In recent months, Clermont SWCD staff has responded to a variety of complaints regarding materials being emptied into a storm drain or ditch, including restaurant grease, concrete washout, wastewater from carpet cleaning and pet washing, paint and motor oil. Please remember that storm sewers do not lead to a treatment plant, but rather directly to a nearby waterway, and dumping anything other than water into a storm sewer is illegal.
If you have questions on how to properly dispose of an item, please contact us at 513-732-7075 ext. 3. If you witness an illegal dumping, use our Report a Spill page to find out how best to report it.
In 1990, Clermont County established storm water management regulations to help manage storm water in an urbanizing county. With more businesses, houses and roads, there is less open ground to absorb the rain that falls. Most new developments are required to have storm water runoff controls, such as detention basins, to help manage the extra runoff. In most cases, the responsibility to maintain and repair detention basins falls on the owner of the property, or possibly a homeowners’ association.
To help owners understand the tasks involved, Clermont SWCD recently published a resource guide titled “Maintaining Your Detention Basin: A Guidebook for Private Owners in Clermont County.”
A detention basin is a low-lying area designed to temporarily capture and hold storm water runoff during periods of heavy rain. After the rain ceases, the basin slowly releases the water over a period of one or two days to minimize flooding and stream bank erosion problems downstream. Basins also help remove sediments from storm water runoff, which improves the quality of local streams.
The guidebook will help answer questions and provide owners with detailed instructions for basin maintenance activities. The booklet includes information on the components of a detention basin, recommended maintenance activities and inspection schedules, vegetation management, mosquito control and more.
Routine maintenance will help prolong the life of the detention basin, help prevent flooding and property damage, and protect local streams and lakes. Routine maintenance will also help minimize the necessity for more costly repairs.
Click here to download a copy of the “Maintaining Your Detention Basin” guidebook, or call the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District at 513.732.7075.
If you own property that borders a stream and have concerns with the banks eroding and/or water quality, there are some relatively simple measures that you can take to alleviate the problems. Sometimes the impact is too great, and steps are needed to provide armoring or protection, but if the erosion is not too severe, riparian buffers may be the answer to your worries.
Property owners that mow or weed right to the stream are setting themselves up for erosion problems. Turf grass has very shallow roots which do a poor job of holding soil in place. As a result, there is very little under the ground holding the soil in place, and it can be more easily washed away during high stream flows. When natural vegetation is allowed to grow along a stream’s banks, the benefits are amazing. When trees, shrubs and native grasses become established along a stream, it is referred to as a riparian buffer. These plants have deep root systems which do a very good job of holding soil in place.
Buffers also provide many other benefits. They shade and cool to the stream, which helps promote a healthy and diverse fish community. Buffers are very effective at filtering pollutants such as lawn fertilizers, animal waste, and pesticides. They also provide wildlife corridors and habitat.
Clermont SWCD suggests a buffer width of 25 feet for small streams, and increasing the width as the drainage area and stream gets bigger. However, any buffer width is better than none at all. The greater the width, the more positive impacts there will be for the stream. Some plant species that will work well in a stream buffer zone include sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), willows (Salix sp.), red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), and grasses such as meadow sage (Salvia pratensis) and different varieties of rushes (Juncus sp.)
If you have any questions or would like any guidance in establishing your own riparian buffer, contact us at 513-732-7075, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.