Lane County’s Stormwater Management Program

Stormwater management is crucial to preserving water quality, preventing flooding, and protecting Lane County’s abundant natural resources. Stormwater refers to precipitation that accumulates on the ground surface and can flow into storm drains, gutters, ditches, and pipes, then eventually to local waterways. Stormwater can pick up pollutants as it flows over our parking lots, driveways, buildings, and lawns. Stormwater infrastructure was design primarily for roadside safety and flood control. So generally, unlike wastewater, stormwater is not filtered before reaching nearby waterways. Any pollutants that travel through the stormwater system can flow directly into waterways such as the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers. It is important to work together to keep our waterways clean.

Lane County’s Stormwater Management Program was created in 2007 to comply with Phase II of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). The NPDES is a federal permit, under the Clean Water Act, that requires operators of municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) to implement best management practices to prevent contaminants from reaching our streams via stormwater runoff. The Phase II permit requires all affected municipalities to create and implement a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) which addresses 6 Minimum Control Measures to result in significant reductions of pollutants discharged into waterbodies. These include:


1. Public Education and Outreach – This is how we inform residents, businesses, and industries about urban stormwater runoff and pollution prevention. We have resources and information on how you can become involved in preserving water quality.

2. Public Participation and Involvement – This involves including the public in the stormwater planning process.

3. Illicit Discharge Detection – This addresses illegal or illicit dumping of pollutants into a storm drain, ditch or stream, whether accidental or intentional. An illicit discharge is anything that enters our stormwater system or a waterway that is not entirely comprised of stormwater. To protect our waterways, it is important to report any spills or illicit discharges in a timely manner.

4. Construction Site Runoff Control –The Erosion Prevention and Construction Materials Management Program strives to reduce pollutant runoff from land-disturbing activities by providing guidelines and outcomes.

5. Post-Construction Site Runoff Control – To ensure that new developments' “build-in” features (such as bioswales) continuously manage water quality into the future.

6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations – To assess the County’s own maintenance practices and policies to ensure that work crews use best management practices to minimize pollution in their everyday tasks.

This map of Lane County shows the MS4 Permit area, which is located just outside of the urban growth boundary (UGB) of Eugene & Springfield. The County works closely with these cities on stormwater issues within the UGB. For more information on local stormwater programs please visit their websites.

County activities related to water quality are listed in the County's Stormwater Management Program (SWMP). Lane County's current SWMP is available for review here:
LC Stormwater Management Program   

Need more information?


Zach Peterson
Stormwater Coordinator