Storm Water Management
The management of storm water requires a systems-based approach toward its municipal watershed and storm water policies and programs. The policies, therefore, rightly find their basis in the vision that the community has of itself and in its concepts of quality of life. The City must, then, integrate the environmental concerns and needs with economic vitality.
- The City of Norton will be a community that promotes the coexistence of the natural environment and quality, planned development.
Norton recognizes that an urban environment is enhanced by the presence of a healthy natural setting. A natural landscape enhances air and water quality, wildlife habitat, aquatic systems, and opportunities for recreation and solitude. Norton also recognizes that with careful planning, a balance can be achieved to promote economic opportunities and amenities for a quality lifestyle, while minimizing adverse impacts on vital natural assets.
- Norton recognizes that streams and stream ecosystems are valuable assets to the community. Healthy and degraded stream segments should be identified, protected, conserved, and where possible, restored.
The health of stream systems is critical to the sustained coexistence of the developed community with the natural environment. Norton will identify and designate natural streams that should be protected from the destructive effects of urbanization and development such as erosion, sedimentation, down cutting the channel, damage of the riparian corridors and soil and water pollution. Existing degraded streams segments will be identified, the causes of that degradation halted, and the segments restored, if feasible. The existence of unhealthy stream segments contributes to the overall decline of the stream system. The City should carefully evaluate the impacts of development on stream systems through its planning, zoning, and development approval process. Criteria will be established to identify and create an inventory of natural streams that deserve protection. The City will then develop plans to conserve the identified natural streams. The inventory will also identify degraded reaches. Their restoration potential will then be ranked and prioritized.
- Criteria used to prioritize stream conservation or restoration efforts may include many factors, such as:
- The ecological and hydraulic connectivity and function of the stream within the overall watershed or drainage system.
- The physical and biological health of the stream and its supporting ecosystem
- The potential to control natural flow regimes within the stream after the surrounding area is developed.
- Aesthetic and recreational value of the stream
- Hydraulic capacity of the natural stream
- Impact of stream management on surrounding property values
- Existence of wetlands
- Development potential of area immediately surrounding the stream
- Unique environmental or aesthetic characteristics of the stream
- Norton will support, implement and fund effective, long-term water quality management practices and flood protection. These storm water practices will be consistently and uniformly supported and implemented throughout the municipal government.
Being proactive is fundamental to the successful implementation of the City's policies. The practices are intended to protect existing resources, prevent future problems and to restore degraded systems where possible. Applying the storm water practices called for by these policies will involve time, labor, and financial support. A successful program will require a designated staff, support from City decision-makers, and a dedicated, reliable and on-going funding source.
Coordination of and cooperation among all municipal services is required to successfully manage storm water. Coordination during plan review will assure that storm water and stream systems are properly managed and that storm water facilities are accessible for emergency equipment, protective of the public, and compatible with other planned uses such as recreation. Site inspection is critical to verify that construction is consistent with the approved plans and to confirm that proper maintenance is performed so the system will function as originally planned and designed.
- Norton recognizes that effective storm water management is best achieved through inter-local cooperation in the development of watershed strategies.
The City of Norton is situated in the Upper Tuscarawas River Watershed. Portions of several other sub-watersheds fall within the Norton City limits. The health of these other streams are dependent on not only the actions of Norton but also the actions of its neighbors. Therefore, cooperative programs among communities will result in more protection for the watershed than can be accomplished by any individual community. The City will endeavor to identify and take advantage of all available opportunities to cooperate with other communities to effectively manage storm water and protect the shared watersheds.
- Norton will identify limits of its municipal responsibility in storm water management and demonstrate good management practices in all municipal functions.
Storm water has an effect on individuals within the community from the time precipitation falls on a roof and flows to the roof drain, to the point where floodwaters recede from the floodplain after a storm event. The City should define those instances where storm water issues are the responsibility of the private owner and where they are a public concern. Further, the City should assume the role of the leader in the stewardship of water quality and storm water management practices and demonstrate best management practices to foster similar actions within the community.
- Norton recognizes the inherent dangers and other consequences of storm events and will manage risk to public safety and property.
The dangers of floodwaters and fast moving streams are well documented. Large storm events can result in significant loss of public and private property and human life. Appropriate measures should be taken to manage the risk of such loss. These measures may include public education of the dangers of high and fast flowing waters and emergency management and contingency programs. Every citizen must be educated that the City's best efforts cannot protect against adverse consequences resulting from extreme storm events and that personal responsibility is also required. Public education efforts should focus on creating realistic expectations of what can and what cannot be achieved by storm water management during extreme storm events. An individual's best protection will always be a healthy respect for the power of storms and floods.
- Norton will encourage its citizens and business community to be involved in the protection of water quality and natural stream systems.
These policies and programs are dependent on support and participation of the community-at-large. Water quality protection starts, quite literally, in everyone's back yard. An individual's actions can have either a beneficial or an adverse affect on storm water flowing to the municipal drainage system and our nation's waterways. Further, municipal programs and projects must represent the desires of the community for sustained success. For optimum success in the protection of water quality and natural stream systems, a structured program of involvement and education in all segments of the community is necessary.
- The City recognizes that storm water management practices in developed areas may vary from those in undeveloped areas. In developed areas, storm water practices should endeavor to protect existing public and private investments, with consideration given to enhancement of water quality, conservation of the natural environment and reduction of drainage system deficiencies.
In developed areas, storm water management must fit within the framework of the developed environment. Many of the management tools used in the developing area may not be feasible in a fully developed area. Further, past management practices may have eliminated the natural stream system. Therefore, the focus of storm water management changes in developed areas. Problem areas where flooding results in significant property damage, or where existing infrastructure is threatened or failing, drive the need for improvements. In addition, improvements will be considered to enhance water quality, protect natural streams further downstream and, where feasible, restore degraded stream segments and re-establish natural biological systems.