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Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) is a public community college in Kalamazoo established in 1966 and enrolls about 10,000 students. KVCC is committed to preserving our local waterways in our downtown campus with green infrastructure and at the Texas Township campus adjoining the West fork of the Portage Creek.
Road Commission of Kalamazoo
The goal of the Board of County Road Commissioners of the County of Kalamazoo is using our expertise, energy and funds to provide the safest and most convenient road system possible, and to contribute to economic development and high quality of life throughout the county.
Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioners Office
Our Mission is to provide for the health, safety and welfare of Kalamazoo County citizens, the protection of surface waters and the environment, and to promote the long-term environmental sustainability of Kalamazoo County by providing storm water management, flood control, soil erosion controls and education.
City of Portage
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.
City of Kalamazoo
The City's Michigan National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit allows for the non-point source discharges of stormwater to the local surface water bodies. Our goals seek to improve water quality, provide more efficient development guidelines, and to provide controls to minimize localized flooding.
Kalamazoo River Watershed Council
The Kalamazoo River Watershed Council's mission and vision come from a desire to protect, preserve, and promote the Kalamazoo River and its tributaries for current area residents and future generations. To restore and protect the health of the Kalamazoo River, its tributaries, and its watershed by collaborating with the community, government agencies, local officials, and businesses.
Kalamazoo Public Schools
At Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) it is our mission to nurture the dreams of all students and empower all students to contribute to a better world. KPS is a vibrant, progressive district and home to "The Kalamazoo Promise", a unique scholarship that provides up to 100 percent, post-secondary tuition and fee assistance.
Illicit discharge is any discharge (i.e. accidental or intentional spill, release or dumping) into a storm drain system that is not entirely stormwater. It includes chemicals, trash, pet waste, lawn clippings, and even the water used for washing cars.
Illicit discharge often happens when septic tanks leak, household oil and chemicals are disposed of improperly, swimming pool water is not discharged through the sanitary sewer system, waste is dumped illegally, and chemicals spill into storm drains.
Some people think storm drains get filtered, but they don't. They drain right into drainage basins and rivers. Fire fighters use toxic materials, which join runoff water and flow to storm drains. Illicit discharge is not treated for pollutants, so it often contains chemicals, pesticides, animal waste, and other materials that can harm aquatic life and human health. Identification and elimination of illicit discharges is necessary to protect our water resources and prevent water-borne illness.
Illicit discharge is present when you see any of the following conditions:
- Water flowing from storm pipes during dry weather
- Color in waterways
- Water cloudiness
- Floaties in the water such as particles, oil sheen, or suds
- Chemical or septic like odors
- Do your part to prevent untreated runoff-including agricultural runoff-from entering the waterways.
- Properly dispose of household hazardous waste. Never dump items such as motor oil, fuels, paints, cement, cleansers, and pesticides on the ground or down the drain.
- Use environmentally friendly soaps when washing your vehicles.
- Discharge pool water through the sanitary sewer.
- Maintain septic systems in order to prevent leakage.
- Check fuel storage tanks regularly for leaks.
- Properly close abandoned wells.
- Wash cars away from storm drains
- Dispose of pet waste in a toilet or trash can.
- Compost grass clippings and leaves.
- Apply lawn chemicals only as needed. Follow the directions on the container.
- Consider installing a rain barrel at the end of a downspout to reduce the amount of stormwater leaving your property. This will reduce the amount of fertilizer, pesticide, and road salt that ends up in our waterways. This collected rain can help reduce the amount of water you need to purchase from municipal sources for watering gardens and lawns, for filling fountains and extinguishing campfires. Just be sure there is no exposed standing water where mosquitoes can breed.
- Incorporate "green infrastructure" practices such as pervious pavers, bioswales, and landscaping with plants native to the area.
- When you notice a strong chemical odor near a stormwater inlet or outfall, when you see someone dumping suspicious substances into drains or into a body of water, when you see sewage on the ground surface, call the Kalamazoo County's 24-hour water pollution hotline, 269-381-3171. Be prepared to give the location of the complaint, the source of the pollution if known, and the responsible party if known.
There's so much mort to learn! Please visit the websites of all our KSWG partner's on this page above!
Illicit Discharge Brochure (to print) https://protectyourwater.net/files/2019/09/kalamazoo-illicit-discharge-brochure.pdf
Kalamazoo County Household Hazardous Waste https://www.kalcounty.com/hcs/eh/hhw/
Red Med Boxes http://redmedboxes.com/
Miss DIG https://www.missdig.org/
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:
Kalamazoo River Corridor
Davis Creek/Olmstead Drain
As well as discharges to the St. Joseph River:
And the Paw Paw River.
Improving the quality of our local natural water bodies that citizens recreate in and enjoy for their beauty, habitats, wildlife and plant life is our goal. The water quality within the county's water resources affect the natural water bodies downstream as well. These are just a few: Austin Lake, Duck Lake, Gull Lake, Lake Allegan, Nottawa Creek, Asylum lake, Woods lake, David Creek, Morrow Lake, Twins lake, Atwater Millpond, Paw Paw Lake, Eagle Lake, Crooked Lake, and Indian Lake.
Only with everyone's collaboration can we achieve KSWG's goals! So please use our links above to join us in our efforts to be stewards of our natural surface water resources by preventing harmful discharges to our municipal stormwater drainage systems.