Stormwater Utility

Rainbow after a storm

Stormwater Links

Logo for SW Ordinance

Stormwater Ordinance

Open map

City of Superior's General Stormwater Permit

Stormwater History in Superior

Stormwater management in Superior dates back to the late 1880's, when combined sewers were constructed to deal with both sewage and stormwater. They discharged directly into Lake Superior with no treatment. Recognition of human health, property damage, and environmental consequences of flooding and sewage overflows led to improvements in the system. A wastewater treatment plant was constructed in 1958. As the city grew, miles of sewer pipes were added. In 1976, the wastewater treatment plant was expanded and several sewer separation projects were completed.

With the passage of the Clean Water Act in the 1970s, federal rules were established that require the management of water pollution. Growing public awareness and concern for controlling water pollution led to amendments of the Act. A structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the U.S. and quality standards for surface waters were established.

The City of Superior is required to comply with the Stormwater Phase II Final Rule implemented by the EPA under the Clean Water Act. This rule requires the City to implement Stormwater regulations as administered by the WI Department of Natural Resources (WDNR).

Superior's Stormwater Utility

In 2003, a Water Quality Advisory Committee made up of City Councilors, Public Works staff, and citizen representatives was formed to determine the best way to fund the new stormwater requirements. In 2004, with guidance from the Committee, the Stormwater Ordinance creating the Storm Water Utility was adopted by the City. The Utility was created to manage, control, and minimize the adverse effects of stormwater runoff in a fair and cost-effective manner.

The City received the General Permit to Discharge under the WI Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) Permit in May 2006. The General Permit requires the City to establish programs for the following areas:

  • Public Education and Outreach
  • Public Involvement and Participation
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Construction Site Pollutant Control
  • Post-Construction Storm Water Management
  • Pollution Prevention