Storm Water Service

SD1 manages storm water runoff to protect property, public health and the environment in Northern Kentucky. We take a regional approach to storm water because creeks and rivers don’t start and stop in just one city or county. 

Storm water runoff occurs when rain or snowmelt can’t soak into the ground due to impervious surfaces, including roofs, driveways and parking lots.  Instead, unmanaged runoff flows over the land, picking up pollutants and increasing the risk of flooding and erosion. 

Your home uses rain gutters and downspouts to move storm water runoff away from your property. From there, this water ultimately flows to a creek or river. On its way, features like ditches, catch basins and culverts help control the runoff. This helps reduce the risk of flooding, erosion and pollution that can harm property, public health and the environment.

Two types of systems make up the public sewer network. 

Every day, Northern Kentucky residents rely on two different systems to safely carry storm water away from homes, businesses and roads to local creeks and rivers.

Combined sewer systems carry wastewater and storm water runoff in the same pipes. During dry weather, the pipes in this system carry mostly wastewater from homes and businesses and deliver it to a treatment plant for cleaning.

In the separate sewer system, storm sewer pipes carry runoff from rain water and snowmelt to the nearest body of water. At the same time, a different set of sanitary pipes carry sewage to a wastewater treatment plant.
The separate sewer system includes pipes and other storm drainage features, including roadside ditches and detention basins. SD1 maintains much of this infrastructure, but cities, counties and private property owners share responsibility for maintaining parts of the system.

Flood stations pump river water away from communities when river levels rise. 

When river levels rise due to heavy rains, SD1’s flood pump stations go into action. They force water out of the pipes and pump flood water out of our communities. Flood stations are activated at varying Ohio River flood stages. 

Federal laws require SD1 to manage runoff to improve water quality. 

When storm water flows over the ground and other hard surfaces, it picks up pollutants like litter, oil, pet waste and chemicals from fertilizers and pesticides. When the runoff flows to the separate storm sewer system, the polluted water is released directly into the nearest creek or river. These pollutants affect the quality of the water we use for drinking water and recreation, in turn threatening public health and harming aquatic life. 

SD1’s regional storm water management program includes six minimum control measures that help us comply with the federal Clean Water Act: 
  • Public Education
  • Community Involvement
  • Illicit Discharge Program
  • Regulation of Construction Sites
  • Regulation of Developed Sites
  • Pollution Prevention
Learn more about storm water regulations and the minimum control measures.
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