Hopkinsville Surface & Stormwater Utility

Stormwater Management

Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that does not soak into the ground. Instead, it flows from rooftops, across paved areas, and through sloped lawns. As storm water moves across these surfaces, it can pick up and carry along pollutants such as yard and pet waste, sediment, chemicals, oil, grease, and other possible contaminants. This water enters our community storm drains and flows directly, untreated, to Sanderson Creek, Blue Creek, or the Little River.

The City of Hopkinsville's Stormwater Management Program is committed to the preservation and enhancement of citizens' quality of life through water quality improvement, drainage infrastructure management, flood hazard minimization, and public awareness. An important part of storm water management is to safeguard public health and protect the environment through the implementation of the U.S. EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase II Program.

Mandated by Congress under the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II is a national program for addressing sources of stormwater discharges which adversely affect the quality of our nation's waters. By complying with the new federal regulations, the quality of our environment will be improved by reducing pollution to area's rivers, streams, and lakes. The NPDES Phase II program requires the implementation of six minimum control measures (MCM) designed to prevent harmful pollutants from being washed by stormwater runoff into local water bodies.

NPDES Phase II Minimum Control Measures (MCM) in Hopkinsville

Drain Marker Small

MCM 1: Public Education and Outreach

The first of six minimum control measures (MCM) required by the EPA, public education of stormwater runoff has been implemented in Hopkinsville since 2003. The City of Hopkinsville has been actively educating its citizens about stormwater runoff and pollution through a variety of ways including brochures, classes for children, ads on City TV, and through labeling storm drains within the city with this colorful marker. Look for this marker as you walk or drive in Hopkinsville...its message is clear!

Brochures and Flyers



           Erosion Prevention                       Illicit Discharge                       Stormwater Flyer
           and Sediment Control

Activities for Kids

            Activity Place Mat                        Activity Book            Healthy Stream Crossword

                                                         Information for Adults


                           Stormwater Ads on                                Rain Barrels
local Channel 12                             (Facts & Instructions)

Labeling along Main Street

MCM 2: Public Participation and Involvement

Volunteer today! Your group can help inform the citizens and visitors to Hopkinsville that the storm drains they see are not connected to a water treatment facility. In addition to labeling storm drains, there are also opportunities for picking up curbside trash, checking storm drains for maintenance needs, and also distributing informative flyers to local residences and businesses. If your group would like to participate, please contact John Rittenhouse, Stormwater Phase II Coordinator, at (270) 887-4035.

 Illicit Discharge
MCM 3: Illicit Discharge

An illicit discharge is defined in the federal regulations as: 

...any discharge to a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) that is not composed entirely of storm water..."

 Examples of Illicit Discharges:

  • Dumping anything except rainwater into a storm drain
  • Outdoor washing activities that create flow to a storm drain
  • Non-target irrigation from landscaping or lawns that reaches the storm drain system
  • Spills that enter the storm drain system
  • Industrial and commercial connections to the storm drain system

Motor oil in storm drain  

Did you know that one quart of motor oil can pollute over 1 million gallons of water? 

Through ordinances and code enforcement, the City of Hopkinsville aims to eliminate illicit discharges into our storm drain system and thus reduce adverse impacts to our water quality. For example, City Ordinance 51.77 prohibits the construction of any connection to and the introduction of fill or debris into any part of our storm drain system. Hopkinsville's newly adopted Ordinance 36-2007 further defines measures to prevent, detect, and eliminate illicit discharges. Ordinance 42-2007 lists the possible penalties for illicit discharge violations, currently $150.00 - $500.00 per day of offense plus recoverable costs.

Construction Site Runoff
MCM 4: Construction Site Runoff Control

Uncontrolled runoff from construction sites has a large, detrimental effect on our streams and rivers. To address this problem and comply with federal regulations, the City of Hopkinsville adopted the Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control (EPSC) Ordinance 37-2007 which describes sediment control measures for construction sites in Hopkinsville disturbing an area 2000 square feet or more. This ordinance uses technical guidelines in the most recent version of the Kentucky Best Management Practice Manual.  Another useful resource for Best Management Practices is the Kentucky Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Field Guide, available on the Kentucky Division of Conservation website. Contractors are required to have their own qualified EPSC inspector on-staff. Please see the KEPSC website for more information.


Retention Pond

MCM 5: Post-Construction Runoff Control

With new development comes more impervious surfaces (e.g. parking lots, driveways, and rooftops), and significant measures must be implemented to protect receiving waterbodies from an increase in type and quantity of pollutants in stormwater runoff. In Hopkinsville, City Ordinance 155 describes what is required by developers for stormwater management and control. Additionally, developers can view Storm Water Management Technical Guidelines to ensure sufficient and durable storm water runoff controls. In the near future, Best Management Practices and responsibilities for stormwater runoff control after construction is completed will be adopted.

If you are experiencing any drainage issues, you can report the drainage problem by contacting the Hopkinsville Surface and Storm Water Utility at (270) 887-4035.