Polluted stormwater runoff is a leading cause of impairment to the nearly 40 percent of surveyed U.S. water bodies which do not meet water quality standards. In fact, in Indiana alone more than 100 million tons of sediment erodes annually from urban and agricultural landscapes.  A large amount of this sediment is then transported via stormwater conveyances to surface water bodies. In addition to sediment, automobile fluids, road salts, litter, fertilizers and various other pollutants are carried through municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) to surface water bodies.  If storm water and its pollutants are not properly managed, destruction of aquatic habitats and threats to public health can result. For information regarding water quality in Noblesville, view How's My Waterway on the EPA's website.
Under Indiana's new Storm Water Phase II Program cities, towns, and counties throughout Indiana, fulfilling certain population requirements, are required to obtain National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits for stormwater discharges. Under the Stormwater Phase II Program, the City of Noblesville is required to implement controls designed to prevent harmful stormwater pollutants from being washed into local water bodies. 

Over the course of the last five years, the city has been working to fulfill the requirements of the Stormwater Phase II Program.  In November 2003, the city submitted its Stormwater Quality Management Plan (SWQMP) Part A: Notice of Intent (NOI) and Initial Application to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.  The city's NOI and Initial Application were approved in January 2005, and include a list of waters that will receive stormwater discharges, and an estimated cost associated with fulfilling the requirements of Stormwater Phase II.

In May 2004, the City of Noblesville submitted its SWQMP Part B: Baseline Stream Characterization. The SWQMP Part B report was approved by the state in August 2004, and provides baseline water quality data on all rivers, streams, and ditches in the city that receive discharges of stormwater, identifies sensitive areas, and certain watersheds as priorities. The information and conclusions included in the Part B report were used to develop a plan for improving stormwater quality.

The plan, formally known as the SWQMP Part C report, was submitted to the State in February 2005, and approved in May 2005. The plan includes:
  • efforts to educate and involve the public regarding stormwater quality improvement efforts,
  • development of a local ordinance to prohibit non-stormwater discharges to the storm drain system,
  • development of a local ordinance to regulate pollution originating from active construction sites,
  • development of a local ordinance to require stormwater filtration measures with new development,
  • and efforts to reduce stormwater pollution resulting from municipal activities.
This Stormwater Phase II website is meant to act as an information clearinghouse in an effort to accomplish the above listed efforts. The links in the left hand column include valuable information for homeowners, developers, businesses, kids, and people interested in volunteering, regarding what they can do to improve water quality in our local creeks, streams, and rivers.