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RAILROAD CROSSING CLOSURE: INDIANA AVENUE

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Railroad crossing at Indiana Avenue (CR 21) is closed until Saturday, Aug. 24, as Norfolk Southern works on repairs to the crossing. more

AUGUST BRUSH COLLECTION

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The August brush pickup will begin on Monday, August 26. During scheduled brush collections, the Street Department will make only one pass through the city to pick up brush. Residents are asked to have their brush by the front curb, but not in the street, by that first day in the morning at 7 a.m.... more

GROWING GOSHEN TOGETHER FALL SERIES ANNOUNCED

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Following a successful pilot community conversation in the spring, the Goshen Community Relations Commission (CRC) and Goshen Community Schools (GCS) will embark on a series of events in the next several months that will encourage discourse around topics that uniquely affect Goshen’s residents. A... more

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Stormwater Management

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Indiana Bridge over the Elkhart River

Welcome to the Goshen Department of Stormwater Management

Stormwater flowing down the drain.

(Picture Caption:  Stormwater flowing down the 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 into 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

  • New research from scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey has shown the flow between various stages of the water cycle has increased in some areas and decreased in others, which means some areas could experience more floods and other areas more droughts. Check it out. (July 26, 2019)
  • Check out this study conducted by the Green Infrastructure Center and the state forestry agencies in six states to study how urban trees can be used to reduce harmful stormwater runoff. (July 26, 2019)
  • Stormwater regulations can vary from municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) to MS4 across the State of Indiana and the United States. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has set the minimum requirements with "Rule 5" (327 IAC 15-5) and MS4s have the ability to follow those requirements are to enact stricter requirements through "Rule 13" (IAC 15-13). However, this can create a patchwork of regulations that is frustrating to development. However, it is also important to protect water quality from stormwater pollution from construction projects. Thus, there is currently proposed legislation in the Indiana Legislator (House Bill (HB) 1266) that would restrict how stormwater regulations can be implemented statewide. Check out this Indy Star article on why HB 1266 would be harmful to Indiana waterways. (February 14, 2019)
  • The Clean Water Act (CWA) has a new addition in the form of the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R. 7279). This legislation "is a major improvement over the CWA status quo" and "marks one of the most significant substantive changes to the CWA in decades", according to the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA). Local governments will now have more flexibilities in how they use integrated planning strategies, in how they prioritize and sequence wastewater and stormwater compliance obligations, and how they incorporate the use of water reuse, water recycling, and green infrastructure into their projects. Finally, it directs the EPA to support the use of green infrastructure in permits, consent decrees, and settlement agreements. The EPA will also provide guidance to government and tribal entities and the general public. For more detailed information from NACWA click here. (January 18, 2019)
  • 2018 was one of the wettest years on record with five (5) 1-in-1000-year rain events and over 25 cities in the Midwestern and Eastern U.S. setting new rainfall records. For more information check out this recent blog post by StormSensor and watch this short video (January 15, 2019): 
  • Check out two media stories covering the 2019 Storm Drain Art Project for the Cities of Goshen and Elkhart: WNDU-TV, Channel 16 News and 88.1 WVPE, local NPR radio station. (January 4, 2019)
  • Storm Drain Art Project 2019 – Call for Artists – The City of Goshen is pleased to announce the return of a popular street art project to our community. Storm Drain Art helps to raise awareness that our local waters need to be protected from the pollutants that flow into storm drains with stormwater runoff. This year, each storm drain art mural will be created with the following theme in mind: “Our rivers are a resource worth protecting.” The City of Goshen is seeking interested artists to participate in this project and more information and submission rules can be found at StormDrainArt.org. We are excited to see what our community can create! (January 2, 2019)
  • Today is World Soil Day, as the United Nations has declared every December 5th to be. This year’s theme is “Be the Solution to Soil Pollution” and these days pollution of all kinds is a worry and soil is also affected. Soil pollution is a hidden danger that lurks beneath our feet and everyone, everywhere, is affected. The soil has the ability to filter and minimize the impacts of pollutants but only to a point. Therefore, each of us must do our part to keep pollutants out of our soils, waters, and air. Be the Solution to Soil Pollution! (December 5, 2018) 
  • Goshen High School has been named one of Indiana's five state finalists for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest with a project focusing on the development of a polyacrylamides (PAMs) passive treatment deployment system to help reduce the amount of sediment that could come from construction site runoff. (November 30, 2018)
  • We live in the Great Lakes Watershed and have access to the largest source of freshwater in the world but there is a danger out there that could impact the quality of our freshwater if proper management measures are not used. This danger is road salt (sodium chloride) used to maintain safe driving conditions during the winter. However, if the road salt is not properly applied then it can impact drinking water quality and aquatic habitats for animals and plants. Thus, a new guidance document has been issued by the Ontario Good Roads Association and Conservation Ontario to help people find a balance between safety, property, and the environment. (November 21, 2018) 

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

Stormwater Toolbox Newsletter

August 2019: In this month's Newsletter read about why it is important for City employees (anyone actually) to do routine inspections of areas and equipment exposed to stormwater to help reduce stormwater pollution and about the growing threat of urban flooding outside of the typical flood risk areas. 

July 2019: In this month's Newsletter read about how Indiana’s stormwater regulations have only changed once since August 2003 and yet they are a way to keep America the Beautiful, beautiful. Learn about the beautiful and beastly sides of fireworks. Lastly, read about the 11 times the Elkhart River has reached minor flood stage since October 2007, and how you can use a free, online tool called My RainReady, to help determine the potential flooding risks for your property.

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 - To be Announced at the Elkhart County Public Services Building (4230 Elkhart Road, Goshen, IN 46526) 
  • Partnership Stormwater Board Meeting - Monday, August 26th, at 9:00 am at the County Administration Building (117 N. Second Street, Goshen, IN 46526) 

Ordinances