Regional Storm Water Management

SD1 manages storm water runoff for more than 30 cities and counties in Northern Kentucky through interlocal agreements. This regional approach allows SD1 to more effectively and efficiently address flooding, erosion and pollution issues and meet federal clean water regulations.

SD1’s storm water management program focuses on controlling how storm water runoff moves across Northern Kentucky. When not properly controlled, storm water runoff can damage property, threaten public health and harm wildlife.

SD1’s infrastructure prevents property damage.

A lot of fast-moving water has the power to shape anything it touches. Roofs, roads and sidewalks are all hard surfaces that increase how fast storm water moves, potentially leading to more erosion or flooding that can damage homes and property or make travel difficult. SD1’s storm water pipes and related infrastructure carry runoff away from buildings and roads to nearby streams.

Storm water infrastructure includes more than just underground pipes. Northern Kentucky also relies on detention basins, swales, rain gardens and more to keep storm water under control. While SD1 owns and maintains some of these structures, many of them are the responsibility of private property owners, homeowners associations or cities and counties. Because of this, everyone plays a role in preventing flooding and other storm water issues.

SD1’s programs protect public health and the environment.

Anything that enters a storm water pipe ultimately goes to a river or creek that you rely on for drinking water or recreation. SD1 regulates what goes down storm pipes to keep pollution out of your rivers and creeks, making it safe to fish, boat and otherwise recreate on Northern Kentucky’s waterways. Pollution prevention also helps wildlife thrive.

You can help SD1 prevent pollution by reporting illicit discharges as soon as possible. Call SD1's main office at 859-578-7450 if you notice liquid flowing from pipes during dry weather, foam appearing in waterways, discolored water or unusual odors near a storm water pipe. 

SD1 partners with cities and counties to meet regulatory requirements.

Federal storm water regulations require individual cities and counties in Northern Kentucky to comply with six types of activities, called “minimum control measures” (MCMs). These activities include the following:
  • Public Outreach and Education (MCM1)
  • Public Participation (MCM2)
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (MCM3)
  • Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control (MCM4)
  • Post-Construction Storm Water Management in New Development and Redevelopment (MCM5)
  • Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations (MCM6)
Rather than take on each of these as individual cities and counties, most Northern Kentucky cities and counties rely on SD1 to manage these regulations on their behalf, with help from local city and county leadership. As a result, state and federal regulators have issued one permit to SD1, with over 30 Northern Kentucky cities and counties listed as co-permittees. Each entity’s roles and responsibilities are further defined in Northern Kentucky’s Storm Quality Water Management Plan, which outlines how Northern Kentucky will comply with storm water regulations.

Get involved.

  • Residents
    • Consider using storm water best management practices (BMPs) on your property. Storm water BMPs are cost-effective ways to manage the quantity and improve the quality of storm water runoff. They can also help beautify urban areas and provide habitat for wildlife.
    • Join SD1's Storm Water Advisory Committee (SWAC). This committee of Northern Kentucky community members and stakeholders meets at least once a year to discuss the latest issues and provide feedback on SD1’s efforts to manage infrastructure and comply with storm water regulations. If you are interested in joining this committee, complete and submit a SWAC member application.
    • Report illicit discharges by calling SD1's main office at 859-578-7450.
  • Developers and engineers
  • Co-permittees, cities and counties
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