Water Pollution Control

Hurricane Watershed

A watershed is an area that drains naturally into downhill streams and rivers. Our urban watershed includes Mill Creek and Cow Creek, as well as smaller streams in and around the city that flow into Hurricane Creek.

For more information about the Hurricane/Teays Valley Storm Water Drainage Basin area, call (304) 562-5896.

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Water Pollution Questions & Answers


What happens when it rains?

Rainwater runs across parking lots, roofs, streets, etc., and collects in the City’s storm sewers. Most of this water then travels directly into the rivers and streams. Occasionally, excess rainwater overwhelms the storm sewers, or these facilities fail to function as designed. The water then floods into homes, businesses, and streets. In some locations, rainwater may overflow out of the storm sewer system and into an adjacent sanitary sewer system. These excess flows may then be discharged directly into the watershed.

What are we required to do with the water pollution control?

The Federal EPA has designated Hurricane as a “Small MS4” water pollution control community. This means that the City must actively manage water pollution control to the new EPA and West Virginia DEP standards. Hurricane is subject to significant penalties for failure to comply with the Federal requirements.

What are the benefits of water pollution control management?

By enacting water pollution control management, the City will comply with Federal requirements. This also means improvement of the water quality in our local watershed. Other benefits may include flood control, a significant reduction in pollution caused by surcharged sanitary sewers, and expansion of our water pollution control collection system.

Isn’t this service paid for out of my taxes?

Until now, storm drain maintenance has been funded out of the City’s general revenue fund. Compliance with the new Federal standards will require considerable additional funding to establish a management program to educate the public, to establish controls for construction site runoff and post-construction water pollution control management, to detect illicit discharge and elimination, and to carry out good housekeeping practices for municipal operations. Without additional efforts toward water pollution control management, urban development in and around Hurricane will degrade the quality of our water, thus the quality of life. Therefore, the City Council has established a reliable and fair system to collect dedicated revenue for water pollution control management.

What is a fair way to find the required water pollution control management activities?

In accordance with West Virginia law 16-13-22, all properties discharging water into the City watershed are required to participate in the water pollution control utility, regardless of whether the property is within or outside the City limits. In other words, a service fee is charged based upon the amount of water pollution control that runs off a property and into our watershed.

Water pollution control and me: What can I do?

Water pollution control runoff involves water not absorbed by the ground when it rains. Some of the most common household activities can have an unhealthy impact on our water quality, from washing the car to killing weeds. Each time it rains, water not absorbed by the ground, carries pollutants into our waters.