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Storm Water Management

The City of Attalla is required by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) to comply with the General Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit No. ALR040009. One of the conditions of the permit is to develop, implement, and enforce a Storm Water Management Program (SWMP). The SWMP must be designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants from our MS4 to the maximum extent practicable (MEP) to protect the water quality and to satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act.

The City of Attalla entered into a cooperative agreement with the City of Gadsden, the City of Hokes Bluff, the City of Glencoe, the City of Rainbow City, the City of Southside, and Etowah County to develop an overall SWMP for each entity to implement as required to comply with the permit referenced above.

An MS4 is defined by the EPA as a conveyance or system of conveyances that is owned by a state, city, town, village, or other public entity that discharges to waters of the U.S.; designed or used to collect or convey storm-water (including storm drains, pipes, ditches, etc.); not a combined sewer; and not part of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (sewage treatment plant).

Our SWMP contains six minimum control measures that must be included as required by the referenced permit. The City is currently in the process of taking the necessary steps to implement each control measure. The control measures are as follows:

A. Public Education and Outreach: The City’s goal is to have a comprehensive and effective public education and outreach program, the intent of which is to:

  • Generate awareness of storm water pollution prevention by educating people about the storm drain system and its relationship to the health of local waterways;
  • Change behavior patterns through education and encouragement of active participation in water pollution prevention; and
  • Inform the public of steps they can take to reduce pollutants in storm water runoff.

B. Public Involvement and Participation: The City intends to involve the general public by providing activities and opportunities for the public to participate in the storm water management program.

C. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination: Attalla’s Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) program will be primarily designed to locate, identify, and correct illicit discharges to the MS4. Program emphasis will be placed on identifying and correcting pollutant discharges which could influence compliance with the Neely Henry Lake TMDL’s and the Gadsden-Etowah pollutant monitoring program (as outlined in complete SWMP document).

D. Construction Site Storm Water Runoff: The City’s construction site storm water runoff control program is primarily designed to address storm water pollution due to off-site sedimentation by insuring the implementation of properly designed erosion and sedimentation control plans during regulated construction activities.

E. Post-Construction Storm Water Management: Post-Construction runoff can significantly impact a water body by increasing the type and quantity of pollutants in storm water runoff and by increasing the quantity of water delivered to the water body during storms. As runoff flows over areas altered by development, it collects sediment and chemicals such as oil, grease, pesticides, heavy metals, and nutrients. Instead of infiltrating, water is collected from surfaces such as asphalt and concrete and routed to drainage systems where large volumes of runoff are delivered to the nearest receiving water. Both impacts can be mitigated by proper post-construction planning.

F. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations: Attalla will develop and utilize BMP’s designed to minimize pollution related to municipal operations and maintenance. These BMP’s are intended to address storm water pollution from nutrients, sediments, petroleum products, and other common pollutants.

For more detailed information on storm-water management and each control measure please visit:

For questions about the City of Attalla Storm Water Management Program and its implementation or to report a non-compliant construction site, illicit discharge (including spills or illegal dumping), impaired waterways, or any possible violation of ordinances relating to storm water pollution please contact the City of Attalla’s Engineer Department at 256-538-7522.

Upcoming community events promoting stormwater management:

Note: Exact dates will be advertised locally once set.

Jason Nicholson, P.E. Attalla City Engineer, Attalla, Al. 256-538-7522