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In 2014, we launched a program to help small businesses avoid stormwater pollution complaints and municipalities reach the targeted outreach goals in their SWMP. The Water Quality Partner program is a stormwater-specific pledge program that is designed to share information on best practices with businesses too small to have compliance professionals on staff. Businesses in the Water Quality Partner program sign a voluntary pledge in which they have chosen among stormwater pollution prevention BMPs. The business then receives a Certificate of Partnership, window cling, public recognition and access to information and continuing education on stormwater issues.

The majority of stormwater violations are through a lack of understanding, rather than criminal intent. Of course, the big cases in the news involve purposeful illegal behavior. What’s much more common, though, is someone is hired to power-wash a grease filter from a restaurant hood and allows the wash water to enter the storm sewer. Leaking dumpsters, barrels stored outside without secondary containment, cleaning outside spills by hosing them down, dumping mop buckets in alleys—these are the small, everyday behaviors we’re working to eliminate.

Initial responses from businesses has been very positive. In fact, a business in Canal Winchester sent a request along with their pledge—they asked for additional brochures on stormwater pollution prevention for both businesses and homeowners, so they could distribute them to their staff and customers. Of course, we were happy to comply!

This year, we will be partnering with the following communities:

  • Bexley
  • Canal Winchester
  • Dublin
  • Franklin County
  • Gahanna
  • Hilliard
  • New Albany
  • Obetz
  • Reynoldsburg
  • Upper Arlington
  • Westerville
  • Worthington

If you would like to add the Water Quality Partner program to your 2016 working agreement, contact Jennifer Fish at jfish@franklinswcd.org or (614) 486-9613.