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 Did You Know?
The City of Spanish Fort is a Phase II MS4 Community

Under the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), the State of Alabama is required to meet certain water quality standards before stormwater may be discharged into Waters of the United States.  The Alabama Department of Environmental Management has delegated this responsibility to certain municipalities across the state, including Spanish Fort. Having a population of less than 100,000 people, the City falls under the "Phase II" General Permit, which requires less focus on industrial activities than a "Phase I" permit. Under permit number ALR040041, the City is required to develop and implement a Stormwater Managment Plan (SWMP) to keep its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) free of pollutants like greases and oils, household trash, and sediment from construction and erosion. One major component of the Stormwater Management Plan is the development of an ordinance that will give the City authority over activities that result in illicit discharges from municipal storm drains. A draft of the new "Clean Water Ordinance" is currently under review by the Planning Commission, and will head to the City Council for a vote upon recommendation.  The City welcomes and encourages public comments on the proposed legislation.

To learn more about the laws regulating stormwater quality, visit the links below:

Clean Water Act - NPDES outlined in Section 402

EPA Documents Relating to the Clean Water Act

The New Definition of "Waters of the United States" (8/28/15)

Alabama Code - Title 22, Chapter 22: Water Pollution Control

Alabama Code - Title 22, Chapter 22A: Environmental Management

Resources for Erosion Control and Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Developing Plans and Designing BMPs - Alabama Handbook Vol. 1

Installation, Maintenance, and Inspection of BMPs - Alabama Handbook Vol. 2      

Field Guide for Erosion and Sediment Control on Construction Sites in Alabama          

Learn more about the MS4 process, and check out Spanish Fort's Stormwater Management Plan:


The Restoration of Joe's Branch

As a Phase II MS4 community, Spanish Fort believes in being proactive when it comes to stormwater management.  This means working with citizens, private industries, and other government agencies to accomplish our clean water goals. One such goal was the restoration of Joe's Branch, listed as an impaired waterway by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. Today, the innovative restoration project is nationally-renowned as an effective tool in erosion control and habitat rehabilitation.  To learn more about the project, check out the video below:


Learn more about the Joe's Branch Restoration Project here.

The Root Cause of Erosion

While erosion happens naturally over time, most erosion problems in our area have been accelerated by land use changes, particularly residential and commercial development.  During construction, the removal of natural vegetation - and the root systems that hold the soil in place - results in increased stormwater runoff into area watersheds, which creates or worsens erosion problem areas.  This can result in siltation in wetland and coastal areas, which can profoundly damage habitats and vegetation, alter ecosystems, and inhibit boating and fishing access that is an integral part of life in our region.  Illicit discharges often exacerbate these problems further. Unfortunately, these threats don't end once construction is finished.  Impervious surfaces like rooftops, roads, and driveways all contribute to increased stormwater volume and velocity.  This stormwater increase can lead to severe erosion and even land slides, which threatens natural vegetation, private land and structures, property values and - in extreme cases - human lives. 
Coming Soon: Mitigating Your Stormwater Impact

Mapping Our Environment

Ever wondered where all that stormwater goes?  Our new interactive map will help you find which watershed you are in, as well as the nearby wetlands that are affected by runoff in your area.

Note: Wetland and Watershed data is derived on a national scale by the USGS.  Accuracy cannot be guaranteed.