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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois
 

Pollution Prevention & Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations

The Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping minimum control measure requires a small municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) operator to examine and subsequently alter their own actions to help ensure a reduction in the amount and type of pollution that: (1) collects on streets, parking lots, open spaces, and storage and vehicle maintenance areas and is discharged into local waterways; and (2) results from actions such as environmentally damaging land development and flood management practices or poor maintenance of storm sewer systems. While this measure is meant primarily to improve or protect receiving water quality by altering municipal or facility operations, it also can result in a cost savings for the small MS4 operator, since proper and timely maintenance of storm sewer systems can help avoid repair costs from damage caused by age and neglect.

Deicing: Best Management Practices and Chloride Reduction Efforts

During the winter, ice on roads, parking lots and walkways can become a serious safety hazard. The most common and economical deicer used to address this is sodium chloride, also known as salt. Salt lowers the freezing point of water and makes ice and snow removal easier. However, the excessive use of road salt causes environmental problems and can itself become a hazard. Salt can erode infrastructure and damage water bodies, groundwater and roadside vegetation. Excessive chloride levels can severely impair the ability of plants to absorb water and nutrients and affects natural habitats.

As snow and ice melts, it runs off into storm sewer systems along with any chemical deicing agents that may have been applied. This runoff is not treated before it is discharged directly into local water bodies. Therefore, it is most effective to address the issue at the source: the application of salt. There are road salt alternatives that can be utilized, and measures taken at every level, from homeowner to municipal snow removal operator, to decrease these negative effects.

Please see our Chloride Reduction and Winter Deicing page for more information.

Green Initiatives

DuPage County's Solid Waste Division handles the proper disposal and recycling of materials and waste. Please refer to the Green Initiatives website for recycling events, guides, information on green technology and buildings, presentations from past Environmental Summits and reports. Regulations from Section 25 Pollution Control and Section 30 Solid Waste Management are accessible for viewing in the County Code.

Structural Best Management Practices for Storm Sewer Inlets

Stormwater separators are structural Best Management Practices that are used to remove and capture sediment, oil, grease, and other pollutants that run off from roadways into the storm sewers and catch basins, thereby preventing such pollutants from being released into DuPage County's waterways. Stormwater separators assist in capturing pollutant loads during spill incidents, as well. The DuPage County Division of Transportation (DuDOT) currently owns and operates nine stormwater separators along Sterns Road in Bartlett and IL-31/ Oak Brook Road in Oak Brook. View a map illustrating these stormwater separator locations (PDF).

Various companies manufacture stormwater separators for purchase. While all stormwater separators are designed to capture pollutants, each manufacturer's separator varies in specifications and maintenance requirements. One separator, Stormceptor, manufactured by Rinker Materials, has been utilized by DuDOT along some County roadways. This Stormceptor simulation highlights general principles of stormwater separator function. The simulation requires the use of Microsoft's Power Point. Although the Stormceptor unit has been highlighted here for educational purposes, many other companies produce separator units that should be considered based on a site's particular hydrology, pollutant loads, etc.

To view our previous DuPage County Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping seminar see our Water Quality Archives page.