One source of water pollution is untreated runoff from places like streets, construction sites, parking lots, and private driveways after rain storms. This runoff goes directly into storm drains and eventually into local rivers and streams. To protect citizens from this pollution, Johnson City developed a program to manage stormwater runoff before the runoff enters the Watauga River and its tributaries.
Federal and state governments require certain cities and towns to comply with mandates for minimizing stormwater runoff; Johnson City is one of those cities. Stormwater management is required by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act of 1972. Johnson City has a Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, which allows Johnson City to discharge stormwater from its drainage system into nearby rivers and streams.The MS4 permit requires five (5) minimum program areas:
- Public education and outreach and public involvement and participation
- Illicit discharge detection and elimination
- Construction site stormwater runoff
- Permanent (post-construction) stormwater management in new development and redevelopment
- Pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations