low amounts of precipitation results in higher concentrations of pollutants during each rain event as compared to cities in less arid regions. When rain events occur in Sedona, pollutants are transported primarily through street gutters, culverts and open channels directly to Oak Creek and the washes leading to Oak Creek. Because stormwater flows are not treated, pollutant contamination buildup occurs and can ultimately reach Oak Creek. Stormwater pollutants also aid in the spread of viruses and diseases by providing places for mosquitoes and other nuisance insects and toxic algae growth to occur. Remember, stormwater in Sedona is not treated.

How Can You Help Reduce Storm Water Pollution

Stormwater runoff in Sedona is just as significant an issue as any city within the United States, if not more so because of how little rain we do get. Low amounts of precipitation results in higher concentrations of pollutants during each rain event as compared to cities in less arid regions. When rain events occur in Sedona, pollutants are transported primarily through street gutters, culverts and open channels directly to Oak Creek and the washes leading to Oak Creek. Because stormwater flows are not treated, pollutant contamination buildup occurs and can ultimately reach Oak Creek. Stormwater pollutants also aid in the spread of viruses and diseases by providing places for mosquitoes and other nuisance insects and toxic algae growth to occur. Remember, stormwater in Sedona is not treated.

Reducing stormwater pollution and helping provide good drainage in Sedona requires cooperation from a various parts of our community. Everyone has a role. This include the City government, the construction industry, tourists, and residents.

Good Practices

There are a number of good management practices (these are known as Best Management Practices -- BMP) that can reduce pollution in the municipal separate storm sewer system.  The table below and the referenced website are provided as aids in determining what practices are available.  The City of Sedona is also committed to implementing good practices at its worksites and property.

Web site:

National Menu of Best Management Practices (EPA website) http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/menuofbmps/index.cfm