PREPARING FOR REGULATIONS
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CITY DRAIN SYSTEM 6-21-17 LMS

By the year 2021 the Environmental Protection Agency and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality will be mandating that waters collected in city storm drains be treated before being released.

The city’s Public Works Team has been discussing ramifications related to the pending regulations as well as a growing list of downtown requests to hook into the city’s storm drain system.

At the June 21 meeting of the Salmon City Council Public Works Team Chairman and Council President Jim Baker reported on topics the team has discussed so far which include creation of a graduated fee structure based on the amount of water discharged into the system from heating and cooling units and how to measure it. According to Councilman Ken Hill, a ten ton heat pump will discharge two tons of water. The amount of discharge is directly related to the size of pump which is why a graduated fee seems appropriate. There will also be storm drain line maintenance costs to consider as well as future expansion needs plus the costs related to the pending treatment regulations.

Baker wants a storm drain ordinance developed and put into place which addresses all the known needs. Right now the main interest is centered around downtown businesses connecting to the storm drain system. Councilman Neal James pointed out that Bar Hill neighborhoods don’t have a discharge problem since all water goes straight into the ground however; the council consensus is that everyone in the city will be paying a fee at some point whether it is for storm drain system maintenance or requirements to treat run off from city streets. Councilmen Rob Jackson, Russ Chinske and Jim Bockelman all favored starting a fund now for the future storm water treatment.

Public Works Superintendent Harry Shanafelt concurred with city-wide effects because of some of the contamination causes. He said when vehicles from the Bar Hill go to town and drip oil that oil goes into the storm drains. He said there is a settling pond near the Salmon River Campground where the oil settles out before the water runs to the river.

Baker said fee structure determinations could become quite complicated. He said when the hospital approached the city about connecting to the storm drain system it had lined out their building’s square footage as related to the anticipated water run-off flows and Baker thinks that same method should be followed with any commercial entity.

Mayor Leo Marshall asked the city staff to begin research on what other cities of comparable size are doing to prepare for the storm water treatment regulations.


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