Stormwater Management

What is Stormwater?

Storm water runoff is precipitation that falls onto impervious (non-absorbent) surfaces such as roadways, driveways, parking lots and rooftops. Instead of being absorbed into the ground, the precipitation moves over these surfaces and makes its way into the drainage system and eventually into the nearest water source.

Water Droplet

Watch H2O Video

Take a trip down the storm drain with our water mascots!
Learn what pollutes our water and how to keep it clean.

Why does Stormwater matter?

Stormwater House Picture

As storm water travels over non-absorbent surfaces, it accumulates particles, sediment, chemicals, trash, pet waste and whatever else it encounters. (Think: soapy water, motor oil, grease, household cleaning agents, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, vehicle fluids). Storm water carries these materials with it through the storm drain, to the nearest water source, untreated. In Steamboat Springs, storm water and its material residue ends up in the Yampa River.

According the Upper Yampa River Watershed Group’s State of the Watershed Report, the Upper Yampa watershed’s water quality is relatively high. Our community would like to keep it that way. Minimizing the pollutants that enter our storm water system will contribute to keeping the Yampa River healthy and ensuring that it continues to be a leading economic driver for Steamboat Springs and surrounding communities. We all enjoy fishing, rafting, tubing, swimming and other activities associated with the Yampa River and our local economy benefits from these activities.

What role does the City of Steamboat Springs play in storm water management?

Storm water is frequently transported through a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). The runoff is discharged, untreated, into local water bodies. To prevent harmful pollutants from being washed or dumped into an MS4, operators must obtain a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) permit, commonly known as an MS4 permit (PDF), and develop a storm water management program.

What you can do to prevent stormwater pollution.

Anything that enters the drainage system (storm drains you see on sidewalks and curbs) will travel to the nearest water source (the Yampa River). Follow these links below for more information on how to better protect our streams while complying with Federal, State, and local water quality regulations.

  1. Homeowners (PDF)
  2. Restaurants (PDF)(English Version) (PDF) (Spanish Version) (PDF)
  3. Power Washing (PDF)
  4. Gas Stations/Services Stations (PDF)
  5. Carpet Cleaning (PDF)
  6. Illicit Discharge Ordinance
  7. Pet Waste (PDF)
  8. Ski Tuning (PDF)
  9. Nutrients (PDF)
  10. Construction 
  11. Post-Construction Stormwater BMP Field Guid (PDF)

How to Report Pollution.
Report all Emergency Spills to Routt County Dispatch by calling 911.

Or, access the Stormwater communication form below to ask questions, file complaints, report violations/illicit discharge, or submit comments.

Stormwater Communication Form

CallSend SMSCall from mobileAdd to SkypeYou'll need Skype CreditFree via Skype

MS4 Stormwater Program Description

Stormwater Master Plan and Attachments, Stormwater Task Force and Existing Master Plans

Final Stormwater Master Plan and Attachments

Stormwater Task Force

The city established a Stormwater Task Force from the applications that were received. The Stormwater Task Force meetings began March 26 and ended October 2013.

Existing Master Plans
Old Town Drainage Study and Floodplain Master Plan (PDF)

Upper Yampa Watershed Plan
Upper Yampa Watershed Plan - May 2016 (PDF)