A Plan to Protect Our Natural Resources
Since August 2007, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required operators of Phase 2 (Small) Municipal Storm Sewer Systems (MS4’s) to obtain a permit to discharge their storm water into receiving waterbodies such as rivers, lakes, and streams. These requirements affect most publicly-owned storm sewer systems located within an Urbanized Area, defined by the 2010 U.S. Census as an area of higher population density. Pecan Grove Municipal Utility District (PGMUD), is located within the Houston Urbanized Area and operates a public storm sewer system, thus is considered a MS4 by definition and is required to comply with the TCEQ’s permitting regulations.
To simplify compliance for MS4’s such as PGMUD, the TCEQ issued storm water regulations through the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) – General Permit No. TXR0400000. All MS4’s were required to develop a comprehensive program manual called a Storm Water Management Program (SWMP) in accordance with the general permit. The Board of Directors, with support from PGMUD’s Engineer, Odyssey Engineering Group, developed the SWMP and received approval from the TCEQ on November 5, 2014. The SWMP is divided into five (5) program elements called Minimum Control Measures (MCMs) which are listed below.
– Public Education, Outreach, and Involvement
– Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
– Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control
– Post-Construction Storm Water Management for New Development and Redevelopment
– Pollution Prevention / Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations
Each MCM includes specific tasks with schedule of activities called Best Management Practices (BMP’s). These BMP’s will be gradually implemented over the next five years. The BMP’s are highly effective and cost-efficient activities which aide in preventing storm water pollution. In order to track compliance of the SWMP, PGMUD is required to submit an annual report to the TCEQ. The annual report provides a summary of all BMP’s implemented throughout to course of each permit year. The SWMP and Annual Reports are available for viewing on the PGMUD website.
Residents in PGMUD have the opportunity to participate in implementing the SWMP. Activities include, but are not limited to: inlet marker replacement program, neighbor-hood trash collection, recycling of household wastes (especially plastics, glass, and metals) and the proper disposal of hazardous waste, such as motor oil, paint cans, and fuel (items often thrown away or poured down storm drains). PGMUD also encourages residents to share their own ideas for keeping our waterways pollutant-free.
Look for updates on the progression of these programs in future newsletters, bill inserts and here on our site.