4800 West 92nd Avenue Westminster, CO 80031

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Stormwater Protection

Understanding Stormwater

Every gutter in your neighborhood drains through to an inlet then into the storm sewer system that then empties to streams, ditches, lakes and ponds in your neighborhood. These water bodies are drinking water supplies, recreational areas and the homes of wildlife.

If you live north of 92nd Avenue, all water accumulated from gutters ultimately flows into Big Dry Creek. If you live south of 92nd Avenue, all water accumulated from gutters ultimately flows into Little Dry Creek.

Westminster has identified six items that impact surface water quality: trash, total suspended solids, flow volume, nutrients, fertilizers and pesticides.

  • Trash.
  • Total Suspended Solids - TSS includes all solids present in a water sample including metals, minerals and sediment.
  • Flow volume - Increased volume erodes a waterway's habitat.
  • Nutrients - The term "nutrients" encompasses many elements found to be essential to our environment. When looking at water quality, there are two main nutrients that in large quantities are pollutants. These two nutrients are nitrogen and phosphorus. Nitrogen and phosphorus increase the growth of algae in waterways, decreasing the amount of oxygen in the water. These two nutrients may also release ammonia-ammonia is toxic to fish and other aquatic life.
  • Fertilizers - Fertilizers often contain nitrogen and phosphorus (the nutrients most often found to be pollutants to surface water bodies). 
  • Pesticides - Pesticides that enter surface waterbodies ultimately impact the environment by killing beneficial insects and small animals like frogs and minnows that are essential to an effective ecosystem.

Simple Things You Can Do To Help Increase the Quality of Water in Westminster:

  • Wash your car at a commercial car wash.
  • Pick up pet waste.
  • Decrease the amount of bare area in your yard by planting native plants.
  • Store products in their originally labeled containers.
  • Keep your vehicle well maintained to stop leaks before they happen.
  • Use kitty liter, sawdust, or dirt to soak up a spill and put it in the trash. DO NOT wash the spill to the gutter.
  • Raise your lawn mower's blade to the highest level to provide shade to your grasses roots and lower the amount of water required.
  • Avoid over-watering your grass.
  • Use alternatives to pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Properly dispose of your household hazardous waste (for more information call 303-706-3362, or visit the Household Hazardous Waste Section).
  • After household painting projects, wash brushes and equipment in your sink or shower-do not wash to the gutter.

Report an Illegal Dumping or Discharge to the Stormsewer

While businesses may have permission from the State of Colorado to discharge into state waters, no business has permission to discharge to the storm sewer conveyance system without prior approval through the city.

If you witness an illegal dumping and it is currently taking place, please call 911.  If you have questions about permission to discharge, contact Nick Butel, 303-658-2183 or nbutel@cityofwestminster.us.  All requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

In Westminster, nothing can enter the stormsewer system (gutters and surface water bodies) except for non-chlorinated water and weather related run-off.  The City owns all of the storm sewer conveyance system and is responsible for anything that enters it.  As a result, the following sections of Westminster's Municipal Code restricts discharges and dumping and any one of these Code sections can be cited in order to cease such activity:

Westminster Municipal Code Title VIII, Chapter 11 (Stormwater Quality) allows Westminster to cite all illegal dumping and discharges to the storm sewer as a public nuisance and unlawful. 

Westminster Municipal Code Title VI, Chapter 10 (Trains; Abandoned Containers; Junk; Litter) allows Westminster to cite through the Police Department's littering provisions.

In addition to attorney’s fees and court costs fines for stormwater violations carry a $1,000 per violation per day penalty. Additional remedies include injunctive relief and criminal prosecution; see Westminster Municipal Code Title VIII, Chapter 11, section 11 for more detailed information.

Stormwater Utility Fee

As a result of federal Clean Water Act restrictions, the City of Westminster has created a stormwater utility fee to cover costs associated with compliance with these Clean Water Act requirements. This fee is assigned to all utility bills at a rate based upon lot size. For specific information on the utility fee, please review Title VIII, Chapter 13 of Westminster Municipal Code (Stormwater Management Program).

  • Single-Family Detatched Residential - $3.00/mo. (average impervious area for a home is calculated at 3,100 sq.ft.
  • All other property (Commercial, apartments, townhomes, etc.) - $0.97/mo./1,000 sq. ft. of impervious area (includes roofs, driveways, sidewalks, etc.)

Post-Construction Program

Under federal and state regulations the city is required to carry out a post-construction best management practice (BMP) program. This includes inspection and enforcement for maintenance of permanent BMPs installed after 2002. As such, the city will periodically inspect and send reports of deficiencies to property owners who have permanent BMPs on their property. The permanent BMPs included here are detention ponds, swales, constructed wetlands and retention ponds.

Land Disturbance Permit

The city’s Land Disturbance Permit (download a permit) is required for any work performed in the city that meets any of the following criteria:

  • The project footprint is equal to or greater than one acre of land whether it is contiguous or separated. The project footprint includes the actual disturbed area plus all the areas used for staging, stockpiles parking, material storage, etc.
  • Involves moving 200 cubic yards or more of earthen materials.
  • Possesses physical characteristics which increase potential erosion.
  • Involves drainage ways or swales.
  • Consists of unsheltered distances of 500 feet or more.
  • Has slopes greater than 8 percent.

This permit is required in addition to the State of Colorado construction storm water discharge permit. Read more information about the state’s permitting process.

Standard Operating Procedures

View the city's Standard Operating Procedures for managing a number of tasks from Fertilizer Application to Power Washing to Waste Management.

Construction Links

Land Disturbance Permit
State construction permit
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan preparation guidance document
Urban Drainage Volume 3 - Best Management Practices (BMP) manual
EPA - BMP Database

Floodplain Links

City of Westminster Floodplain Regulations 
FEMA floodplain maps
Urban Drainage ALERT floodplain information interface

More Information

More information on how to protect our drinking water supplies:
City of Westminster Stormwater Protection Brochure.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Source Water Protection Program.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Public Education on Stormwater Impacts
State of Colorado Non-point Source Pollution Program.
Jefferson County's Water Education Program.

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