Program Description

The Jefferson County Storm Water program is under the division of Engineering, Planning, & Permitting of the Development Services and is responsible for addressing pollution that enters the County’s municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4), thereby improving water quality in the waterways of Jefferson County. To maximize the program’s efficiency, the Storm Water program utilizes a broad approach which includes interdepartmental collaboration to ensure Jefferson County is meeting federal and state regulations in order to reduce the amount of stormwater pollution flowing into and through local rivers, creeks, lakes and streams.

The Storm Water Fee

The Phase 1 NPDES MS4 program is mandated by federal law but is not funded by the federal government. The Alabama Legislature passed AL 95-775 so a fee can be collected to finance storm water programs. For unincorporated Jefferson County, the program is financed through a fee that is assessed on property parcels. The storm water fee appears on the yearly property tax bill. In 2014, the original Act AL 95-755 was amended in a legislative session that revised the structure of the Storm water fee.

Jefferson County Clean Water Awareness Campaign

The Clean Water Awareness Campaign was implemented to inform and educate the public, as well as affect behavioral change in order to reduce polluted stormwater runoff caused by vehicle fluids, yard chemicals, pet waste, and litter. The campaign consists of a collaborative network of agencies and organizations whose missions intersect with stormwater pollution prevention in some manner. A series of posters was created to deliver stormwater pollution prevention information in a highly visual manner in order to attract attention while overcoming language barriers. Each poster utilizes catchy headlines and taglines to further engage the public. The posters juxtapose potential stormwater pollution problems with practical solutions that focus on the benefits they bring to residents. An e-newsletter was launched to provide a cost effective way to support the posters and relate components of the Clean Water Awareness Campaign. The e-newsletter content expands upon the poster topics and provides links to resources that can assist positive behavioral change.