What is Stormwater?

No Dumping Drains to RiverStormwater (also written storm water) runoff is generated from rain and snowmelt events that flow over land of impervious surfaces such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground. The runoff picks up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that can harm our rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal waters. To protect these resources, communities, construction companies, industries, and others, use stormwater controls, known as best management practices (BMPs). These BMPs filter out pollutants and/or prevent pollution by controlling it at its source.

Source: NPDES Stormwater Program; United States Environmental Protection Agency website

Population growth and the development of urban/urbanized areas are major contributors to the amount of pollutants in the runoff as well as the volume and rate of runoff from impervious surfaces. Together, they can cause changes in hydrology and water quality that result in habitat modification and loss, increased flooding, decreased aquatic biological diversity, and increased sedimentation and erosion. The benefits of effective stormwater runoff management can include:

  • protection of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems,
  • improved quality of receiving waterbodies,
  • conservation of water resources,
  • protection of public health, and
  • flood control

The City of Monroe is committed to preventing the illicit discharge of pollutants into our streams and rivers, while also performing maintenance activities designed to prevent flooding, or the overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Monroe Public Works oversees the maintenance and operation of the City's stormwater conveyance network to keep roads and property free of standing water and ensure that the City's activities and businesses are not releasing pollutants into our neighboring waterways. Our Construction Inspector and Engineering staff are dedicated to ensuring construction contractors operating within Monroe city limits follows its stormwater pollution prevention program.

Storm Water Department Maintenance Activities

The City of Monroe's Storm Water Department monitors the condition of catch basins, storm manholes, storm pipes/mains, culverts, ditches, detention ponds, and outfalls (discharge points) located within the public right-of-way to ensure that storm runoff is conveyed unimpeded through the City's storm water network and into waters of the state (streams and rivers). Monroe utilizes modern mapping tools and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to develop and maintain an inventory of stormwater assets managed by the city. 

Stormwater GIS Dashboard

Screenshot of a Monroe Public Works GIS interactive inventory and map of stormwater assets

Maintenance activities include inspection and cleaning of subsurface infrastructure to ensure water has a clear path through the system,  re-trenching and re-leveling of ditches to remove sediment buildup, stream channel and embankment inspections and monitoring, and outfall inspections at locations where runoff exits Monroe's stormwater infrastructure into streams and rivers. 

Additional preventative measures include street sweeping (click here for the Street Sweeping Schedule) and leaf collection in autumn (click here for the Leaf Pickup Schedule) to ensure that debris, grass clippings, and vegetation do not clog our infrastructure or make their way into our waterways where decaying plant material can have an adverse affect on total dissolved oxygen content of rivers and streams. 

Federal and State Environmental Regulations

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) requires that steps be taken to aggressively prevent storm water pollution and control runoff to improve water quality. City Council set an equitable approach to funding storm water management services and facilities with a schedule of service charges placed upon properties that are related to the burden of storm water quality control service requirements and cost. These funds go toward the reduction of the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable, to protect water quality, and to satisfy the appropriate requirements of the 1977 Clean Water Act in accordance with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. 

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater program regulates some stormwater discharges from three potential sources: municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activities, and industrial activities. Operators of these sources might be required to obtain an NPDES permit before they can discharge stormwater. This permitting mechanism is designed to prevent stormwater runoff from washing harmful pollutants into local surface waters.

The NPDES Storm Water Phase II permit program is administered by the Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water. Designated MS4s within the State of Ohio were required to apply to the Ohio EPA for Phase II permit coverage by May 1, 2007. The City of Monroe's most recent Stormwater Management Program (SWMP), developed by City personnel and Fishbeck Engineering, was sent to Ohio EPA for approval in November 2022. The City’s Notice of Intent (NOI) to be covered under Ohio’s NPDES General Permit No. OHP000001 and the original SWMP were submitted to the OEPA on February 28, 2003. Monroe's most recent Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit 1GQ0015*DG was issued April 19, 2021 and must be renewed every five years. 

The City of Monroe has the legal authority to implement the following Stormwater Management Program under Article XVIII, Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution granting municipalities the authority to adopt land use and control measures for promoting the peace, health, safety, and general welfare of their citizens. 

City of Monroe Code of Ordinances, Title 2, Part 10, Chapter 1028, provides the authority to control the quality of separate stormwater discharge to the City’s storm sewer system. The City’s authority addresses both industrial and municipal discharges.

The City of Monroe Stormwater Management Program is administered by the Public Works Department in cooperation with the City's Engineering, Utility Billing, Parks & Recreation, and Facilities Management departments. 

For more information, contact the Utility Billing and Collections Specialist at 513-539-7374, extension 1002 or email the Public Works Department at

Reduce Storm Water Infographic Ohio EPA

Source: Ohio EPA Make a Difference: Reduce Stormwater Pollution and Runoff

See the following for more information: