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Stormwater runoff is rainwater that “runs off” across land instead of seeping into the ground. This runoff usually flows into the nearest stream, creek, river or lake. Stormwater runoff is not treated in any way before it reaches the nearest surface water body.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates stormwater runoff through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES.) The EPA authorized the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to implement the NPDES Stormwater Permitting Program in the state of Texas, making TCEQ responsible for issuing permits and performing compliance and enforcement activities within the state.
The City of McKinney is a part of the Phase II MS4 program. This requires the city to develop a comprehensive stormwater management program that will eliminate illicit discharges to the storm sewer system and reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff.
Learn more about the State of Texas Phase II Program.
Runoff can occur every time it rains. When stormwater runoff enters the storm sewer, it can carry with it a variety of pollutants from the urban environment including petroleum products, pesticides, detergents and other harmful chemicals. This pollution can harm aquatic ecosystems and kill fish, shellfish and vegetation.
Depending on which watershed you are in, stormwater from McKinney’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) discharges into Lake Ray Hubbard or Lake Lavon.
The storm drain inlets in your neighborhood have been marked with a special reminder to everyone that what goes down that inlet will eventually end up in Lake Ray Hubbard or Lake Lavon.
If your neighborhood storm drain inlets have not been marked, please let us know! Email Stormwater Management or call us at 972-547-7579.
Visit the Stormwater page for more information.
The City of McKinney charges a Stormwater Utility Fee to help cover the cost of storm sewer system maintenance. For more information about this fee, visit the Water Billing website, or call 972-547-7550.
The storm sewer system is maintained by the Public Works department. If you are concerned that an inlet in your neighborhood is clogged, please call at 972-547-7360.
When organic materials such as yard trimmings and leaves break down in a lake or stream, the decomposition process uses oxygen from the water. In a natural creek system, the amount of organics introduced into the water is limited to the leaves of plants and trees in the immediate creekside. Due to this limitation, a natural creek can easily balance itself, and the leaves and debris that make it to the creek have a minimal impact on the ecosystem.
In an urban setting, large quantities of organic debris can be flushed through the storm drains and into the creek. These excessive amounts of organic material can easily overwhelm the creek's ability to buffer itself against the depletion of oxygen that occurs when those materials decompose, which can harm or even kill fish and other wildlife that depend on the oxygen in the water for survival.
Additionally, large quantities of yard waste can potentially clog the storm inlet, which could cause flooding in the street or neighborhood. Storm drains are for rainwater only, and should not be used to dispose of anything other than stormwater.
Some older sewer systems use a Combined Sewer System, which blends stormwater runoff with municipal sewage. Stormwater reaching the sewer system flows to a treatment plant and is treated along with sewage. There are serious risks with this system because combined sewers can handle only small rain events. Flash floods, which happen frequently in Texas, can quickly overwhelm this type of system, resulting in sanitary sewer overflows, which are messy, smelly and detrimental to lakes and streams. This can also be a health hazard since untreated sewage can transmit disease.
To prevent this, the City of McKinney, like most cities in North Texas, uses a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System, which separates stormwater from sewage and conveys stormwater runoff directly to creeks and lakes. This type of system vastly cuts down the risk of sanitary sewer overflows and directs stormwater as efficiently as possible out of our streets and away from homes and buildings.
Learn more about separate storm sewer systems and why they are a better solution for stormwater than directing it to a treatment plant
Email [email protected] or call at 972-547-7475
Call Public Works at 972-547-7360 or if the violation appears to be construction-related, contact city Erosion Control Inspectors at 972-547-7484. City Public Works staff and Erosion Control Inspectors will deal with the violation.
Email our Drainage Engineer or call 972-547-7631.