30 Minute Presentation
Where and How Do Lakes Fit in with a Municipal Stormwater Management Program? The City of Raleigh’s Proposed Lake Management Evaluation Program
Where and how do lakes fit in with a Municipal Stormwater Management Program? The City of Raleigh is an NPDES Phase 1 MS4 Community and has significant experience with lake-related projects for helping advance local stormwater management program goals and objectives. Raleigh’s Stormwater Management Advisory Commission in concert with Stormwater Management Program staff and the City Attorney’s Office have recently reviewed and are recommending significant revisions and updates to the City’s long-standing Lake Preservation Policy/Program. The “Lake Preservation Policy”, originally adopted in 1994, is an approach to assure preservation of existing lakes based upon mutual benefits between lake owners and the City. The lakes policy was updated in 2006 based upon studies completed and lessons learned since program inception. In 2006, a key theme emphasized in the lakes policy was the need for a drainage basin by drainage basin approach to lake preservation instead of a rigid citywide standard.
With more recent advances in understanding the importance of “closer to source” control of stormwater runoff including beneficial practices such as green stormwater infrastructure, further updates are now proposed for the lakes policy. The proposed 2019 revisions maintain the ability to preserve, rehabilitate, and maintain existing lakes when that is the best option for the City’s involvement while at the same time allowing for a thorough examination of lake management scenarios and alternatives including restoration of riparian environments which are now or have been impounded. The revisions also amplify that City-owned and operated waterbodies are strictly considered as part of the City’s MS4 and must satisfy the NPDES MS4 permit and program requirements to reduce the discharge of pollutants to receiving waters. Therefore, lake management alternatives evaluated for City-owned and operated facilities must provide equal or better nutrient and pollutant control performance than pre-project conditions in addition to satisfying public safety related needs such as flood control and dam safety. Evaluations will help identify the most beneficial and cost-effective lake preservation techniques that fit with community needs and resources, regulatory requirements, and stormwater management priorities.
Priorities for the Lake Management Evaluation Program may continue to be adapted over time as additional watershed and water quality studies are updated and completed throughout the City. Using the City's Integrated Stormwater Management Project Prioritization Model and other applicable models and tools, results from studies in terms of potential lake management evaluation opportunities will be included in recommended stormwater management facilities for preservation or construction.
The City will also continue to utilize non-structural stormwater control measures and practices in an effort to protect and improve surface water quality citywide. Such non-structural stormwater measures may include but are not limited to public education and public involvement programs, monitoring and control of illicit discharges to the stormwater system, maintenance of the public stormwater system, and continuation of the erosion and sediment control program.