Porter County Storm Water

Porter County Storm Water Department of Development and Storm Water Management conducts a variety of infrastructure maintenance What is Storm Water? Have A Drainage Concern? Thank you!
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Water from rain, snow and ice that runs off your roof, across your driveway, through your yard, and down the street has to go somewhere. That’s where The Department of Development and Storm Water Management comes in. As storm water flows over the land, it has to be directed into a ditch, stream, lake, or river through inlets and storm sewers. Along the way to these waterways, the storm water picks

up sediment, nutrients, pesticides, trash, debris, and other pollutants that can impact these receiving water bodies. We use infrastructures to control and minimize the negative impacts of storm water runoff on our communities and water resources. A typical storm water management system includes:
- inlets to collect storm water from the land
- storm sewers to convey water to detention basins
- a detention basin, where the storm water can be managed and treated, before it goes downstream
- ditch, stream, lake, or river -- the storm water runoff’s final destination

In order to properly address the impacts of storm water, we need both, storm water management program and the efforts of individual landowners. We have many different projects in unincorporated Porter County to resolve drainage problems, improve water quality, reduce flood damages, and maintaining and enhancing the county’s valuable storm water infrastructure. If you have a storm water management and/or drainage concerns, please fill our Storm Water Concern Reporting Form on our website. We will look into it as soon as we can.

12/07/2023

Exploring water quality in South Kolselke Ditch! We took an in-stream water sample in this regulated drainage easement, which flows from Valparaiso MS4 to Porter County MS4. It's a jurisdictional boundary for water quality assessment. A GIS point with photos and water quality testing data was created and must be revisited every 5-year permit cycle!

Let's break down the costs and benefits of culvert replacement materials! If we need 50 linear feet (LF) of storm sewer,...
12/06/2023

Let's break down the costs and benefits of culvert replacement materials! If we need 50 linear feet (LF) of storm sewer, our options include Corrugated Metal Pipe (CMP) or Reinforced Concrete Pipe (RCP). The material costs for both pipes in 2023 are detailed below, excluding labor and backfill. Keep in mind that the overall cost might vary based on factors like soil conditions, water table, design needs, and traffic considerations.

🗓️ This is your friendly reminder of upcoming meetings in December!
12/05/2023

🗓️ This is your friendly reminder of upcoming meetings in December!

As we develop and administer these minimum control measures (MCMs) and best management practices (BMPs) to improve water...
11/30/2023

As we develop and administer these minimum control measures (MCMs) and best management practices (BMPs) to improve water quality in Porter County, it is also our responsibility to practice what we preach!

✔️ Quarterly inspections are conducted at our maintenance facilities.

✔️Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs) are created for facilities, which include a site-specific map, chemical spill clean-up, and maintenance details.

✔️ Facility staff and MS4 Coordinator communicate to ensure requirements are met.

✔️ Employees are trained annually on these BMPs.

✔️ Flood control structures, new ones and existing, are inspected for function and maintenance if necessary.

✔️ All maintenance conducted on outfalls and conveyance systems is tracked.

Note: Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping are the focuses of Minimum Control Measure 6, to develop and administer a comprehensive PP&GH program, which commits to reducing pollutant runoff from MS4 owned/operated facilities to the best extent practicable. This program complies with the requirements set by state and federal environmental entities.

11/30/2023

Shout out to Pacific Streamkeepers Federation for sharing the informational webpage on stream flow and formation from our website! This page was created referencing their website https://www.pskf.ca/mod14/index.html - a great educational resource! Check it out 🏞

Crooked Creek handles a high volume of storm water runoff. Restoring this stream ensures its functionality and beauty.

11/28/2023

Does the roadway culvert pass or fail inspection? This video was taken during a Public Infrastructure Inspection, conducted when a developer (i.e. owner of a new development such as a subdivision) requests acceptance into the county’s maintenance program. The county conducts maintenance on public infrastructure with funds from taxes and the storm water user fee. Roads, culverts, and storm water infrastructure are inspected for any “wear and tear”, caused by improper installation methods or age of infrastructure. If infrastructure does not meet the county design and construction standards, corrective actions, repair, and maintenance are required of the current owner before the final acceptance by Porter County. This best management practice:

✅ Ensures the county does not take responsibility of poor-quality infrastructure, directing funds to infrastructure currently under the county’s maintenance program.

✅ Encourages developers to meet the county’s standards upon initial installation, not spending extra dollars on repair of incorrectly installed new infrastructure.

Note: Inspecting infrastructure after construction (a.k.a post-construction) is the theme of Minimum Control Measure 5. Inspections occur during and immediately after construction, but also a few years after to update the continual maintenance log of all infrastructure in Porter County. This program complies with the requirements set by state and federal environmental entities.

Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at the Department of Development & Storm Water Management. 🍁🦃
11/23/2023

Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at the Department of Development & Storm Water Management. 🍁🦃

11/21/2023

Let’s dive into The Construction Minimum Control Measure! We regulate land-disturbing activities in order to reduce the impact of land development. This gives us time to review construction plans and design future storm water management systems! Check out this video which highlights photos taken during inspections of active construction sites. 🦺

Note: Construction Site Stormwater Run-off is the theme of Minimum Control Measure 4, to develop and administer an erosion and sediment control program, including plan review, site inspection, and enforcement, to the best extent practicable. This program complies with the requirements set by state and federal environmental entities.

11/20/2023

Check out this timelapse that our Highway Engineering team captured on county roads Smoke Road and Hunter Trail! Utilizing a GoPro, the team captures a full 360-degree view to keep track of road conditions. This is just one of the tools we use that helps us optimize the maintenance and project schedule, as well as allocate funds where they're needed most!

11/20/2023

Check out this timelapse that our Highway Engineering team captured on county roads Smoke Road and Hunter Trail! Utilizing a GoPro, the team captures a full 360-degree view to keep track of road conditions. This is just one of the tools we use that helps us optimize the maintenance and project schedule, as well as allocate funds where they're needed most!

11/16/2023

Happy National Stormwater Day! In the Department of Development & Storm Water Management, we consider every day an opportunity to celebrate stormwater. But having a national holiday is awesome too! How will you celebrate? 🎉💧

Speaking of infrastructure maintenance, our roads need inspections too! 🔍DID YOU KNOW our county has over 780 miles of r...
11/15/2023

Speaking of infrastructure maintenance, our roads need inspections too! 🔍

DID YOU KNOW our county has over 780 miles of roads? The Highway Engineering Division keeps them in shape by using tools like the PASER scale, which rates the pavement surface conditions of road pavement through visual inspections. This helps us figure out how to make our roads last longer with smart maintenance plans. They do annual evaluations to create a maintenance and project schedule for the following year!

11/13/2023

During outfall screening this fall, there were a few challenges when searching for the pipe outfall locations. Department staff utilized an all-terrain vehicle to access the overgrown and wetland areas where outfalls are often found.

Guess what else is often found in overgrown, wetland areas!? 👀

(*Note: Outfall screening for Illicit Discharges is part of the Minimum Control Measure 3, to find illicit discharges and eliminate them to the best extent practicable. This program complies with the requirements set by state and federal environmental entities.)

Let’s talk about a crucial part of our Storm Water Quality Management Plan (SWQMP): Education! 📚 Specifically, education...
11/09/2023

Let’s talk about a crucial part of our Storm Water Quality Management Plan (SWQMP): Education! 📚 Specifically, education on water resources, water quality, and their significance.

Zoom out of Porter County, IN and view the massive Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin. This awe-inspiring watershed covers over 94,000 square miles (about the size of Michigan, with 96,810 square miles), providing fresh water to more than 40 million people!

Curious to learn more about this vital resource? Check out: https://www.glslcompactcouncil.org/about/about-the-great-lakes-st-lawrence-basin/.

(*Note: Public Education, Outreach & Involvement is the topic for Minimum Control Measures 1 & 2 in the SWQMP. This program complies with the requirements set by state and federal environmental entities.)

November is here, and as construction winds down for the year, we're shifting gears to bring you a closer look at our St...
11/08/2023

November is here, and as construction winds down for the year, we're shifting gears to bring you a closer look at our Storm Water Quality Management Plan (SWQMP). This plan isn't just paperwork; it's our blueprint for success, showing how we meet state and federal requirements while paving the way for our program's exciting future growth. Join us for the ride as we tackle these challenges!

🗓️ This is your friendly reminder of upcoming meetings for the month of November!
11/07/2023

🗓️ This is your friendly reminder of upcoming meetings for the month of November!

Happy Halloween from the Department of Development and Storm Water Management! May your day be filled with treats, trick...
10/31/2023

Happy Halloween from the Department of Development and Storm Water Management! May your day be filled with treats, tricks, and a whole lot of spook-tacular fun. Remember to stay safe and keep those stormwater drains clear of any Halloween debris! 🎃👻🍁

  to the Sunnybrooke Subdivision SWM System Improvements project from 2021! We installed new infrastructure to enhance d...
10/26/2023

to the Sunnybrooke Subdivision SWM System Improvements project from 2021!

We installed new infrastructure to enhance drainage for all storm events, big and small. Say goodbye to flooded streets – we upgraded it into a fully operational storm water management system. Now, a hidden storm sewer under CR 400 E guides water towards the East Arm Little Calumet River tributary.

10/25/2023

At Porter County Storm Water, our fieldwork takes us through diverse natural landscapes. We recently explored waterways obstructed by beaver dams, impacting downstream flow. During this investigation on Parker Ditch (Salt Creek), our team was excited to spot salmon spawning. Check out these captivating photos and videos of our discoveries!

Thanks to everyone who attended this year’s Trunk or Treat Event at Sunset Hill Farm County Park on Saturday! Despite th...
10/23/2023

Thanks to everyone who attended this year’s Trunk or Treat Event at Sunset Hill Farm County Park on Saturday! Despite the rain and cold, over 500 'Splash's Incredible Journey' educational coloring books were shared by Porter County Storm Water. It was a wet and wild adventure! 🌧️📚🎃

10/19/2023

ICYMI: Don't let autumn leaves affect your local drainage system!

If you live on a street with curbs or inlets, keep those grates clear for smooth water flow. And if you have swales or ditches, don't dump leaves there! This helps prevent local flooding.

What are some ways you have repurposed your leaves? 🍁

Why are we looking closely at regulated drains during the dry season this year? Well, it's essential for Municipal Separ...
10/17/2023

Why are we looking closely at regulated drains during the dry season this year? Well, it's essential for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) to know where the water goes in and out of the Porter County jurisdictional boundary. In Porter County, we have all kinds of different water bodies like rivers, lakes, and ponds, and they vary in size, shape, and how they work.

If we find harmful pollutants in one of these water bodies, we want to find the source. This way, we can team up with the town or city that's nearby to detect and eliminate the illicit discharge, and keep our water clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.

As you drive around the county, you may notice roadside ditches that are barren, lacking vegetation or have “burnt” look...
10/12/2023

As you drive around the county, you may notice roadside ditches that are barren, lacking vegetation or have “burnt” looking vegetation. This is often caused by property owners applying chemicals, types of w**d or plant killer. Some ditches shown here have the vegetation and topsoil shaved off to prevent vegetative growth.

When vegetation growth is prevented, soil erosion is accelerated, causing loose sediment to travel downstream and deposit in our local drainageways. Without prevention measures, the sediment will eventually flow north in Salt Creek or the Little Calumet River to deposit in Lake Michigan or south to the Kankakee River and eventually down the Mississippi River.

🌿 Maintaining vegetative cover will prevent loss of property, reduce erosion issues, improve water quality downstream from you, and improve the appearance of your lawn frontage.

10/11/2023

The CR 1000 S bridge project over Reeves Ditch is nearly complete! Here are some photos from the project showing formwork, concrete pouring, and the processes involved.

Formwork is what molds the concrete or similar materials into the shape required. These photos were taken as part of our Daily Observation Reporting (DOR) process to record progress and any issues experienced. It appears that this project is smooth sailing to the final wrap! ✅

Visit us at this year’s Trunk Or Treat Event hosted by Porter County Parks and Recreation at Sunset Hill Farm County Par...
10/09/2023

Visit us at this year’s Trunk Or Treat Event hosted by Porter County Parks and Recreation at Sunset Hill Farm County Park on Saturday, October 14 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm!

Porter County Storm Water will be handing candy treats and educational coloring books “Splash’s Incredible Journey” while supplies last! 💧

Porter County staff attended the East Branch Summit & Paddle. The event covered the history of the local watersheds, how...
10/05/2023

Porter County staff attended the East Branch Summit & Paddle. The event covered the history of the local watersheds, how development changed the flow of the river, and work completed so far to restore and conserve the East Branch Little Calumet River corridor, piece by piece.

Attendees broke into groups to discuss how to increase and improve fundraising, marketing, tourism, policy, and stewardship. After plenty of brainstorming, the attendees were invited to kayak on the river starting from Burns Ditch and traveling upstream to Salt Creek! 🛶

To read more about the event, visit https://loom.ly/k8Cdt7c

🗓️ Your friendly reminder of upcoming meetings in October!
10/03/2023

🗓️ Your friendly reminder of upcoming meetings in October!

What can you use falling leaves for? Leaves are a rich source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and more. Wh...
09/28/2023

What can you use falling leaves for? Leaves are a rich source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and more. What amazing organic matter!

The leaves of one large tree can be worth as much as $50 worth of plant food and humus. Pound for pound, leaves contain twice the mineral content of manure. The huge amount of organic matter they offer can be used to improve soil structure. Visit https://www.almanac.com/more-ways-use-fall-leaves-garden for more info!

🚨 PSA: Open burning is not permitted in Porter County. Use your leaves as a tool for your yard and garden instead!

09/27/2023

It's that time again when Autumn leaves and debris affect your local drainage system!

🍁 Live on a street with curbs and inlets? Leaves collect on the grates and make it much more difficult for proper drainage to occur. Clear the leaves and help out your neighbors.

🍁 If you have open channel swales or ditches, don’t dump your leaves there! The leaves will collect and reduce the ditch drainage rate, causing local flooding and a mess that someone else will have to remove.

What are ways you repurpose your leaves?

09/25/2023

DID YOU KNOW...? Porter County Department of Development and Storm Water Management has over +3000 active building permits! This includes all building permits – from backyard pools and sheds to new residential construction and commercial buildings.

Each permit requires inspections, different inspectors depending on the permit type, and communication with the permit holder. As you can imagine, this is a challenging task. GO DEVELOPMENT & STORMWATER TEAM! 👏

09/21/2023

FINAL PHOTOS of the regulated drain Ludington Ditch, Arm 16 with the new culvert and the asphalt patch in the CR 450 S roadway which includes 2.5” of road binder and 1.5” of asphalt surface!

The new culvert pipe was installed with “flared end sections” on each end, metal sheeting below pipe outfall point to reduce scouring. Each end of the pipe has rip rap installed to also prevent scouring and erosion. As usual, the disturbed areas were covered with erosion control blanket and seed. 🌱

✅ Note: Porter County Supplemental Design & Construction Standards require a minimum of 3 inches of Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA). With 2.5” of road binder and 1.5” of asphalt surface, the total HMA placed was 4.0”. This patch has exceeded our design standard!

Happy World Water Monitoring Day! Since 2002, the World Water Monitoring Challenge program has built public awareness an...
09/18/2023

Happy World Water Monitoring Day! Since 2002, the World Water Monitoring Challenge program has built public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by empowering citizens to carry out basic monitoring of their local water bodies. Water data has been recorded around the globe.

To learn more about this program and how to participate, visit https://www.monitorwater.org/.

What Can I Do for My Watershed? Staff recently attended a Water Quality Workshop organized by the Shirley Heinze Land Tr...
09/13/2023

What Can I Do for My Watershed? Staff recently attended a Water Quality Workshop organized by the Shirley Heinze Land Trust. Featuring speakers from Porter County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Lake Michigan Coastal Program, the topics included agricultural nutrient management, septic maintenance, and native landscaping. The image below features two soil samples: one from a tilled field and the other from a no-till field (these local farm fields are located approximately one mile apart for reference).

The demonstration showed that after full saturation in the water column and moderate agitation, the soil from the no-till field held its structure and preserved water quality, unlike the tilled field soil sample which resulted in murky, sediment-laden water. This simple exercise indicated that soil structure greatly improves soil erosion and water quality issues.

🌱Local farmers attended the workshop and spoke on their experiences and successes with no-till farming and cover crop applications.

09/12/2023

👷 Project update! The full bridge reconstruction on CR 1000 S over Reeves Ditch is making process. Watch this video update to see a concrete beam installation over the waterway!

Why do we conduct Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination (IDDE) Outfall Screening*Queue a rain event* Storm water car...
09/07/2023

Why do we conduct Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination (IDDE) Outfall Screening

*Queue a rain event* Storm water carries pollutants such as floatables (leaves, litter), fertilizers from lawns or fields, oils from automotives, or fine sediment from construction or surface erosion to our storm sewers and waterways. During the dry, late summer season, the remaining water flowing through our storm sewers and open channel ditches and streams should be clean, right?

During outfall screening, if there is water flowing from a storm sewer pipe outfall, we take a sample and test it for temperature, pH, ammonia, and surfactants (detergents, soaps). If any of these pollutants appear out of a “safe” range, the area will be inspected more closely to source the issue. Tracking these results can help guide our team to sources of infrastructure issues!

This is your friendly reminder of our September meeting dates and times!
09/05/2023

This is your friendly reminder of our September meeting dates and times!

Happy Labor Day! Today, we celebrate the hard work and dedication of our nation's workforce. 🛠️ Our offices are closed i...
09/04/2023

Happy Labor Day! Today, we celebrate the hard work and dedication of our nation's workforce. 🛠️ Our offices are closed in observance of the holiday.

Out with the old, in with the new!Active construction photos show the original culvert pipes being lifted from the regul...
08/30/2023

Out with the old, in with the new!

Active construction photos show the original culvert pipes being lifted from the regulated drain Ludington Ditch, Arm 16 (multiple pipes!). To access the old culverts, the contractor cut the roadway for access, one of which was the existing 66” CMP culvert pipe. The new replacement, a 117” x 79” oblong Corrugated Metal Pipe (CMP), culvert pipe was installed with flares on each end. The pipe was seated on stone, which was then filled up to road level. The stone was compacted with a roller to temporarily open the roadway to traffic. Rip rap installed along open cut sides of the culvert. The after photo was taken facing the ditch flow direction, featuring the new larger pipe placed and riprap.

Note: Before the project could begin, NIPSCO had to first remove a gas line that crossed Ludington Ditch and replace with new pipe via directional bore. Often, we must coordinate with utilities to ensure all gas, electrical or other pipelines are not within the construction limits or where new infrastructure must be installed.

From Complaints to Compliance: ✅The photos below were taken on another reported new home construction site. Sediment flo...
08/29/2023

From Complaints to Compliance: ✅

The photos below were taken on another reported new home construction site. Sediment flowing onto the roadway and into the storm sewers is a violation of the county’s Erosion Control and the Illicit Discharge Ordinances. In cases like this, the sediment must be removed from the roadway, vacuumed from the storm inlet and swept from the roadway.

To prevent further offsite sedimentation, erosion and sediment controls, like silt fence, silt socks, and straw matting, must be properly installed and maintained as needed. 🏠

Address

155 Indiana Avenue, Suite 311
Valparaiso, IN
46383

Opening Hours

Monday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thursday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm

Telephone

+12194653530

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What is Storm Water?

Water from rain, snow and ice that runs off your roof, across your driveway, through your yard, and down the street has to go somewhere. That’s where The Department of Development and Storm Water Management comes in. As storm water flows over the land, it has to be directed into a ditch, stream, lake, or river through inlets and storm sewers. Along the way to these waterways, the storm water picks up sediment, nutrients, pesticides, trash, debris, and other pollutants that can impact these receiving water bodies. We use infrastructures to control and minimize the negative impacts of storm water runoff on our communities and water resources.

A typical storm water management system includes:


  • inlets to collect storm water from the land

  • storm sewers to convey water to detention basins
  • Nearby government services


    Other Public & Government Services in Valparaiso

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