Stormwater Management

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System – MS4 Annual Report

Chesapeake Bay Action Plan

Hopewell EColi Action Plan


Use the table below to report pollution issues within the City of Hopewell.

To Report… Call…  At… 
A large spill or emergency situation Hopewell Fire Department or Police: 9-1-1
Water pollution, illicit discharges and illicit connections Hopewell Public Works: 804-541-2295                                                     or email

To report issues outside the City of Hopewell, please contact the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality


What are illicit discharges and illicit connections?

An illicit discharge is an unlawful act of disposing dumping, spilling, emitting, or other discharge of any substance other than stormwater into the storm drain system; such as catch basins, yard inlet, or lakes and streams. Examples of illicit discharges:

  • Paint being poured into or near a storm drain
  • Changing oil or antifreeze over or near a storm drain or drainage ditch
  • Discarding yard waste, e.g. leaves and brush, in or near a storm drain or drainage ditch
  • Draining chlorinated swimming pool water in or near a storm drain or drainage ditch
  • Water from a washing machine emptying in or near a storm drain, drainage ditch or stream.

An illicit connection is an unlawful connection which allows the discharge of non-stormwater to the storm drain system or lakes and streams via pipe or other direct connection. Examples of illicit connections:

  • Floor drains going into the storm drain system
  • Wash water from Laundromats or car washes tying into a storm drain system
  • Pipe from a washing machine tying into a storm drain structure
  • Sewer service pipe tying into a storm structure or emptying into Blacks Run

All can be found within the City Code Chapter 31- Sewers and Sewage Disposal, Article VI.

What is Stormwater?

When it rains, someone washes their car or waters their lawn, impervious surfaces such as rooftops, driveways, parking lots and roads prevent water from being absorbed into the ground. This is known as stormwater runoff. This water picks up and carries a wide variety of pollutants and litter, which flow into our storm drains, and eventually empty directly into our waterways.

Unlike household wastewater, stormwater is not treated. That means the everyday pollution that we all contribute has an impact on our local water quality.

Why is Stormwater Management Important?

Water from rain and irrigation carries fertilizers and pesticides, soil and debris off lawns and streets into neighborhood storm drains that lead directly to our streams, rivers and bays.

Traditional stormwater management has focused on removing quantities of water from our streets and neighborhoods, with the primary goal being to prevent flooding. Again, this water went untreated and was discharged directly into area waterways.

Now, federal and state regulations require localities to better manage the quality of the stormwater that is entering our creeks, streams, rivers and bays. These regulations require much planning and educational effort to be effective, but the benefits include cleaner surface water and a healthier environment!

The City of Hopewell is hard at work developing and implementing stormwater management programs that include construction of best management practices, system maintenance, enforcement of City Ordinances and public education.

What are Localities Doing to Reduce Stormwater Pollution?

The City of Hopewell has joined with our neighboring localities to find solutions and put in place programs that will benefit all of us. We are implementing programs that will meet or exceed governmental requirements to improve water quality in the regional area.

Some examples of what we are doing to manage stormwater impact on our waterways are:

  • Street sweeping – this helps remove litter and debris that would otherwise be washed into storm drains and into our waterways.
  • Inspecting construction sites for erosion and sediment controls to decrease the amount of soil carried off site.
  • Inspecting storm drains for illicit discharges.
  • Educating our employees and the public about pollutants in stormwater runoff. This helps to determine the source of pollutants, which can help localities to better target future program efforts. Citizen input is very helpful in reporting illicit dumping into storm drains.

Draft Stormwater Management Ordinance

Click HERE to read the Draft Stormwater Ordinance