City of Portage, Indiana

We are a community of hard working people with a commitment to keeping our city safe, clean, and prosperous.

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STORMWATER FACT SHEET 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 


If you have a sanitary sewer problem, call us first to see if the issue is a City or homeowner problem at (219) 763-2986.

The Portage Utility Service-Field Forces is a combination of 3 services: Field Forces, Stormwater, and Pretreatment.

The Field Forces are on call 24-7/365 days a year. Our job at the Field Forces is to maintain approximately 175 miles of sewer lines and over 2,000 manholes. We also take care of sanitary lift stations and stormwater lift stations.

Homeowner Sewer Backup Prevention

Cooking grease poured down the sink drain can block sewer pipelines when it thickens and may cause sewer backups and overflow into the environment, and into your home. Sewer backups or overflow can cause an increase in operation and maintenance of the Citys sewer system. Sewer backups in a home service line may result in costly repairs to the customer. In addition to sewage spills and odor, FOG also attracts insects and animals. To keep our pipes "Fat-Free", Field Forces encourages you to: Never pour fats, oils, or cooking grease down the sink or garbage disposal. Pour excess grease into a container for disposal with your household garbage; and wipe the remaining grease from the pan with a scraper or paper towel. Place baskets/strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids and empty into the trash for disposal. Place food scraps in appropriate waste containers rather than into the drain or garbage disposal. Tell your friends and neighbors about the problem of grease in the sewer system and how to keep it out.

Consumer products can be misleading.  Just because a product is labeled as “biodegradable” doesn’t mean it is safe to flush.  Toilet paper and human waste are the only things that should ever be flushed down the toilet.  Flushing other items could cause blockages in your sewer pipes which in time will cause the sewer to back up into your home. 

Stormwater

Our stormwater program is a federally required program overseen by the Indiana Department of Environmental management and implemented by the Portage Utility Service-Field Forces.

Polluted stormwater runoff is often transported to municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) and ultimately discharged into local rivers and streams without treatment. EPA Stormwater Phase II Rule establishes an MS4 Stormwater management program that is intended to improve the Nations waterways by reducing the quantity of pollutants that stormwater picks up and carries into storm sewer systems during storm events. Common pollutants include oil and grease from roadways, pesticides from lawns, sediments for construction sites, and carelessly discarded trash, such as cigarette butts, paper wrappers, and plastic bottles. When deposited into nearby waterways through MS4 discharges, these pollutants can impair the waterways, thereby discouraging recreational use of the resource, contaminating drinking water supplies, and interfering with the habitat for fish, other aquatic organisms, and wildlife.

Activities Requiring Permits

Construction Site Runoff Control

Developing, implementing, and enforcing an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities that disturb land (controls could include silt fences and temporary stormwater detention ponds.)

 Post-Construction Runoff Control

Developing, implementing, and enforcing a program to address discharges of post-construction stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment areas. Applicable controls could include preventative actions such as protecting sensitive areas (e.g., wetlands) or the use of structural BMPs such as grassed swales or porous pavement.

Pretreatment

Pretreatment identifies specific discharge standards and requirements that apply to sources of nondomestic wastewater discharged to a POTW (Publicly Owned Treatment Works). By reducing or eliminating waste at the industries (“source reduction”), fewer toxic pollutants are discharged to and treated by the POTWs, providing benefits to both the POTWs and the industrial users. The objectives of the program are to: prevent the introduction of pollutants into a POTW that will interfere with its operation, including interference with its use or disposal of municipal sludge, prevent the introduction of pollutants into a POTW that will pass through the treatment plant or otherwise be incompatible with it, and improve opportunities to recycle and reclaim municipal and industrial wastewaters and sludges. Ordinance Number 09-17 can be found in the files section.

Resources

View the City's Stormwater Ordinance here.  

Check the Useful Links tab below for helpful documents

Contact Us

David W. Littleton,
Field Forces Superintendent

Sanitary and Storm Water - Field Division
(More about Sanitary and Storm Water - Field Division)
2301 Hamstrom Rd
Portage, IN 46368
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