National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit
MS4 Permit No. NE0133671

Annual Report September 1, 2017 – August 31, 2018 (Administrative Extension) City of Lincoln, Nebraska

View of Antelope Valley – Looking towards the ‘P’ Street Bridge
Projects such as Antelope Valley improve water quality and aide in reducing E. coli levels. Antelope Creek is currently being removed from Nebraska's 303(d) Impaired Waters List

Reporting Requirements Summary

The City of Lincoln is required by federal law to comply with the provisions of the Federal Clean Water Act. In Nebraska, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality the authority to implement the conditions of the Clean Water Act and the responsibility to insure municipalities in Nebraska are compliant.

The City of Lincoln complies with these mandated regulations through a State-issued National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES permit). On October 2, 2018 the City was re-issued an NPDES permit by the State of Nebraska, allowing municipal stormwater discharges to local waterways and lakes effective November 1, 2018 – October 31, 2023.

For the reporting period September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018, the City of Lincoln had not yet received the new permit from NDEQ. Per the requirement of NDEQ, the previous permit was administratively extended until the approval and issue of the new permit. This annual report is reflective of the administratively extended period of September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018.

The following is a list of programs the City has implemented to comply with the State’s requirements for Lincoln’s municipal stormwater NPDES permit. Each program (numbered 1-8) contains a link to an EPA website to provide a summarized description of the requirements. The items listed below are non-inclusive of all efforts made by the City in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

This is a summary of the City’s efforts reported to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality for the period beginning on September 1, 2017 and ending August 31, 2018. Note: The City’s fiscal year, which ended August 31, 2018, is slightly different than the NPDES permit year 2018, which ends December 31, 2018.

1. Public Education and Outreach PDF

In this permit year, the City put on four rain barrel classes through the local community college and at the Pioneers Park Nature Center that were attended by 47 people.

The Parks and Recreation Department provided several programs for elementary school students and the general public which described positive and negative impacts humans have on the environment. These classes were attended by 7,994 students and their adult leaders.

Nature Center Activity Nature Center Activity

The City requires a “No Dumping – Drains to Creek” design imprint into all new precast concrete top sections of storm drains and manhole covers. In the 2017-18 fiscal year, approximately 357 such lids were placed.

The City educated 4,000 public and private elementary school children on Garbology.

Watershed Management staff distributed a stormwater “NebGuide” (a series of brochures for installing PDF, designing PDF and landscaping PDF of rain gardens). The City continues to have these brochures printed for distribution.

The City conducted public meetings for five basin planning, watershed master plans, and watershed projects. Invitations were also sent to land owners, various organizations and governmental agencies.

The City made 1,000 cubic yards of compost available free to the public.

Available Compost Available Compost

Watershed Management uses social media (Facebook and Twitter) to engage the public.

2. Public Participation and Involvement PDF

The new Lincoln-Lancaster County Hazardous Materials Collection Center (HMCC) opened on October 4, 2017. Construction of the facility was funded by the City with support from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and the Nebraska Environmental Trust. The HMCC offered twice per month appointment only hazardous waste collections for homeowners and two hazardous waste collections for small businesses, non-profits and educational institutions that meet the Federal criterial for being Very Small Business Generators. The HMCC served 546 residents and collected 50,000 pounds of hazardous waste from residents in FY 18. In addition to the waste collected at the center, nearly 38,000 pounds of hazardous waste was collected during the year at mobile collection events.

Three hundred fourteen volunteers took part in 32 Adopt A Stream clean up events.

Stream Clean Up Stream Clean Up

Watershed Management manned a booth at the Spring Lawn and Leisure Show, providing stormwater quality and flooding information to the public. It is estimated 200 people stopped by to ask questions.

The City put on a program to accept recyclable materials at various locations. Five thousand eight hundred eighty tons of recyclable materials were collected, including: newspapers, paper, cardboard, glass, tin and aluminum cans. This program was associated with the City of Lincoln’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Program. On April 1, 2018 corrugated cardboard was banned from disposal in the Lincoln and Lancaster County Landfills.

Cardboard Ban Poster Cardboard Ban Poster

The Earth Wellness Festival is an elementary school level program for area fifth graders. It is a one-day event where school kids take part in hands on experiments, attend classes and receive information on environmentally based topics. This year’s event was attended by approximately 3,500 students.

Earth Wellness Activity Earth Wellness Activity

The Lincoln Public Schools and area schools provide curriculum for recycling and ecology-based classes. Garbology is an ecology-based program that includes water quality components. The classes were provided to 4,000 public and private elementary students.

The Earth Day Coalition held “Earth Day” on April 22, 2018. The event was attended by approximately 2,000 people.

The Cleaner Streams program sponsored the Oak Lake Cleanup on July 5. Approximately 260 pounds of trash was collected by 18 volunteers. The Fire Department hosted a Fireworks Amnesty Day alongside the cleanup, where residents could drop off unwanted fireworks and ammunition.

Watershed Management attended Weatherfest 2018 on Saturday, April 7, 2018. Approximately 3500 area residents attended. Watershed staff engaged with 240 people regarding runoff from rain events and potential pollutants from everyday activities, such as mowing, car washing, construction, etc.

Weatherfest Interactive Stormdrain Model Weatherfest Interactive Stormdrain Model

3. Illicit Discharge/Disposal PDF

In Summer-Fall seasons of 2018 the dry weather team monitored 50 outfall sites in Lincoln. Samples were taken at 19 of those sites that were found to be flowing, to detect potential illicit and illegal connections to the storm drain system. Monitoring locations shown in Figure 1 PDF.

The Lincoln Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials (HazMat) team responded to 60 calls to conduct spill containment for hazardous materials spills. The Health Department conducts investigations and enforcement for HazMat responses as appropriate (some locations are shown on Figure 2 PDF).

Lincoln Fire and Rescue HazMat Team Responders Lincoln Fire and Rescue HazMat Team Responders

The Health Department responded to 97 illicit discharge incidences. Of those responses, 28 had the potential to impact stormwater and 22 did impact stormwater. (Some locations are shown on Figure 2 PDF).

4. Construction Site Stormwater Programs PDF

The Watershed Management Division maintains a database for tracking permits for construction site activity. All of the investigations conducted by Watershed Management were logged in a database and mapped (see Figure 3 PDF).

Watershed Management sent a total of 335 “Notice to Comply” to large and small site owners for miscellaneous violations. Compliance was achieved in most cases. Development areas needing grading certificates were inspected to verify the site was graded and erosion and sediment control measures were installed according to the plan submitted to the City. A total of 19 grading certificate inspections were conducted (see Figure 4 PDF).

On-site education was provided to construction site owners when City staff became aware of sediment in the public right-of-way.

Watershed Management staff educated 21 people regarding sediment and erosion control compliance.

Watershed Management presented at the Public Works “Annual Spring Meeting.” Three hundred thirty Public Works/Utilities staff attended and were provided information regarding storm drains and illicit discharge reporting.

Spring Meeting Presentation by Watershed Spring Meeting Presentation by Watershed

5. Post Construction Runoff Control PDF

Property owners installed several Best Management Practices that included rain gardens and other types of infiltrating mediums through a City Program with a (50/50) cost share from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.

Rain Garden or Bioswale

One hundred forty-two Retention/Detention Ponds PDF were inspected to assess their functionality with regard to reducing pollutants from stormwater run-off and flood control (locations shown on Figure 5 PDF).

6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping PDF

The City designed, and or constructed, stormwater water quality projects at various locations.

Residential Streets (8,450.6 curb lane miles) were cleaned with street sweepers three times per year on a rotating schedule of locations. All arterial streets were cleaned with street sweepers at a rate of typically once every two weeks (6,939 curb miles).

All business districts were cleaned with street sweepers, typically once every four days (886.5 curb miles).

The combined street sweeping of all types of streets listed above produced 2,811.2 tons of landfill material. This material would have ended up in local streams, creeks and retention ponds if not collected by street sweepers.

Street Sweeping Operations Street Sweeping Operations

City crews inspected 526 manholes, 4,930 inlets and 29,291 linear feet of piped storm drainage systems to ensure that the City storm drain system is in good repair and that no sanitary lines connect to them.

In this permit year, the Health Department conducted inspections for 17 of the City’s 20 municipal facilities that are required to be inspected under EPA’s “Good Housekeeping” program. The other three were conducted by PWU MS4 staff upon completion of the revised RCP. (see Figure 6 PDF).

7. Industrial and Related Facilities

The Health Department continued the process of determining which industries in Lincoln (according to Federal Standard Industrial Classification listing) will require an annual inspection. The Health Department updated the list in the 2017-18 permit year.

The Health Department inspected 96 industries that met the requirements to have an industrial inspection (see Figure 7 PDF).

Street Sweeping Operations Secondary Containment is Required for Proper Spill Management in Industrial Facilities

8. Monitoring Program PDF

The “Final Report 2013 to 2016 for Estimates of Pollutant Masses and Event Mean Concentrations” was provided in last year’s annual report. As this year was an administrative extension of the current permit, wet weather monitoring was not conducted. As per the new permit requirements, the new wet weather monitoring protocols will be drafted next year (year one) and sent to NDEQ for review.


PDF Version of NPDES Annual Report (4.54 M) PDF