Stormwater Pollution Prevention
No Dumping Drains to Creek.jpg
Rick Bush
Director of Public Works


1057 Dudley Street
Sturgis, SD  57785


Monday - Thursday
6:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday 6:00 am - 10:00 am
What is Stormwater Pollution?
Stormwater is rain or snow that falls on roofs, lawns or paved areas like driveways and roads and is carried away by a system of stormwater pipes or culverts and ditches.  As it flows over the land surface, stormwater picks up or is contaminated by debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants.  Anything that is washed into the storm sewer system drains directly into lakes and streams.  Stormwater is not treated before it is released into our waterways, which is why it is important to control storm water quality through the use of best management practices.

Managing stormwater pollution is important because:
         Sediment clouds the water making it difficult for aquatic habits
         Oxygen levels can become depleted, killing fish and other aquatic organisms.
         Bacteria and other pathogens discharged in swimming areas create a health hazard.
         Debris washed into the water can choke, suffocate or disable wildlife and fish.
         Household hazardous wastes such as pesticides, paint and auto fluids can poison aquatic life.
Common pollutants that can make their way into our storm sewer include:
household chemicals
pet waste
motor oil
road salt
yard waste

Stormwater Management Plan

Per the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) website:

The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters. The basis of the CWA was enacted in 1948 and was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, but the Act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972. "Clean Water Act" became the Act's common name with amendments in 1972.

Under the CWA, EPA has implemented pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry. EPA has also developed national water quality criteria recommendations for pollutants in surface waters.

The CWA made it unlawful to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained:

  • EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls discharges.
  • Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches.                 
    • Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need a NPDES permit;        
    • Industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters.

The City of Sturgis is categorized as a small MS4.  In South Dakota, the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (SDDANR) is authorized to run the NPDES program. On March of 2003, the City of Sturgis submitted a Notice of Intent and was issued a General Permit from SDDANR.

As part of the General Permit, the City of Sturgis is required to develop, implement, and update a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP).  The plan must address and implement the following measures:

  1. Public education and outreach;
  2. Public participation/involvement;
  3. Illicit discharge detection and elimination;
  4. Construction site storm water runoff control;
  5. Post-construction storm water management; and,
  6. Pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations.

City of Sturgis Stormwater Management Plan

If you would like to report an illicit discharge of polluted storm water into one of the City’s drainages, or if you have any comments, concerns or suggestions in reference to stormwater management, please contact us. 

For ways to help reduce stormwater pollution, see our Resources page for more information.