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Greater Elkhart County Stormwater Partnership

Welcome!

 
Hoosier Riverwatch volunteers study macroinvertebrates to help assess water quality.  Click on

Stormwater quality is everybody's responsibility.

 

You have reached the web site for the Greater Elkhart County Stormwater Partnership, a cooperative effort of four local government entities: the Town of Bristol, City of Elkhart, City of Goshen, and Elkhart County. The members of the partnership are committed to putting programs in place to improve the quality of stormwater that runs off of our land.

Everyone has a part to play in keeping our water clean!

  • If you are a builder or developer, this site will give you information about stormwater management practices you can put in place to meet local, state, and federal requirements.
  • If you are a homeowner, you will find out how you can do your part to keep our waterways clean and healthy.
  • If you are interested in getting involved, you will find out about citizen groups and volunteer opportunities aimed at improving water quality.

If you have questions about the Stormwater User Fee, please see this press release (PDF).

If you have further questions after browsing this site, please contact Nancy Brown or call 574-533-4383 ext. 3.

Take the Quiz!

Test your knowledge about stormwater and water quality issues by taking our Stormwater Quiz.

Save Water. Save Money. Protect the Environment.

The Stormwater Partnership will help homeowners install rain barrels and rain gardens through the Rain Barrel and Rain Garden Incentive Program. In order to qualify for reimbursement, applicants must also attend a workshop on rain gardens and rain barrels. The next workshop is scheduled for August 21, 2014, at the Purdue Extension conference room at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds.

Email Nancy Brown or call 574-533-4383 ext. 3 for more information.

Our Goal: Clean Water

Every time it rains, pollutants such as sediment, oil, antifreeze, fertilizer, pesticide, and animal waste are carried into storm drains and ditches. Most of this water drains directly to a local stream, river, lake, or wetland untreated. Stormwater pollution is much harder to treat than "point sources" (sources of pollution that you can point to), because it comes from many sources. That's why pollution prevention and public education are such large parts of the stormwater rules and outreach.

The Clean Water Act of 1972 set a goal that all U.S. waterways should be "fishable and swimmable." The initial phases of the Act targeted point source pollution. This required places such as factories and wastewater treatment plants to eliminate, reduce, and/or treat contaminated water before discharging it into a stream.

Although water quality has improved due to reducing point source pollution, we still haven't reached the goal of "fishable and swimmable." Segments of the Elkhart, Little Elkhart, and St. Joseph Rivers and their tributaries are listed as impaired waterways by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). Pollutant numbers are especially high after a rainfall.

More needs to be done to make our waterways clean and safe. That's why communities like ours have to reduce pollution in stormwater that runs off of our rooftops, roads, parking lots, and other areas.