Planning Program Activitiesby
Ben Urbonas, P. E.
Chief, Master Planning Program
The table "Status of Planning Projects" lists the projects that were under way or completed in 1997 and the ones we hope to begin in 1998. We will begin the consultant selection process for the 1998 projects as soon as the funding agreements are executed between the District and each projects local sponsors.
STATUS OF PLANNING PROJECTS
Master plans for the following watersheds were completed and reports for them published in 1997: Niver Creek, Grange Hall Creek, Brantner Gulch North Tributaries, Arapahoe and Magpie Gulches, and Big Dry Creek in Arapahoe County. At this time we are procuring mapping and are in the process of selecting consulting firms for the following four new master plans: select Big Dry Creek (ARAPCO) tributary areas, update of Broomfield and Vicinity master plan, Sulphur and Tallman Gulches, and the areas tributary to Quincy Reservoir.
Technology Transfer & Education
Red Rocks Community College is continuing to offer training in runoff quality management during construction. Red Rocks also can certify for the Colorado Department of Transportation that an individual has successfully completed the Erosion Control Supervisor Training program. A certified supervisor is now required on CDOT construction projects. Scott Olson at Red Rocks (telephone 988-6160, X-282) can provide you with more information. We encourage all municipal officials, consultants and construction contractors to take this class and to also obtain the CDOT certification.
The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) has completed a training video for the selection, design, installation and maintenance of stormwater quality management practices during construction. This work was done under a Section 319 grant to DRCOG. The District contributed approximately $40,000 in funds to provide a significant portion of the local match for this effort. This video addresses some unique conditions faced during construction in Colorado, especially within its semi-arid regions.
The District and Computer Software Library, Inc. cooperated to upgrade the Districts hydrologic software. Two packages, namely, CUHPFPC and UDSWM386 are expanded versions of earlier software. CUHPFPC now provides for an option to account for the effects of hydraulically unconnected impervious areas and UDSWM386 has corrected some of the reported problems and can now handle up to 1900 gutter/pipe elements. Both have been compiled using the Microsoft FORTRAN Power Station 32 bit compiler. Both programs have undergone considerable testing. These two programs and other District supported software can be obtained through the Districts software distribution agent, Computer Software Library, Inc. P.O. Box 27517, Denver, CO, 80227, Tel. 303-947-3413, FAX 303-985-8882.
The District is starting a three-year effort to update its Urban Storm Drainage Criteria Manual. In 1998 the focus will be to complete and update Volume 3 Best Management Practices. When it was first published in 1992, it contained chapters that were set aside for future completion. This effort will complete these sections and will update and improve other chapters in response to the comments received from manual users since its initial publication. Most of the experience so far has been positive, however it needs clarification on how to select, use and combine BMPs for stormwater quality management.
To help with this effort, the District is establishing a 10-member technical advisory group. We hope to have representatives from large and small cities, counties, CDOT, and other organizations. The membership will not be restricted to communities within the District and will attempt to include representation from other Front Range communities as well.
On January 23, 1998 the District is sponsoring a one-day seminar on the topic of stormwater structural best management practices. The program will include the showing of the new video produced by DRCOG on construction activities management, a short training segment on the selection and design of structural BMPs, a panel discussion on the experience by local governments in the use of Volume 3 Best Management Practices, and an audience participation segment on suggested needs on how to improve Volume 3.
Stormwater NPDES Activities
EPA will publish proposed regulations for Phase II of the stormwater program (i.e., affecting municipalities with less than 100,000 in population) in January. EPA is under court order to have these promulgated by 1999 (see Tucker Talk and a related article by John Doerfer). We will distribute copies of the draft Phase II regulations to local governments when they are available and will schedule a meeting to discuss them in January or February of 1998.
On June 2, 1997 EPA published proposed regulations for reissuance of general permits for construction-site stormwater discharges. They include provisions intended to protect threatened and endangered species and sites of archaeological significance. After EPA adopts these, the State will most likely need to modify its construction general permit conditions to be in line with EPAs requirements.
Following issuance of permits in May of 1996, the District continued to work with Denver, Aurora, and Lakewood as they takes steps to implement the requirements of their stormwater permits. See the article by John Doerfer about this and other stormwater related permit efforts of the District.
Arapahoe County was notified in 1996 by the State that it had an unincorporated urban-area population of over 100,000 and this put them into the Phase I category for municipal stormwater NPDES permitting. Three special districts within the County meet the regulatory definition of "owner of municipal separate storm sewer system" and need to be permitted as well. These are East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District, Arapahoe County Water and Wastewater Authority, and Inverness Water and Sanitation District. The County and the three special districts agreed to become "co-permittees" and submit a single, combined permit application. Although individual descriptions were needed where the entities differ, overall efficiency and consistency were gained using this approach.
The District assisted these co-permittees with their preparation of Part 1 application submitted in July, 1997. Part 2 of the application is planned for completion in July, 1998. The co-permittees used the protocols developed by the Joint Task Force when the initial permit application requirements were being defined for the largest three cities.
Should your city or county within the Districts service area decide to work toward preparing information that may be eventually used to support a permit application, or is taking an initiative to develop its own stormwater quality management program, or simply wants to develop a stormwater system inventory, call us. We can provide you with advice and a fully developed set of consistent protocols and data management tools that can help make your job easier and consistent with others in this region, thereby qualifying your community for further support and assistance as you enter the world of stormwater permitting.