City of Fort Smith Stormwater Management

Stormwater Management Stormwater runoff carries pollutants such as sediment, oil, grease, metals, and other chemicals to storm drains and into our streams and wetlands.

The City of Fort Smith Engineering Department administers the City's Stormwater Management Program in an endeavor to prevent or reduce the discharge of those pollutants to our waterways.

City of Fort Smith Stormwater Management's cover photo

[07/10/20]   Volunteers needed! If you are looking for a public service project, and if you would be interested in installing a few storm drain markers, please give us a call at (479) 784-2225.

[12/30/19]   Most nonpoint source pollution occurs as a result of runoff. Following a rainstorm, for example, water will flow across a parking lot and pick up oil left by cars driving and parking on the asphalt. When you see a rainbow-colored sheen on water flowing across the surface of a road or parking lot, you are actually looking at nonpoint source pollution.

[12/26/19]   Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and man-made pollutants, finally depositing them into local lakes, rivers and wetlands.

[12/19/19]   Leaves can be a great source of nutrients for your property, so consider mulching them into fertilizer for your yard or garden.

Don't be this guy. Only stormwater belongs in the storm drain.

[12/04/19]   Bagging, mulching or composting your leaves can stop them from blowing into the streets. This helps keep the stormdrains free of leaves, which pollute waterways and can even cause localized flooding if they form a clog.

[11/15/19]   The City’s storm drain system collects and discharges stormwater, as well as any pollutants and litter that may be picked up, directly into our waterways without any form of treatment. Because this water receives no treatment, it is especially important to keep all pollutants out.

[11/08/19]   Remember: Only rain belongs in storm drains. Litter is a primary cause of stormwater runoff pollution, but it’s also one of the easiest to prevent.

[11/01/19]   Fallen leaves and can plug storm drains and lead to flooded roads. Raking, bagging and composting are a few alternatives for keeping leaves off the ground and out of the storm drain.

[09/20/19]   Where does the water from the storm drain go?

Ditches and storm drains do not connect to a treatment system, so everything that flows down the drain goes directly to the nearest water body, and into the Arkansas River. Fort Smith’s storm drainage system is separate from the sanitary sewer system.

[08/09/19]   Sediment from stormwater runoff can cloud the water and make it difficult or impossible for aquatic plants to grow. Sediment also can have negative impacts aquatic habitats.

[07/26/19]   Volunteers needed! If you are looking for a public service project, and if you would be interested in installing a few storm drain markers, please give us a call at (479) 784-2225.

[06/28/19]   Have you noticed mud and silt from a construction site within the City being washed into the street or into the storm drain? Contact the City of Fort Smith Stormwater Hotline at 784-2225.

[04/05/19]   To help prevent sediment runoff, cover piles of dirt and mulch being used in landscaping projects. Vegetate bare spots in your yard to prevent soil erosion.

[12/31/18]   Urbanization increases the frequency and severity of flooding due to increased runoff. Because of the decreased availability of pervious, permeable surfaces, and the related decrease in storage capacity, smaller more frequently occurring storms can create flooding problems.

[12/26/18]   Storm water runoff from urbanized areas is generated from a number of sources including residential areas, commercial and industrial areas, roads, highways and bridges. Basically, any surface which does not have the capability to pond and allow water to infiltrate will produce runoff during storm events.

development.stream

Urban runoff increases directly with imperviousness and the degree of watershed development. Stream channel erosion and channel bank scour provide direct evidence of water quantity impacts caused by urban storm water.

development.stream

[12/17/18]   Population growth and the development of urban/urbanized areas are major contributors to the amount of pollutants in the runoff as well as the volume and rate of runoff from impervious surfaces. Together, they can cause changes in hydrology and water quality that result in habitat modification and loss, increased flooding, decreased aquatic biological diversity, and increased sedimentation and erosion.

[12/14/18]   Only rain should enter the storm drain system. Leaves blown or swept into storm drains or into the street can cause a drainage problem which can lead to flooding.

[11/28/18]   Have you noticed mud and silt from a construction site within the City being washed into the street or into the storm drain? Contact the City of Fort Smith Stormwater Hotline at 784-2225.

[11/16/18]   During routine fall tune-ups, check your car and lawn equipment for leaks. A good rainstorm can send gasoline and oil drips from automobiles, lawnmowers and power equipment into waterways.

[11/08/18]   Fall is a popular time for seeding and fertilizing your lawn. Excess fertilizer that is applied cannot be absorbed by the soil and washes away with the rain. To help reduce stormwater pollution, do not use fertilizers immediately before a rainstorm, and do not apply them in excess.

[08/24/18]   Volunteers needed! If you are looking for a public service project, and if you would be interested in installing a few storm drain markers, please give us a call at (479) 784-2243.

Arkansas Trendsetter

Following the progress of an upcoming Citywide public art project curated by Keep Fort Smith Beautiful with student artists & teachers from Northside & Southside High School Art Departments.

This is going to be COLORFUL FUN Trendsetters! Stay Tuned!

#FStrendsetter #keepfsbeautiful #projectdrainbow #streetart #murals #drainstotheriver #art #646downtown #ttdifs

[04/06/18]   A rain barrel is a container that collects and stores rainwater from downspouts and rooftops for future use watering lawns and gardens.

There are several ways to construct rain barrels, but they all serve the same purpose — to collect rainwater and decrease the amount of stormwater runoff that leaves your property. Using rain barrels is one way to decrease your household's impact on local waterways and to become a good steward of
the local watershed.

[12/29/17]   What is an Illicit Discharge?

An illicit discharge is the discharge of pollutants or non-storm water materials into a storm sewer system via overland flow, direct dumping, or illicit connections. Illicit connections are pipes or other direct connections that illegally or unknowingly release pollutants or non-storm water materials into a storm sewer system or directly into a body of water.

[12/15/17]   The amount of waste from U.S. consumers continues to rise, more than doubling between 1960 and 2013. When consumer goods, often single-use disposables, are littered or improperly managed, this trash often finds its way into rivers, streams and other waterways. These ultimately empty into our oceans, where the trash becomes marine debris.

[12/01/17]   Litter, leaves, lawn clippings and pine needles all contribute to problems with drainage systems. When residents periodically
clean the ditches and driveway pipes around their property, stormwater runoff is allowed to drain away from streets, homes and businesses.

[11/17/17]   Lawn and Garden Best Management Practices

• Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. When use is necessary, use these chemicals in the recommended amounts. Avoid application if the forecast calls for rain; otherwise, chemicals will be washed into your local stream.

• Select native plants and grasses that are drought and pest resistant. Native plants require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides.

• Sweep up yard debris, rather than hosing down areas. Compost or recycle yard waste when possible.

• Don’t overwater your lawn. Water during the cool times of the day, and don’t let water run off into the storm drain.

• Cover piles of dirt and mulch being used in landscaping projects to prevent these pollutants from blowing or washing off your yard and into local waterbodies. Vegetate bare spots in your yard to prevent soil erosion.

[11/03/17]   Vehicle Best Management Practices

• Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on a lawn or other unpaved surface to minimize the amount of dirty, soapy water flowing into the storm drain and eventually into your local waterbody.

• Check your car, boat, motorcycle, and other machinery and equipment for leaks and spills. Make repairs as soon as possible. Clean up spilled fluids with an absorbent material like kitty litter or sand, and don’t rinse the spills into a nearby storm drain. Remember to properly dispose of the absorbent material.

• Recycle used oil and other automotive fluids at participating service stations. Don’t dump these chemicals down the storm drain or dispose of them in your trash.

[10/20/17]   How are stormwater and runoff managed?

Stormwater and runoff are managed through Best Management Practices (BMPs). BMPs describe different ways to keep pollutants out of runoff and to slow down high volumes of runoff.

Educating residents about how to prevent pollution from entering waterways is one BMP. Laws that require people and businesses involved in earth disturbing activities, such as construction and agriculture, to take steps to prevent erosion are another BMP.

Detention ponds, built to temporarily hold water so it seeps away slowly, fill up quickly after a rainstorm and allow solids like sediment and litter to settle at the pond bottom. Then, they release the water slowly. These ponds another BMP example.

[10/06/17]   Why is it important to manage stormwater and polluted runoff?

In many cases, stormwater either does not receive any treatment before it enters waterways or is inadequately treated. Polluted water can harm the wildlife in creeks, streams, rivers and lakes. Dirt from erosion, also called sediment, covers up fish habitats and fertilizers can cause too much algae to grow, which also hurts wildlife by using up the oxygen they need to survive. Soaps can harm fish gills and fish skin, and other chemicals can damage plants and animals when they come in contact with stormwater. In addition, communities that use surface water for their drinking supply must pay much more to clean up polluted water than clean water.

[09/22/17]   What is polluted runoff?

Polluted runoff generally happens anywhere people use or alter the land. For example, in developed areas, almost none of the water that falls on hard surfaces like roofs, driveways, parking lots or roads can seep into the ground. These impervious surfaces create large amounts of runoff that pick up pollutants along the way. The runoff flows from gutters and storm drains to creeks, rivers, lakes and other water bodies. Runoff not only pollutes, but can erode streambanks. The mix of pollution and eroded dirt muddies the water and can cause problems downstream.

In addition to rain and snowmelt, various human activities such as car washing, excessive pesticide use or a malfunctioning septic tank can also put polluted water onto the land surface. Here, it can also create runoff that carries pollutants to creeks, rivers and lakes.

Some substances like pesticides, fertilizers, oil and soap are harmful in any quantity. Other substances like sediment from construction, bare soil, pet waste, grass clippings and leaves can harm creeks, rivers and lakes in sufficient quantities.

[09/08/17]   What can you do to reduce the amount of stormwater pollution you contribute?

If you own a car, maintain it so it does not leak oil or other fluids. Be sure to wash it on the grass or at a car wash so the dirt and soap do not flow down the driveway and into the nearest storm drain.

If you own a yard, do not over fertilize your grass. Never apply fertilizers or pesticides before a heavy rain. If fertilizer falls onto driveways or sidewalks, sweep it up instead of hosing it away. Mulch leaves and grass clippings and place leaves in the yard at the curb, not in the street. Doing this keeps leaves out of the gutter, where they can wash into the nearest storm drain. Turn your gutter downspouts away from hard surfaces, seed bare spots in your yard to avoid erosion and consider building a rain garden in low-lying areas of your lawn

Keep lawn and household chemicals tightly sealed and in a place where rain cannot reach them. Dispose of old or unwanted chemicals at household hazardous waste collections sites or events.

Never put anything in a storm drain.

Don’t litter.

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623 Garrison Ave
Fort Smith, AR
72902
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