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(A) Prohibited discharges.
(1) Sanitary sewer. No clear water from any roof, surface, groundwater, sump pump, footing tile, swimming pool, or other buildings or structures which require, because of infiltration of water into basements, crawl spaces, and the like, a sump pump discharge system shall have a permanently installed discharge line which shall not at any time discharge water into the sanitary sewer system. No person shall discharge, or cause to be discharged, hazardous substances to any public sewers.
(2) Storm drain system.
(a) No person shall throw, drain, or otherwise discharge, cause, or allow others under its control to throw, drain, or otherwise discharge into the storm drain system any pollutants or waters containing any pollutants, other than storm water.
(b) The following discharges are exempt from discharge prohibitions established by this article:
1. Water line flushing, landscape irrigation, diverted stream flows, rising ground waters, uncontaminated ground water infiltration, uncontaminated pumped ground water, discharges from potable water sources, foundation drains, air conditioning condensation, irrigation water, springs, water from crawl space pumps, footing drains, lawn watering, individual residential car washing, flows from riparian habitats and wetlands, dechlorinated swimming pool discharges, and street wash water;
2. Discharges or flow from firefighting, and other discharges, authorized by the city in writing, that are necessary to protect public health and safety;
3. Discharges associated with dye testing; however, this activity requires verbal notification to the city prior to the time of the test;
4. The prohibition shall not apply to any non-storm-water discharge permitted under an NPDES permit, waiver, or waste discharge order issued to the discharger and administered under the authority of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, provided that the discharger is in full compliance with all requirements of the permit, waiver, or order and other applicable laws and regulations, and further provided that written approval has been granted for any discharges to the storm drain system.
(B) Illicit connections.
(1) The construction, use, maintenance or continued existence of illicit connections to the storm drain system is prohibited.
(2) This prohibition expressly includes, without limitation, illicit connections made in the past, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under the law or practices applicable or prevailing at the time of the connection.
(3) A person is considered to be in violation of this chapter if the person connects a line conveying sewage to the storm drain system, or allows that connection to continue.
(4) Improper connections in violation of this article must be disconnected and redirected, if necessary, to an approved onsite wastewater management system or the sanitary sewer system upon approval of the city.
(5) Any drain or conveyance that has not been documented in plans, maps or equivalent, and which may be connected to the storm sewer system, shall be located by the owner or occupant of that property, upon receipt of written notice of violation from the city requiring that such locating be completed. The notice will specify a reasonable time period within which the location of the drain or conveyance is to be determined, that the drain or conveyance be identified as storm sewer, sanitary sewer or other, and that the outfall location or point of connection to the storm sewer system, sanitary sewer system or other discharge point be identified. Results of these investigations are to be documented and provided to the city.
(1) Before August 1, 2004, any person having a yard drain, roof surface, tile, or swimming pool now connected and/or discharging into the sanitary sewer system shall be disconnected or removed. Any disconnections or openings in the sanitary sewer system shall be closed or repaired in an effective, workmanlike manner, as approved by the Public Works Director or his or her designated agent.
(2) Sump pumps shall not be connected to the sanitary sewer. Prior to the closing of the sale of a dwelling, the seller must request that the sump pumps and drain tiles be inspected by the city visually and/or by smoking, to ensure that they are not connected in any manner to the sanitary sewer system. If the city determines that the sump pump or drain tile is illegally connected to the sanitary sewer system, the situation must be corrected before the unit is considered in compliance to be sold.
(D) Manner of disconnection.
(1) The disconnection shall be accomplished by a complete and permanent method and performed in a competent manner. Any disconnection, plugging, capping, rerouting, altering, or modifying must be done in accordance with all applicable state and city building codes.
(2) A permanent installation shall be one which provides for year-round discharge capability to either the outside of the dwelling, building, or structure, or is connected to city storm sewer or discharge through the curb and gutter to the street. It shall consist of a rigid discharge line, without valving or quick connections for altering the path of discharge, and if connected to the city storm sewer line, shall include a check valve and air gap located in a small diameter structure.
(E) Industrial or construction activity discharges.
(1) Any person subject to an industrial or construction activity NPDES storm water discharge permit shall comply with all provisions of such permit. Proof of compliance with the permit may be required in a form acceptable to the city prior to the allowing of discharges to the MS4.
(2) The operator of a facility, including construction sites, required to have an NPDES permit to discharge storm water associated with industrial activity shall submit a copy of the notice of intent (NOI) to the city at the same time the operator submits the original notice of intent to the Environmental Protection Agency as applicable.
(3) The copy of the notice of intent may be delivered to the city, either in person or by mailing it to:
Notice of Intent to Discharge Storm Water
City of Columbia Heights
590 40th Avenue NE
Columbia Heights, MN 55421
(4) A person commits an offense if the person operates a facility that is discharging storm water associated with industrial activity, without having submitted a copy of the notice of intent to do so to the city.
(F) Salt storage at commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities.
(1) Indoor operations for the storage of deicing materials must be provided whenever possible in order to prevent such material from being affected by rain, snow, or melt water.
(2) All salt, sand, and other deicing materials stored outdoors must be covered at all times. When not using a permanent roof, a waterproof impermeable, flexible cover must be placed over all storage piles. The cover must prevent runoff and leachate from being generated by the outdoor storage piles. The cover must be secured to prevent removal by wind or other storm events. Piles must be formed in a conical shape and covered as necessary to prevent leaching.
(3) Facility siting.
(a) The facility must be in close proximity to the area in which the deicing materials are to be used, if practical.
(b) Each facility must be located outside of floodplains and follow the Shoreline Ordinance for specified [distances] from lakes, rivers, streams, ditches, storm drains, manholes, catch basins, wetlands, and any other areas likely to absorb runoff. A facility must not be located in close proximity to surface water features, water supplies, wells or drywells.
(c) A facility must be located on impermeable surfaces.
(d) The property’s slope must be away from the facility’s salt, deicer, and sand storage area.
(e) Salt vulnerable natural areas should be avoided as storage facilities to the extent possible. Where they cannot be avoided, specific measures should be instituted to protect vulnerable areas. Salt vulnerable areas include, but are not limited to:
1. Areas with salt sensitive vegetation.
2. Areas serving as a source of drinking water (surface water and groundwater).
3. Areas with bodies of water with low dilution, low volume, or salt sensitive species.
4. Areas associated with groundwater recharge zones or shallow water table, with medium to high permeable soils.
(4) Snow piles. Snow piles must be located downslope from salt and deicer storage areas to prevent the snow melt from flowing through storage areas and carrying material to the nearest drainage system or waterway.
(5) Transfer of materials. Practices must be implemented in order to reduce exposure (e.g., sweeping, diversions, and/or containment) when transferring salt or other deicing material.
(G) Watercourse protection. Every person owning or occupying premises through which a watercourse passes, shall keep and maintain that part of the watercourse within the premises free of trash, debris, excessive vegetation, and other obstacles that would pollute, contaminate, or significantly retard the flow of water through the watercourse. In addition, the owner or occupant shall maintain existing privately owned structures within or adjacent to a watercourse so that they will not become a hazard to the use, function, or physical integrity of the watercourse.
(G) Notification of spills.
(1) Notwithstanding other requirements of law, as soon as any person responsible for a facility or operation, or responsible for emergency response for a facility or operation, has information of any known or suspected release of materials resulting in, or that may result in, illegal discharges or pollutants discharging into storm water, the storm drain system, or waters of the state, that person shall take all necessary steps to ensure the discovery, containment, and cleanup of that release. In the event of the release of hazardous materials, that person must immediately notify emergency response agencies of the occurrence via emergency dispatch services. In the event of a release of nonhazardous materials, that person shall notify the city no later than the next business day. Notifications in person or by phone shall be confirmed by written notice addressed and mailed to the city within three business days of the personal or phone notice. If the discharge of prohibited materials originates from an industrial establishment, the owner or operator of the establishment shall also retain an on-site written record of the discharge and the actions taken to prevent its recurrence. These records must be retained for at least four years.
(Ord. 1472, passed 7-12-04; Am. Ord. 1618, passed 2-9-15; Am. Ord. 1674, passed 4-25-22)