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Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assessment Team Has Arrived in Elkhart County

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) personnel has arrived in Elkhart County to inspect individual damage left by February’s record flooding. This group’s primary responsibility is to assess the damage done to individual homes. They are planning to stop at each home that has reported damage from... more


Monday, March 19, 2018

The Goshen Fire Department will test the tornado sirens Tuesday, March 20 at 10 a.m. and at 7 p.m. as part of the Statewide Tornado Drill. The annual Indiana Severe Weather and Flood Preparedness Week runs from March 18 through March 24 this year. As part of NWS efforts to build a Weather Ready Nation,... more


Monday, March 19, 2018

Kercher Road (CR 38) will have a moving lane restriction between the Norfolk Southern Marion railroad line and the Kercher bridge over the Elkhart River. The lane restriction is required for the placement of topsoil behind the new curb. The lane restriction begins today Monday, March 19 and will continue... more

Upcoming Events All »

Board of Public Works & Safety & Stormwater

Monday, March 26, 2018, 2:00pm

Shade Tree Board meeting

Monday, March 26, 2018, 7:00pm

Goshen Housing Authority Board meetings

Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 7:00am

Stormwater Management


Welcome to the Goshen Department of Stormwater Management

Stormwater runoff from snomelt and a rainstorm running into a storm drain.

(Above picture:  Stormwater runoff from melting snow and a rainstorm flowing into a storm drain.) The Department of Stormwater Management is part of the Goshen Engineering Department and is located at 204 East Jefferson Street, Goshen, Indiana, which used to be the old Goshen High School.

The Goshen Department of Stormwater Management works daily to prevent polluted stormwater runoff from impacting our natural water resources by working closely with a variety of other public and private partners within the City of Goshen, Elkhart County, and the State of Indiana.

The goal for the management of stormwater is "Clean Water for Everyone". In order to get there, the Department of Stormwater Management provides education and opportunities for the public to be involved, identifies and addresses illicit discharges to the storm sewer system or our local waterways, monitors construction sites and newly developed areas for stormwater compliance, and makes sure the City conducts operations and maintains its facilities in a manner that does not introduce pollution into our own local waterways.

What is Stormwater?

Stormwater is water from snow and ice melting, as well as rainwater from storms. When rain or melting snow and ice fall or flow across natural surfaces like forests and grassy areas, most of it will soak into the soil. When it lands on streets, parking lots, and other hard surfaces, it runs off to another location like a storm drain or a local waterway.

What is Stormwater Pollution?

As stormwater flows (or snow melts), it picks up debris (such as trash, grass clippings, etc.), chemicals (such as fertilizers and pesticides), sediment, and other pollutants. This "contaminated" water then enters a storm sewer system and is eventually discharged to a local wetland, stream, or river.

Why is Stormwater Pollution a Concern? 

Within the City of Goshen and other urban areas, stormwater runoff comes from yards, roofs, driveways, parking lots, construction sites, and streets (these are all called hard surfaces except for yards), and flows into miles of storm sewers, swales, and ditches located under or next to our City streets and eventually reaches our local waterways. Stormwater picks up oil, grease, sediments, automotive fluids, trash, lawn chemicals, and other pollutants that are harmful to the environment and is often discharged/released to our local waterways untreated. Untreated stormwater affects our ability to use our local water bodies for drinking, fishing, and recreational purposes and it degrades fish and other aquatic habitats. The only way to lessen stormwater pollution is to reduce the amount of pollutants washed away by stormwater.

For more information on the origins of the Department of Stormwater Management and the Staff, click here.

Recent Stormwater News

  • Today is World Water Day and this year's theme is "Nature for Water." Water is necessary for all aspects of life and when the water we rely upon becomes polluted or scarce daily life becomes harder. We can work together with nature to reduce the impacts of floods, droughts, and water pollution! (March 22, 2018)
  • Was the Indiana flood of 2018 one for the record books? Here in Goshen the Elkhart River crested at 12.49 feet, which was 0.55 feet higher than the previous worst flood that occurred back on March 14, 1982, so from a flooding standpoint yes it was the worst flood in recorded history but before records were kept there may have been worse floods (March 13, 2018)
  • The US EPA has released an action plan on how to stop algal blooms from jeopardizing Lake Erie's drinking water, fishing, and tourism. The goal is to reduce the amount of phosphorous running into Lake Erie by 40 percent. Click here to read more about the plan. (March 13, 2018)
  • Chicago, Illinois, has a greenprint, which has helped the City save $6.4 billion per year in flood reduction, water purification, and carbon sequestration. This shows how important it is to consider natural resources when developing. They are now updating it along with Chicago's regional comprehensive plan. (March 12, 2018)
  • Mardi Gras wreaks havoc on the storm drains in New Orleans and crews removed 93,000 pounds of plastic beads from a five block stretch along Charles Avenue, which is a main parade route. New Orleans Public Works came up with a simple fix to keep debris from falling into storm drains and is something Goshen should consider during the Fair Parade. (March 7, 2018)
  • The flood of February 2018, that our area is still recovering from, is the worst flood on record. The Elkhart River crested at 12.49 feet at 6:15 pm February 21st. For more information on the level of the river click here. Note that the times given are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and UTC is five hours faster than Goshen.
  • Goshen is currently experiencing a flood event and major flooding is now forecasted. Flood stage for the Elkhart River begins at 7.0 feet and as of 9:45 pm February 20th the river was at 10.47 feet (5:00 am today the river was at 6.6 feet). The National Weather Service is predicting the river will crest near 11.7 feet around 1:00 pm Wednesday, February 21st, and fall below flood stage by the end of the weekend. At this time Chicago Avenue is closed and Rogers Park is underwater as are portions of the parking lot across the street. The forecasted height of this flood compares to previous historical flood events from 1982 and 1985. For more information on the height of the flood waters visit the National Weather Service River Gauge Page for the Elkhart River. (February 20, 2018, 10:40 pm)
  • The highs and lows of human life end up in museums around the world. Now a piece of a famous "fatberg" that clogged a London, England, sewer back in September of 2017, is on display for educational purposes. (February 12, 2018)
  • What is the connection between ground water and the Clean Water Act? The answer is called the "conduit theory" and how it is interpreted from a legal standpoint is confusing. Two different court cases have ruled in opposite directions and are pitting Law vs. Nature. Yet, no matter what the courts decide, it is clear that ground water and surface water are connected so if polluted water is pumped into the ground it will eventually reach a surface water nearby. For a more detailed discussion click here. (February 9, 2018)
  • The Waters of the United State rule (WOTUS), which was passed in 2015, will now not be implemented until 2020 according to the EPA and USACOE. The need to clarify which wetlands and streams are regulated under the Clean Water Act is important and past Supreme Court rulings have caused some confusion. (February 6, 2018)

For additional stormwater and water quality related news visit the Stormwater News Archive.

Stormwater Toolbox Newsletter

February 2018: This month's Newsletter points readers towards the thought that storm drains are the mouths of the Elkhart River and other local waterways. Additionally, it talks about what's in stormwater runoff and how you only had to look to the recent floodwaters to see the answer.

January 2018: This month's Newsletter explains the reason behind the Newsletter and points towards an upcoming Stormwater Quiz that will help determine the Stormwater Department's educational focus for 2018. Finally, it highlights the Stormwater Hunter of the Year: Maynard Hartsough. 

To see past editions of the Stormwater Toolbox Newsletter click here.

Upcoming Meeting Dates

  • Goshen Stormwater Board - Every Monday at 2:00 pm in the Police/Courts Building (111 East Jefferson Street)
  • MS4 Advisory Board - Wednesday, March 14th at 1:00 pm at the Elkhart County Public Services Building (4230 Elkhart Road, Goshen, IN 46526) (PLEASE NOTE: The new date. The MS4 Advisory Board will now be meeting on the second Wednesday of every month.)
  • Partnership Stormwater Board Meeting - Monday, March 26th, at 9:00 am at the County Administration Building (117 N. Second Street, Goshen, IN 46526)