The City of Painesville is actively implementing a variety of programs and initiatives to help mitigate flooding associated with stormwater and also to meet all state and regional requirements. Effectively managing stormwater is everyone’s responsibility; local residents and businesses can do their part by taking a few simple steps to properly manage stormwater on their property. By working together, we can have a positive impact on our environment and improve the way we live!


Stormwater FAQ

Start with the basics, what is stormwater?

    • Stormwater runoff is the water that flows off roofs, driveways, parking lots, streets and other hard surfaces during rainstorms. It is also the water that flows off grass surfaces and wooded areas that is not absorbed into the soil. Runoff that is not absorbed into the ground flows into ditches, culverts, catch basins and storm sewers and typically does not receive any treatment to remove pollutants before entering local streams, rivers and eventually Lake Erie. 

What is stormwater pollution?

    • Runoff can pick up many natural and man-made substances that can pollute local water bodies. Examples of common pollutants include fertilizer, pesticide, pet waste, sediment, oil, salt, trace metals, grass clippings, leaves and litter. 

Why is stormwater runoff a problem?

    • Development, like paved road and buildings, prevents water from being absorbed into the ground which can cause localized flooding or water quality issues. All stormwater, from rural or urban areas, can carry harmful pollutants, cause flooding erode topsoil and destroy natural habitats.

Why do we need to manage stormwater runoff?

    • Management is essential to protect the quality of our natural watercourses as drinking water supplies and recreational activities such as swimming, fishing and boating are affected. Stormwater also needs to be managed to ensure that during a storm, runoff does not flood or erode property or put the public's safety at risk. 

What does my stormwater fee cover?

    • Currently, the small monthly fee covers a minimal level of service for managing stormwater. Painesville City has a contract with Lake County to provide certain services but does not cover all aspects of stormwater management and does not pay for capital improvements that may be needed.

If I have a stormwater issue, who do I contact?

    • Please reach out to the Engineering Department at 440-392-5935. They handle all inspections and will walk you through the process.


Regulatory Requirements

The Clean Water Act is the federal legislation that governs stormwater management. Direct stormwater discharges to waters of the U.S. (pipes and drainpipes) are regulated using National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.

 Permits are based on a framework of six minimum control measures: 

    • Public education and outreach
    • Public participation and involvement
    • Illicit discharge detection and elimination
    • Construction site runoff control
    • Post-construction storm water management in new development and redevelopment
    • Pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations and maintenance


Quick References

There are a variety of resources and guides available for you to learn more about stormwater management and best management practices for construction, residential homes and business: