Stormwater Management Program

The Douglas County Stormwater Management Program provides:

  • Public education
  • Tracking of stormwater system impact activities
  • Review of projects that have the potential to impact the stormwater system
  • Coordination between federal, state, and local government for compliance to federally-mandated programs.

Stormwater Management Program objectives

As an integral part of Douglas County’s vision of providing its citizens with the highest quality services at the best value will focus on the following objectives for stormwater management:

  • Safeguard the public welfare through the proper collection, conveyance, and storage of stormwater runoff in a non-damaging and non-life threatening manner. 
  • Ensure compliance with all applicable water quality regulations related to stormwater runoff, including and in particular, both the WQCD’s Stormwater Phase II program and the Cherry Creek Reservoir and Chatfield Reservoir Control Regulations, respectively. 
  • Ensure that all County stormwater facilities are functioning and well maintained, including applicable open channels (i.e., stable physical characteristics). 
  • Ensure sound management and regulation of County floodplains, particularly with respect to Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements. 
  • Protect overall water quality of the County’s water resources. 
  • Provide Healthy and diverse natural habitats for plants and animals in applicable drainageways and County open space. 
  • Integrate recreational opportunities and facilities into drainageway planning, where feasible.

Stormwater….what’s it all about?

The primary function of a storm sewer system, including the natural channels, is the collection, movement and storage of stormwater runoff.  In a watershed-based approach to urban stormwater management, the pipes, inlets, outlets and other stormwater system features assist in moving the stormwater from areas where it can impact the safety, health and welfare of the communities within these watersheds.  Inadequate stormwater management can result in flooding, infrastructure and property damage, excessive soil erosion, degraded open space, unacceptable water quality in potable water supply reservoirs and other water bodies with decreased recreational and/or fish and wildlife values.

Douglas County is committed to taking a proactive role in the management of its stormwater system as a part of providing quality services to its citizens.  One example of our proactive approach is the Storm Drainage Design and Technical Criteria Manual which provides guidance to developers and the County for effective management of stormwater and stormwater systems.

Public Education and Outreach

In a cooperative effort with other government entities providing stormwater programs within Douglas County, a Co-op was established to combine resources and coordinate outreach and education efforts throughout the County.  Through these efforts, “One Thing Is Clear…our creeks, rivers and lakes depend on you” public awareness project was created.  Through this branding a variety of positive stormwater awareness messages are provided throughout the County.  For more information visit www.onethingisclear.org

Stormwater Education

Why is the stream not the right color?

There could be a lot of reasons why the water flowing down the stream is not the color you think it should be…..perhaps there has been mud washing off of a construction site, or some kind of spill has occurred and reached the stream through the stormwater system.  Regardless, the Douglas County’s Stormwater Management Program wants to know about it.  To report incidents call the Stormwater Hotline at 303.663.6181.

The County is responsible for management of sediment control on construction and development sites through our Grading, Erosion, and Sediment Control (GESC) program.

Illicit Discharge, Detention and Elimination

Nasty stuff (those things that professionals call Illicit Discharges) can lead to pollutants reaching creeks, streams, rivers, lakes and other bodies of water where we do our recreational activities or use it as drinking water. We are especially concerned about heavy metals (and we are not talking about the rock bands!), toxins, oil and grease, solvents, nutrients, pathogens, and bacteria.  Following is a list of items that would be considered “nasty stuff” that we do not want to have in the stormwater system:

  • ƒ Sanitary wastewater from improper sewerage connections exfiltration or leakage 
  • ƒ Effluent from improperly operating or improperly designed septic tanks 
  • ƒ Overflows of sanitary sewerage systems 
  • ƒ Untreated commercial car wash wastewaters 
  • ƒ Untreated radiator flushing wastewaters 
  • ƒ Untreated engine degreasing wastes 
  • ƒ Improper oil, gasoline, and other automotive fluids disposal 
  • ƒ Leaky underground storage tanks 
  • ƒ Untreated leaking of oils, gasoline and other automotive fluids 
  • ƒ Direct spraying of fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides onto areas where water runs off 
  • ƒ Over-application of fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides onto landscaping 
  • ƒ Laundry wastes 
  • ƒ Non-contact cooling waters 
  • ƒ Metal plating baths 
  • ƒ Dewatering of construction sites 
  • ƒ Washing of concrete ready-mix trucks 
  • ƒ Contaminated sump pump discharges 
  • ƒ Improper disposal of household toxic wastes 
  • ƒ Spills from roadway and other accidents 
  • ƒ Chemicals, hazardous materials, garbage, and sanitary sludge landfills and disposal sites 
  • ƒ Commercial use of soaps and detergents; use in cleaning pavement, vehicles and equipment 
  • ƒ Sediment from lack of or improper maintenance of erosion and sedimentation controls 
  • ƒ Latex/oil-based paints and solvents 
  • ƒ Trash and debris: littering and dumping, household or construction waste 
  • ƒ Improper disposal of restaurant grease

Douglas County staff is in charge of ensuring unpermitted discharges are eliminated, cleaned up properly, and reported to the State Water Quality Control Division

Need more stormwater information?

For more information visit the Help Me With Section of this page or feel free to contact us at 303.660.7490 to ask questions or receive assistance relative to stormwater.   The Stormwater Hotline 303.663.6181 is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for reporting spills and concerns regarding stormwater.