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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Borden Waste-Away did not work on their Wednesday route because of the weather and the City's state of emergency. They will adhere to the state of emergency Thursday, Feb. 22 as well and will be waiting on an update from the City at noon on whether the state of emergency will be lifted. As soon as... more


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The State of Emergency Declaration (only essential travel allowed on city streets) will be at least through noon tomorrow, Thursday, February 22. A decision about ending it then, or carrying it longer, will be made by 9:30 a.m. Thursday—and an update email will also be sent by then. Please handle offices tomorrow... more


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Dear Residents, The last 36 hours has been different from what Goshen has ever experienced. In March of 1982 the Elkhart River hit its highest point at 11.89 feet. As of now the Elkhart River is at 12.4 feet in Goshen with a projection of 13.2 feet before this is over. The City of Goshen has closed... more

Upcoming Events All »

Board of Public Works & Safety & Stormwater

Monday, February 26, 2018, 2:00pm

Shade Tree Board meeting

Monday, February 26, 2018, 7:00pm

Goshen Housing Authority Board meetings

Tuesday, February 27, 2018, 7:00am

Stormwater News Archive

On this page, you can find links to important stormwater news articles identified by the Stormwater Department.

If you come across interesting and/or important stormwater news that you would like to let us know about, please email the Stormwater Department.


  • Come learn about rain barrels and build one at the same time on Saturday, February 3rd at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds. Rain barrels help to slow down stormwater runoff from your house and it is a great way to harvest free water from the sky for your flowers. Click here for more information and how to register; space is limited. (January 4, 2018)
  • Our Great Lakes hold ONE-FIFTH of the World's Freshwater and they are in trouble from polluted runoff from urban and agricultural areas, loss of wetlands, non-native plant and animal species are pushing out native plants and animal species. Click here to find out more about these issues and what is being done to protect the largest source of freshwater in the world. (January 4, 2018)


  • Paved driveways have so many benefits for our homes but they are a potential source for stormwater runoff to pick up pollutants. By taking a few steps you can minimize the impact your driveway has on stormwater. (December 15, 2017)
  • The new stormwater detention basin on the south side of the intersection of Lincoln and Steury Avenues is almost complete even though it had to go through some mid-project changes. (December 13, 2017)
  • The first triennial assessment of progress on Great Lakes Water Quality report was released on November 28, 2017, by the International Joint Commission (IJC) for the Great Lakes. The IJC report provides background on issues facing the Great Lakes and offers recommendations on moving forward to protect the water quality of the Great Lakes for years to come. This includes the implementation of green infrastructure practices to manage stormwater runoff. For a summary click here. (December 6, 2017)
  • In any urban area stormwater runoff increases with development but this can be minimized by using something called green infrastructure. In China, they are building "Sponge Cities" to help reducing flooding issues. (November 27, 2017)
  • If you live in the Town of Bristol, City of Elkhart, City of Goshen, or Elkhart County you can get money back by installing a rain garden or rain barrels. A similar program is also available in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, Michigan. (November 27, 2017)
  • An ancient tool can help communities reduce stormwater pollution. This ancient tool is the canopy of a tree! Click here to find out more why tree canopies are so helpful or just go out and stand under one during a rain shower. (November 21, 2017)
  • Recent research in the waterways of Puget Sound in Washington showed that up to 4 out of 10 coho salmon would die before they could spawn due to toxic stormwater runoff. The question we need to ask is What impact does stormwater runoff have on the fish and other aquatic wildlife in the Goshen area? (November 3, 2017)
  • Investing in nature to address the serious environmental and public health issue that is stormwater runoff is becoming more and more acceptable. Check out this article from Forbes about how investing in nature can be a triple win for cities, communities, and developers. (October 27, 2017)
  • The Greater Elkhart County Stormwater Partnership has released the 2018-2019 Elkhart County Waters: Why We Care Calendar. You can pick up your copy at downtown City offices, the Parks Department offices, and a number of local businesses. (October 23, 2017)
  • As the U.S. Department of Agriculture works to complete a new Farm Bill over the next coming year the American Water Works Association is pushing for programs to help farmers and water utilities work together to protect the nation's drinking water sources. (October 13, 2017)
  • Imagine A Day Without Water. What would be the first thing you would miss if water did not come out of the faucet when you turned it on? October 12th was the third annual Imagine a Day Without Water and you can learn more about it by clicking here. (October 13, 2017). 
  • Extreme floods and droughts get a lot of attention because of the damage and disruption they cause but the day to day changes in precipitation or lack of precipitation can also have a big impact. New research shows precipitation changes are occurring on a much smaller scale than previously understood. (September 26, 2017)
  • The New York Department of Environmental Protection along with the Water Research Foundation has released a report entitled Innovative and Integrated Stormwater Management, which examined a number of stormwater programs throughout the USA and from around the world. (September 26, 2017)
  • An accidental release of milk to the Cicero Creek in Tipton, IN, turned the creek white. State environmental officials indicated the release of the milk was not dangerous but it is considered an illicit discharge. An environmental cleanup company removed approximately 14,000 gallons of water and milk from the creek to cleanup the spill. (September 15, 2017) 
  • The development and paving over of wetlands and prairies around Huston, Texas, made the Hurricane Harvey disaster worse. Since the 1950's nearly 88 square miles of wetlands have disappeared. In comparison, the St. Joseph River Watershed (4,685 square miles) has lost approximately 53 percent of its pre-settlement wetlands. (August 31, 2017)
  • Microfibers continue to be an issue is our waterways and now research shows that microfibers not only come from wastewater treatment discharge but also from the air itself where it is transported to waterways through stormwater runoff. Be aware. Be informed. (August 30, 2017)
  • The last week has brought heavy rains and the resulting flooding conditions to the mainstream news because of Hurricane Harvey in southeast Texas and the monsoon rains in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Both regions have received large amounts of rain, which have resulted in deadly conditions which were made worse by all of the hard surface areas (pavement, rooftops, etc.) of major cities and the lack of pervious areas (grass, wetlands, etc.) to allow the water to soak in. The management of stormwater runoff and the maintenance of storm sewer systems is very important and will only become more important in our urban and rural areas as weather patterns continue to change. (August 30, 2017)
  • An exhaustive global analysis of rainfall and rivers shows flooding in cities/urban areas is increasing while the countryside/non-urban areas have soils that are much drier. This research is based on real data and is showing a real-world effect of changing climate on our world. (August 19, 2017)
  • Climate change may be natural or human-caused but the data speaks for itself and recent research points to an increase in precipitation and an increase in intense rainfall for the Great Lakes area, which can lead to more stormwater runoff and negatively impact water quality in our waterways. (August 15, 2017)
  • Ever wonder why water keeps coming into your basement or if you live in an area that could experience flooding? If you have (or even if you haven't) here is a great resource to see if your home could flood and how you can reduce that risk: My RainReady (August 14, 2017)
  • The year's Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico is the largest ever recorded at a whopping 8,776 square miles (about the size of New Jersey). A dead zone is an area of water with extremely low oxygen that can kill fish and other aquatic wildlife. (August 7, 2017)
  • Voluntary steps to reduce nutrient pollution to Lake Erie and the Gulf of Mexico are not working and algae blooms and dead zones continue to be an issue. Nutrient pollution issues have been reduced in the Chesapeake Bay since mandatory steps were implemented. Is it time for mandatory steps in Lake Erie and the Gulf of Mexico watersheds? Read more here. (August 2, 2017)
  • A new statewide poll shows Hoosiers are more concerned about protecting the environment than lowering taxes. (July 28, 2017)
  • The overall condition of the Great Lakes remains fair and unchanging. Check out the State of the Great Lakes 2017 Highlights Report for more information (July 26, 2017)
  • Each property owner can play a part in reducing stormwater pollution by installing rain barrels and/or rain gardens on their properties. An article from the Chesapeake Bay Watershed provides some clarity on common misconceptions that come with rain barrels and rain gardens. (July 26, 2017)
  • Hot, summer weather and cool streams, rivers, and lakes go hand in hand but please be careful of blue-green algae because it can cause rashes, sickness, and even death. Stormwater runoff can contain nutrient pollution, which leads to an increase in the amount of algae growing in our waterways. Click here for more information. (June 20, 2017)
  • Model My Watershed is a tool that allows a user to analyze data, model storms, and compare conservation and development scenarios in a watershed. It is free and can be used to see how a rain garden or a new parking lot will impact runoff and how water soaks into the soil. (May 23, 2017)
  • A 2016 USGS study showed the timely removal of leaf piles in the fall from urban streets can reduce harmful levels of phosphorus in stormwater runoff. (May 18, 2017)
  • Microplastics are an every water problem and it isn't just microbeads. Check out this article to find out more about the issue, how it has made its way into the aquatic food chain, and what you can do about it. (May 17, 2017)
  • South Bend looks to reduce combined sewer overflows to the St. Joe River by installing green infrastructure practices. (May 9, 2017)
  • Green infrastructure (rain gardens, pervious pavement, trees, etc.) can reduce combined sewer overflows by slowing down stormwater and soaking it up. Evansville, IN, and a number of other cities are doing just that and saving millions of dollars in the process. (April 25, 2017)
  • To protect the Great Lakes we need to watch how much fertilizer and pesticides we add to our lawns. If the fertilizers or pesticides do not have time to soak in or dry up before it rains they will be washed into the nearest storm drain or waterbody. (April 21, 2017)
  • Dispose of your medications properly to prevent them from entering our local waterways. Wastewater treatment plants are not able to remove medications before the water is released to the river. This is a global issue that is not very well understood and is being studied in the Hudson River. (April 17, 2017)
  • In the Great Lakes area where we live we have wonderful ground water sources but out west that is not always the case. No matter what city or town you live in the large amounts of hard surface (pavement, rooftops, etc.) cause large amounts of stormwater to runoff into our local waterways. Thus, it is important to find ways to let more stormwater soak into the ground instead of pushing it downstream. Check out this article from L.A. for more information. (April 14, 2017)
  • The University of Minnesota released a study suggests that household fertilizer use and pet waste are the major sources of nutrients polluting the lakes, streams, and rivers around the Twin Cities in Minnesota. (April 13, 2017)
  • The three major pollutants in our waterways today are sediment (#1 by volume), E.coli/bacteria (#1 in Elkhart County), and nutrients (e.g. fertilizers). These three pollutants and other pollutants fluctuate over time and cause different water quality issues. The USGS just released a study and an interactive map showing water quality trends between 1972 and 2012. Check them out. (April 11, 2017)
  • Hoosier farmers work to improve water quality by restoring marginal farmland to more natural habitats leading to a reduction in nutrients entering waterways. Check out what farmers along the Wabash River are doing but landowners everywhere can do their part as well. (April 5, 2017)
  • Stormwater is an important resource for our local waterways but we need to handle it correctly or it can severely damage those waterways it flows into. (March 28, 2017)
  • Trees are important to our daily lives in many ways from removing CO2 from the air, collecting water when it rains, and cooling the ground. Scientists are calling for more attention to be paid to the impact trees can have on climate change. (March 21, 2017)
  • The Federal Government is looking to spend 1 trillion dollars on infrastructure and EPA Director Scott Pruitt wants the infrastructure plan to include stormwater drains and pipes in addition to sanitary sewer and drinking water infrastructure. (March 7, 2017) 
  • Local communities in Goshen, IN, and Ann Arbor, MI, deal with inadequate drainage by constructing stormwater detention basins. (February 16, 2017)
  • California's drought is being quenched but the greater-than-normal rainfall is causing some major erosion issues. Highways are being washed away and the Oroville Dam north of Sacramento is in danger of failing, causing 188,000 people to evacuate. These are great and scary reminders of the power of water. (February 14, 2017)
  • The most common pieces of trash found on Lake Michigan beaches are cigarette butts, takeout containers, straws, and water bottles. The good news is they are from local sources if we all pitch in to keep trash out of our local waterways we won't have to share our beaches with trash! (February 14, 2017)
  • Stormwater used to be seen as a nuisance but now it is being seen as a resource, which means we need to rethink how we handle stormwater runoff. Instead of piping it to local waterways we need to allow it to soak into the ground. (February 3, 2017)
  • Los Angeles County, California, has captured 22 billion gallons of stormwater this rainy season (since mid-October) and allowed it to soak into the ground. Unfortunately, 58% of California is still experiencing drought conditions. (January 27, 2017)
  • Recent warm weather and decaying plant matter is the source of foam on the St. Joseph River near South Bend. (January 26, 2017)
  • During the winter months, street and highway departments across the nation spread thousands of tons of salt to roadways to keep them ice-free. But all of this salt is harming the environment and communities are beginning to use alternatives to salt. The City of Goshen applies salt, sand, and BOOST. Find out more here. (January 17, 2017)
  • Stormwater can be treated as a resource instead of a nuisance leading to cleaner water. Check out what St. Paul, Minnesota, and communities in California are doing to accomplish this. (January 12, 2017) 
  • Currently stormwater is a major source of water pollution and one way to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff is through smaller and more widespread green infrastructure practices. This raises the question of long-term maintenance and functionality. Chicago is looking into these questions to ensure today's stormwater solutions do not become future stormwater problems. (January 6, 2017)
  • Have you seen the Elkhart County Waters Calendar before? We are looking for pictures for the 2018-2019 Calendar and would love to use one of yours. For more information click here or call the Elkhart County SWCD at 574-533-4383, extension 3. (January 4, 2017)


  • EPA's newest National Lakes Assessment study finds nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) pollution is widespread in our nation's lakes, with 4 in 10 lakes suffering from too much nitrogen and phosphorus. (December 22, 2016)
  • Check out the new page Stormwater Videos for some excellent information. (December 21, 2016)
  • A new study shows that approximately 22 million pounds of plastic enter the Great Lakes every year. To understand this better Lake Michigan receives the equivalent of 100 Olympic-sized pools of plastic bottles every year! (December 21, 2016)
  • The problems facing the Great Lakes of North America and East Africa are facing the same problems. Read more here. (December 13, 2016)
  • A national poll shows bipartisan support for water infrastructure funding bill. Read more about it here. In addition, see the report and article two bullet points below, about the nation's water infrastructure funding needs. (December 7, 2016) 
  • A warming climate has the potential for an increase in extreme rain events says a recent study published in the Nature Climate Change Journal. Here is a similar article showing how heavy downpours are on the rise across the U.S. (December 7, 2016)
  • A recent report details how much investment is needed in Indiana's water infrastructure to ensure it continues to work properly. (December 7, 2016)
  • Water infrastructure in our country is aging and without proper maintenance leaks and breaks will only become worse. When a pipe breaks it can cause sediment, raw sewage, and other pollutants to enter our waterways. To find out more about how approximately 2.1 trillion gallons of water is wasted annually and for what needs to be done to address this problem read this article. (November 29, 2016)
  • The Greater Elkhart County Stormwater Partnership will be hosting introductory meetings of a new way to submit the required inspection reports. Come find out more about PermiTrack and how this online software works either on Thursday, December 1st; Thursday, December 15th; or Wednesday, January 18th, 2017. (November 21, 2016)
  • EPA has finalized modifications to Phase II MS4 regulations. The final rule establishes two alternative ways for NPDES permitting authorities to issue and administer MS4 general permits. Read more here. (November 18, 2016)
  • Are synthetic fleece and other types of clothing harming our water? Read the Washington Post article here. (November 4, 2016)
  • Can Chicago's geology help solve the issue of frequent flooding and sewage discharges in some areas? Read more about it here. FYI - In Chicago, a one-inch rainstorm generates four billion gallons of stormwater runoff! (November 4, 2016)
  • Two Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Reports came out today. An annual report for Indiana's Program and a national report on the work completed under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. (October 28, 2016)
  • EPA launches a new guide for long-term stormwater planning and will work with five pilot communities. For more information click here. (October 27, 2016)
  • Michigan had developed a Water Strategy Plan for how to sustain its many water resources for the next generation. One of these strategies is to reduce the impact of stormwater upon water resources by implementing green infrastructure practices. Check out their website for more information or read the full report. (October 27, 2016)
  • Beyond plastic micro-beads, plastic fibers are now emerging as a pollutant in the Great Lakes. Read more Here. (October 26, 2016)
  • What kind of trash is found in our waterways? Several groups in the Long Creek Watershed in southern Maine participated in a trash cleanup to determine what kinds of trash and how much was picked up. Read more Here. (October 26, 2016)
  • Efforts to keep the invasive Asian Carp fish from entering the Great Lakes Watershed have been completed in Fort Wayne with the construction of a berm and trail at the Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve on the southwest side of Fort Wayne. Read more Here. (October 10, 2016)
  • If you are interested in finding out how trees can help clean up the Great Lakes read about it here or read here for the answer to the question of how much is a tree worth? (September 30, 2016)
  • EPA Awards $4.8 million to Six Universities to Research Water Quality Benefits - Read Here (September 20, 2016)
  • The Great Lakes are holding their heat this September - Read Here (September 20, 2016)
  • A recent study by the USGS shows microplastics were present in water samples taken from a number of rivers that flow into the Great Lakes. For an illustrated look at the study's results click here (September 14, 2016).
  • Poisonous Algae Blooms Threaten People, Ecosystems Across U.S. - Read Here (August 30, 2016)
  • New Dam Pond Board Hears Public Comments About Dredging - Read Here (August 30, 2016)
  • Female scientists to sample plastics in all five Great Lakes - Read Here (August 17, 2016) - "In parts of the Great Lakes, we have a higher density of microplastics than in any of the ocean gyres." - Jennifer Pate, Filmmaker
  • Great lakes water temperatures surging with summer heat - Read Here (August 10, 2016)
  • An Olympic-Sized Problem - Water quality issues and the Rio Olympics - Read Here
  • EPA and the City of Philadelphia partner together to advance innovative urban stormwater control. (EPA or Philadelphia) (July 29, 2016)
  • Find out how much water your daily activities actually uses by checking out the Water Footprint Calculator (English or Spanish) (July 26, 2016)
  • Preparing for a wetter future in the Great Lakes Region - Read Here (July 25, 2016)
    • If you are interested in reading more about this topic take a look at the Extreme Storms in Michigan report by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council
  • South Bend and Mishawaka spend millions of dollars to clean up the St. Joseph River - Read/Watch Here (July 18, 2016)
  • WSBT 22 Fact Finder: Invading the Water - Read/Watch Here (July 18, 2016)
  • St. Joseph County neighborhood calls for County to clean up the Philips Ditch area -  Read/Watch Here (July 18, 2016)Street Sweeping 101 - Learn all about street sweeping Here (July 14, 2016)
  • New York City Begins Building 321 Curbside Rain Gardens - Read Here for more information (June 8, 2016)
  • Storm Drain Art Walk 2016 - Click Here for more information (June 3, 2016).
  • All Great Lakes warmer than last year but not warm enough for swimming - Read Here (May 26, 2016)
  • Goshen Dam Pond dredging could begin by July - Read Here (May 23, 2016)
  • Wetland enhancement in the Midwest could help reduce catastrophic floods of the future - Read Here
    • For information on a wetland restoration project in the St. Joe River Watershed click Here
  • International Efforts to Combat Algal Blooms in Lake Erie - Read Here
    • Here is how you can do to reduce nutrient pollution in stormwater locally.
  • Street Sweepers Keep Stormwater Cleaner - Read Here
  • Lack of ice coverage on Great Lakes raises scientific concerns leading into spring months - Read Here