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City of Portage

MISSION Statement

To the City of Portage, protecting its natural treasures is an investment in the health, growth and stability of the community without being a burden on city resources.

The city continuously engages its citizens to address current challenges and develop a future vision for our community - and ultimately ensure the city remains "A Natural Place to Move".





Kalamazoo County has a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Which means wastewater should not come in contact with stormwater

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    Check below to see info!


    Protect Your Stormwater from Pollutants

    A Citizen's Guide to Understanding Stormwater

    Where does stormwater come from and what pollutes it?

    Rain falls and snow melts across hard and impervious surfaces that do not allow water to soak into the ground. The water flows to storm sewers or catch basins which direct it to a natural water body such as a wetland, river, pond or lake. Stormwater carries salts, grass clippings, sediment, fertilizer, oils, pet waste, and other material left on driveways and sidewalks into the catch basins.

    Stormwater is different from the greywater from toilets and sinks which is taken to a treatment plant before discharging into our natural water bodies.


    What else can pollute our rivers?

    Fecal coliform bacteria is a serious concern. People commonly hear about a strain of bacteria called E. coli because it is an indicator of the presence of disease-causing bacteria. E. coli inhabits the digestive system of humans and animals but can also be found in sewage. Unfortunately, every so often, sanitary sewers have been incorrectly connected to storm drains, which then cause sewage to enter our waterways. During major storms, leaks and cracks occur that allow stormwater to flow into our sanitary sewer system that overwhelms the treatment plan causing sewage overflows. Correcting these problems is time-consuming and expensive, but together, our community works actively to restore them.



    Mission Statement

    The Kalamazoo Stormwater Working Group (KSWG) is a collaborative effort of outreach and education for our interconnected Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (or MS4s) in the Kalamazoo County area.

    Rain falls and snow melts across hard and impervious surfaces that do not allow water to soak into the ground.The water flows to storm sewers or catch basins which direct it to a natural surface water body such as a wetland, river, pond or lake. Stormwater runoff carries salts, grass clippings, sediment, fertilizer, oils, pet waste, and other material left on driveways and sidewalks into the catch basins, and unfortunately, they eventually drain to our natural water bodies.

    KSWG partners work together to protect against harmful discharges to the Kalamazoo River and its tributaries. Topic 4: Promote Preferred Cleaning Materials and Procedures for Car, Pavement and Power Washing


    Click the pollutants below For helpful tips and more Information on local disposal.







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