Stormwater Management

Stormwater Management

As our community grows, so must its commitment to protecting and improving the quality of our water resources.  Assets such as Skyview Lake, Ta-Ha-Zouka Park and the North Fork of the Elkhorn River help make Norfolk one of the Nation's most livable communities. Keeping water resources clean and useable is in everyone's interest.

News
  • July 16, 2019
    Stormwater Utility Fee

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) compels the City of Norfolk to protect water quality through requirements outlined in the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act).… Read More

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About Stormwater Management

As our community grows, so must its commitment to protecting and improving the quality of our water resources. Assets such as Skyview Lake, Ta-Ha-Zouka Park and the North Fork of the Elkhorn River help make Norfolk one of the nation's most livable communities. Keeping water resources clean and usable is in everyone's best interest. 

In an effort to keep local water bodies clean, the City of Norfolk has adopted a Stormwater Management Plan. The implementation of this plan is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and offers the following benefits:

  • Controls localized flooding and minimizes property damage
  • Improves local water quality
  • Promotes public health and recreation

Components

The Stormwater System collects, moves, and treats stormwater - or rain and snow melt - before it is released into local waterways.

The system consists of:

  • Catch basins
  • Manholes
  • Underground storm pipes
  • Open Channels
  • Water quality facilities
  • Outfalls

The Stormwater System is separate from the Sanitary Sewer System, which carries wastewater from sinks, showers, and toilets away from neighborhoods to wastewater treatment facilities.

Although both are out-of-sight, the health and sanitation of our City and local waterways depend on these two separate underground systems. 

Management

The stormwater conveyance system includes four parts:

  1. Stormwater flows over impervious surfaces, collecting debris, sediment, and pollution. Stormwater empties into a local waterway or enters the Stormwater System through catch basins, open channels, and private laterals.
  2. After entering the system, stormwater moves through a network of underground storm pipes, manholes, and open channels to water quality facilities.
  3. Water quality facilities treat stormwater by removing pollutants and provide temporary storage prior to being released to local waterways.
  4. Outfalls represent the end of the system and release stormwater into local waterways. 

The diagram below, borrowed from Hillsboro with permission, depicts the four parts of the conveyance system described above:

Funding

In order to fund the efforts outlined in the Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP), the City of Norfolk has implemented a stormwater fee. The SWMP consists of six Minimum Control Measures (MCMs) all of which cause the City to incur cost related to staff time, equipment, and materials. Previously, grant funds were available to local communities to assist in compliance with these federal regulations; however, these grants were eliminated in 2018.

In an effort to continue to comply with the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, a stormwater fee has been implemented. The fee is based on a flat rate for all existing water and/or sewer customers. Residential customers will be charged $1/month, while commercial and industrial customers will be charged $3/month. The proposed fee began October 1, 2019.

The City of Norfolk is not alone in the efforts to implement a stormwater fee. The Cities of Scottsbluff, Kearney, Grand Island, and Columbus have all implemented a stormwater financing mechanism similar to what the City of Norfolk is proposing. 

Questions