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Stormwater Quality


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The City of Tulsa's storm drain system is the series of outside drains located in our streets that route rainwater to creeks, lakes and rivers. The water that goes into these drains is not cleaned or treated before it reaches them. This makes it very important to not let pollutants spill on the ground and enter our storm drain system.

City workers regularly monitor the system for pollution. Crews also routinely remove debris from storm drains to prevent water from backing up into streets and homes. It is illegal to introduce pollutants into the system. Pollutants include lawn chemicals, car fluids, soaps, leaves and grass, pet waste and basically anything that isn’t pure rainwater.

If you see something other than stormwater that has been disposed of or dumped into a storm sewer or local waterway, please contact the Customer Care Center at 311. Someone will investigate. Remember, storm drains are for rain. If you spot a blocked drain or see illegal development in a flood zone, call 311, and an inspector will investigate.

Reminder: Don't pollute! Do NOT pour used motor oil, antifreeze, pesticides, fertilizers or other pollutants down the storm drainage system. Storm drains are NOT part of the sewer system. All storm sewers in Tulsa drain directly into the waters of the Arkansas River or Bird Creek. These drain outlets are monitored regularly after rain events, and checked for pollutants. The generated report is then sent to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, as required by Tulsa's National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit.

Putting foreign substances into this system can also cause flooding and is a violation of City ordinance. Such actions are punishable by fines of up to $1,000 a day. Please do your part and keep the inlets and drainage ways throughout Tulsa clear of brush and debris.

The City of Tulsa has an extensive education program with a goal of reducing pollution in stormwater runoff. This program targets the public, as well as commercial and industrial owners and operators within Tulsa.

Education of the public is accomplished through public presentations at conferences and seminars, and presentations at local schools and neighborhood gatherings.

Staff members distribute educational materials at events and public locations, and press releases and articles inform the public about environmental concerns, including ways to reduce pollution in stormwater runoff. Information is also provided to the public through articles included in the monthly utility bill stuffer.

Another part of the stormwater education program educates commercial and industrial owners and/or operators about their responsibility to reduce the pollution in storm runoff.