As rain water falls and flows over driveways, lawns, and sidewalks, it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants. This “storm water” can flow into a gutter, storm drain, or ditch and into the City’s storm sewer system or directly to a lake, stream, river, wetland, or coastal water. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is separate from sanitary sewers and flows untreated into the streams and lakes we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water. Polluted runoff is the nation’s greatest threat to clean water.
Because we live on or near Lake Erie, and most of Northeast Ohio’s rainwater flows from creeks and streams to the Lake, we not only affect the health of our creeks, but the health of our Lake, its beaches, and our drinking water supply.
What Can You Do As A Resident?
Mentor is working to make sure that creeks and streams running through the City are clean and free of pollutants to keep them a healthy place for our use and enjoyment by implementing the City’s Stormwater Management Plan (see sections below for more details).
But there are many ways you can help keep our water clean, save money, and prevent problems. It is important that we work together to keep our creeks and streams healthy.
Check out all the ways you can keep our water healthy by navigating to the Education and Outreach tab on this page!
Overview of the Community Storm Water System
The City of Mentor drains primarily to Lake Erie with two exceptions. About 25% of the city in the southwest corner lies within the Chagrin River watershed. About 3% of the city in the southeast corner lies within the Grand River watershed. Each of these areas is comprised of small drainage areas that flow into ditches and creeks. Mentor is 28.4 square miles in area and is urban in nature. Its infrastructure provides both sanitary and storm water service. There are a small number of home sewage treatment systems, or septic systems, in the city. Retention and/or detention basins have been required in new developments for many years to control increased storm water runoff. The Engineering Department and the Public Works Department currently address storm water issues within the city. Recent improvements to the storm sewer system have relieved flooding problems and minimized inconveniences. Mentor City Council formally approved the city’s Storm Water Management Plan on March 4, 2003.
2011 has set a record as the wettest year in the last century for the Cleveland area. In Mentor, the record rainfall has caused flooding and water backups in some neighborhoods. Watch this video for some tips to prevent flooding:
Legal Authority to Implement the Storm Water Management Program
In accordance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II regulations mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ohio EPA’s storm water permit, the City of Mentor has developed a storm water quality management plan that is based on a set of best management practices (BMPs). They include:
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Involvement and Participation
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control
- Post-Construction Storm Water Management
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
The City of Mentor has the legal authority to implement its storm water management plan (SWMP) under Article III, Section 3.06 of the Charter granting City Council the authority to adopt regulations as may be necessary for promoting peace, health, safety, and general welfare of their citizens.
Financial Ability to Implement the Storm Water Management Program
The City of Mentor currently funds the activities necessary to implement its SWMP from the general operating budget. Periodically, the City Manager will evaluate the SWMP and, if necessary, may suggest alternative funding arrangements. Further information on the City’s storm water management plan can be obtained from the City Engineer’s office by calling (440) 255-1100.
Following are some links that will provide additional helpful information on storm water: