National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
MS4 Permit No. NE0133671

Annual Report September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019 (Administrative Extension September 1 – October 31, 2018) City of Lincoln, Nebraska

40th & Highway 2 – NRD Beal Slough Stream Bank Stabilization – Improvements to Stream Channel Increased Peak Flow Rates, Preventing Flooding in Lincoln/Lancaster County

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 Environment and Energy (NDEE) the authority to implement the conditions of the Clean Water Act and the responsibility to ensure 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 PDF). 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.

This permit term includes a multi-permit coverage. Per the requirement of NDEE, the previous permit was administratively extended until the approval and issue of the new permit.

This is a summary of the City’s efforts reported to the NDEE; the period beginning 9/1/18 to 8/31/19 is reflective of the administrative extended period of September 1, 2018 to October 31, 2018. The remaining reporting period of November 1, 2018 to August 31, 2019 is reflective of the new permit, signed on October 2nd, 2018 by the Water Permits Division Administrator.

As requested by the Department of Environment and Energy, the two separate permits were not split in the data reported, the data is reflective of both permit terms, submitted as one single seamless report. Note: The City’s fiscal year, which ended August 31, 2019, is slightly different than the NPDES permit year 2019, which ends December 31, 2019.

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 2018-19 fiscal year.

1. Public Education and Outreach PDF

In this permit year, the City put on three rain barrel classes through the local community college that were attended by 25 people.

Rain Barrel Rain Barrel

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 7,854 students and their adult leaders.

The City requires a “No Dumping – Drains to Creek” design imprint into all new precast concrete top sections of storm drains and manhole covers. The goal of the Storm Water Awareness Program is to prevent anything other than clean water from entering storm drains. Volunteers are recruited to mark storm drains with a “No Dumping - Drains to Creek” message. During the year, 420 storm drains were marked through the SWAP (Stormwater Awareness Program).

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

The City conducted public meetings for six 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.

LinGRO - Lincoln's Premium Organic Compost

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

2. Public Participation and Involvement PDF

The HazToGo! Lincoln’s Hazardous Waste Center (LHWC) is managed by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. The LHWC is opened Wednesdays 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM and every third Saturday by appointment only for hazardous waste collections for homeowners and quarterly for small businesses, non-profits and educational institutions that meet the Federal criteria for being Very Small Business Generators. The LHWC collected a total of 106,163 pounds of hazardous waste, 30,259 more pounds than last year. Additionally, four small business hazardous waste collections were coordinated by LLCHD, serving 79 businesses and collecting an additional 32,500 pounds of hazardous waste. Lincoln’s Hazardous Waste Center and related services have furthered the City and County efforts to protect the public’s health and our environment, including our storm drainage system, by providing a place for homeowners and very small businesses to dispose of such waste year-round.

Three hundred volunteers took part in 29 Adopt A Stream clean up events and removed a total of 11,229 pounds of trash from our local water bodies.

Adopt-a-Stream Volunteer Group Adopt-a-Stream Volunteer Group

Watershed Management manned a booth at the Lawn and Leisure Show, providing stormwater quality and flooding information to the public. It is estimated 80 people stopped by to ask questions.

The City put on a program to accept recyclable materials at various locations. Seven thousand seventy-six 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.

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 Festival

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 27, 2019. Watershed Management engaged with approximately 400 people.

The Cleaner Streams program sponsored the Oak Lake Cleanup on July 5. Unfortunately, due to rainy conditions, no volunteers showed up to the event. Only two Watershed Staff and two KLLCB Staff were present. Staff picked up and removed 150 pounds of trash. Additionally, the Northwest District (Parks) crew spent several hours outside of the Oak Lake Cleanup picking up litter around the park, including the fireworks debris by the Uncle Sam Jam fireworks display. The Fire Department hosted a Fireworks Amnesty Day alongside the cleanup, where residents could drop off unwanted fireworks and ammunition.

9th Annual Oak Lake Cleanup

Watershed Management attended Weatherfest 2019 on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Approximately 2500 area residents attended. Watershed staff engaged with 150 people regarding runoff from rain events and potential pollutants from everyday activities, such as mowing, car washing, construction, etc.

Weatherfest Rain Runoff Model Weatherfest Rain Runoff Model

Watershed Management participated in Lincoln Children’s Museum Happy HallowGreen Event. Approximately 400 persons attended the event and Watershed engaged with 295 kids regarding stormwater educational items.

3. Illicit Discharge/Disposal PDF

In Summer-Fall seasons of 2019 the dry weather team monitored 51 outfall sites in Lincoln. Thirty-three total samples were taken at the 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.

Sample bottles for turbidity Sample bottles for turbidity

The Lincoln Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials (HazMat) team responded to 42 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).

The Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department investigated 68 reports of illicit discharges, with 42 of those being immediate responses by LLCHD’s HazMat Emergency Response Team due to reports as having actual water impact or the potential to impact water. In addition, Solid Waste, Water Quality and Food Safety staff responded to 26 illicit discharge complaints. Of the 21 complaint reports that indicated actual water impact, 17 were verified. (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 239 “Notice to Comply” letters 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 80 people regarding sediment and erosion control compliance.

Sediment & Erosion Control Training Sediment & Erosion Control Training

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

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 Environment and Energy.

One hundred eleven 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).

Retention Pond Retention Pond

6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping PDF

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

Residential Streets (8,170 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 (6,157 curb miles).

Residential Street Sweeper Residential Street Sweeper

All business districts were cleaned with street sweepers, typically once every four days (571 business district lane miles).

The combined street sweeping of all types of streets listed above produced 4,142.15 tons of landfill material. This material would have ended up in local streams, creeks and retention ponds if not collected by street sweepers.

City crews inspected 244 manholes, 7,671 inlets and 7,674 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 18 of the City’s 21 municipal facilities that are required to be inspected under EPA’s “Good Housekeeping” program. The other three were conducted by LTU MS4 staff. (see Figure 6 PDF).

MSC Municipal Facility MSC Municipal Facility

A Run-off control plan hands-on training was conducted for the LTU municipal sites (Baldwin Shop, Southeast District and MSC) on October 26, 2018 to educate all field staff on the run-off controls for each site.

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 2018-19 permit year.

The Health Department inspected 98 industries that met the requirements to have an industrial inspection (see Figure 7 PDF).

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 due to the extension of the permit through October 2018. As per the new permit requirements, the new wet weather monitoring protocol was drafted this year (year one) and sent to NDEE for review.


PDF Version of NPDES Annual Report (12.3 M) PDF