Did you know that Smyrna has two separate sewer systems? One is the Sanitary Sewer System that carries "liquid" waste from homes and businesses to the Waste Water Treatment Plant (Sewer Plant) for treatment and sanitization before it it is discharged back into nature. The other, the Storm Water System, carries rain water and other ground water straight to the river, without any treatment. Why does this matter? Because anything that goes down one of the storm drains, goes straight to the river... water, trash, car wash soap, pesticides, etc.
Where does the rain go when it hits the ground? It depends on the type of surface it lands on. If it lands on natural ground (grass, soil, forest), then it generally soaks in. On the other hand, if it lands on a hard surface (street, driveway, parking lot, rooftop, etc.), then it flows downhill until it enters one of the storm drains.
What is storm water? Storm water is more than just rain that has hit the ground. Any type of water run-off, whether it originates in the form of rain (or other precipitation), car wash water (commercial & residential), water from sprinkler systems, etc. is considered storm water.
Anything entering the storm water system does not get treated in any way; it flows directly to the river. Because of this, you should never pour anything other than clean water down a storm drain. Never pour motor oil, antifreeze, or other automotive / industrial products onto your driveway or street, or into storm drain, or drainage ditch. The storm water system is much more than just underground pipes heading to the river. The system also consists of drainage ditches and culverts that carry water toward the river, too. Because of this, you should make sure to keep any drainage ditches on your property free of debris, brush, and grass clippings that could restrict this flow of water. Think about it... if the water can't flow down the ditch toward the creek, then it could back up and flood the neighborhood.
The Town of Smyrna has a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit that is mandated by the U.S. EPA and enforced by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. There are many aspects of this program, and it covers the entire Town - established residential neighborhoods, new neighborhood construction, commercial and industrial construction, and daily operations of businesses. There are six points that the State of Tennessee measures Smyrna against:
- Public Education & Outreach on the Impact of Storm Water
- Public Involvement & Participation
- Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination
- Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control
- Permanent Storm Water Management in New Development & Redevelopment
- Pollution Prevention & Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations
Check out our general information page on how you can help keep our streams and sinkholes clean by allowing only clean water into the storm water system.
Storm Water Hotline
The Storm Water Management Program also has a telephone hotline you can call with any water quality concerns.
(615) 355-5789 is Smyrna's storm water hotline and is dedicated to the collection and processing of citizen complaints concerning surface and ground water quality issues. You can also email our Storm Water Manager, Greg Upham.
If your complaint addresses actual flooding and/or high water issues on your property or roadways caused by blocked drainage ways, please call the Public Works Department at (615) 459-9766.
If your complaint concerns an act of pollution to our streams or groundwater, you will be asked to answer four questions listed at the end of this message (see below). Once you have provided your answers simply hang up your phone.
The hotline is checked for messages at least twice during the work day. Your complaint will be investigated, then an attempt will be made to resolve the water quality problem.
We appreciate your concerns as well as your efforts to inform others of the hotline.
The four questions are:
1) What is your name and phone number? Answer only if you feel comfortable doing so.
2) What act did you see?
3) Where did this act occur?
4) When did this act occur?