Below are several resources which apply to stormwater quality. You’ll find city specific resources for permit applications, information for hazardous waste disposal, stormwater prevention information and more.
Automobile fluids, paints, old batteries, pesticides, and other household chemicals should not be thrown away with the rest of your garbage. If taken to the landfill, these substances can leach into our groundwater. And if left out or dumped into streets, storm drains or arroyos, they can make their way to the Rio Grande. This is both harmful to people and the environment. Only stormwater should go into storm drains!
If you have household hazardous waste that you need to dispose of, there are several options for residents in the Middle Rio Grande Watershed:
Stormwater runoff is caused by rain falling on impervious surfaces (surfaces where water cannot soak in, like pavement, cement, and roofs) and is the water we see in our streets and arroyos when it rains. Pollutants, like oil and gas, trash, animal waste, fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals, get picked up by stormwater runoff and enter our storm drains, channels, and arroyos, quickly making it into our waterways. There are some easy ways you can help reduce pollution in stormwater.
An illicit discharge is a release of materials and fluids that contain pollutants like oil & grease, solvents, metals, toxic chemicals, and bacteria like e. Coli. Illicit discharges make it to the storm sewer system via overland flow and direct dumping into storm drains. In the Middle Rio Grande Watershed, the storm sewer systems collect stormwater runoff, and anything else that flows into them, and carries it, untreated, to the Rio Grande. Putting oil, antifreeze, detergents, or anything else that is not stormwater into the storm drain system is the same as dumping it directly into the river!
If you see an illicit discharge or illegal dumping, there are several ways to report it:
NPDES Stormwater Permits
Hazardous Waste Disposal
Stormwater Pollution Prevention
Report Dumping to Storm Drains or Arroyos
Post-Construction Stormwater Quality and Green Stormwater Infrastructure/Low Impact Development (GSI/LID)
In 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a watershed-based Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit for stormwater. This permit requires all new development and redevelopment projects that disturb greater than or equal to one acre, including projects less than one acre that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale, to include best management practices (BMPs) to manage the stormwater quality design volume (SWQV).
Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) are stormwater control systems and practices that are designed to reduce the volume, flow, and impacts to water quality from stormwater runoff. Low Impact Development (LID) is a stormwater management design approach that uses stormwater as a resource while also enhancing the aesthetics of a landscape. Together they improve stormwater quality and flooding impacts related to post-construction stormwater runoff and manage the SWQV.
The Arid LID Coalition (https://aridlidcoalition.org/) is a multi-disciplinary coalition in Albuquerque, NM that aims to increase the use of GSI/LID practices by offering technical and educational resources for GSI/LID designs. The Arid LID Coalition created a GSI/LID project map for the Middle Rio Grande to help locate and learn about GSI/LID in our watershed.
View the Notices of Intent and Annual Reports for the Watershed-Based Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit
The Clean Water Act and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program regulate stormwater discharges into waterbodies such as lakes, rivers, and streams. These regulations require that Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) apply for permits to regulate what can be discharged to these waterbodies in stormwater. You can view the notices of intent (NOI) to comply with the MS4 permit, and annual reports from the MS4s in the Middle Rio Grande Watershed here: