Mesa County Public Works Stormwater Division tasked with protecting our rivers and water quality

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There’s a new team in charge of managing stormwater in Mesa County and ensuring that all stormwater that drains back to the Colorado River is clean. Mesa County Public Works Stormwater Division, formed in April 2020, took on this big task when the collaborative agency known as the 521 Drainage District officially dissolved.

Recreating outdoors, having clean water to irrigate, fresh produce, and enjoying our rivers is an important part of Western Colorado’s way of life, and we are here to help make sure that happens.

There’s a new team in charge of managing stormwater in Mesa County and ensuring that all stormwater that drains back to the Colorado River is clean. Mesa County Public Works Stormwater Division, formed in April 2020, took on this big task when the collaborative agency known as the 521 Drainage District officially dissolved. Stormwater oversight in the valley is not only necessary to comply with the Federal Clean Water Act under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, but is also required to help protect our rivers and wildlife from unwanted toxins and pollutants. After all, every storm drain in the Grand Valley goes back to the river.

Mesa County has a full Stormwater Division, including the Regulatory Programs Manager, Carrie Gudorf, Stormwater Coordinator Josh Martinez, and Stormwater Inspector, Rob Hale. These positions are necessary to fully comply with the Colorado Discharge Permit System Phase (CDPS) Phase II MS4 Stormwater permit. The Mesa County Stormwater Division has implemented five necessary required control measures to ensure compliance: (1) Public Education and Outreach; (2) Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination; (3) Construction Sites; (4) Post Construction Sites; (5) Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations. The Stormwater Division will focus on educating the public, responding to illicit discharges, completing construction stormwater inspections, overseeing the post construction stormwater quality control inspection and completing the required training for municipal operations. All of these components are necessary to ensure clean stormwater enters our storm drains. “Recreating outdoors, having clean water to irrigate, fresh produce, and enjoying our rivers is an important part of Western Colorado’s way of life, and we are here to help make sure that happens,” said Josh Martinez, Stormwater Coordinator.

Mesa County Stormwater Division will be diligently working to educate the public on the harmful effects of everyday waste and to teach the community ways that we can take action in our day-to-day life. “Small actions make a big difference when improving water quality,” said Martinez. “We have created a list of small actions each of us can do to be better stewards of our waterways and to give people ideas of how they can help with the mission.” This list includes:

  • Cleaning up after your pet so waste does not wash into storm drains.
  • Shovel your snow in the winter instead of salting it.
  • Recycle your used oil if you change your oil at home or use a professional oil changing business.
  • Wash your car at a professional carwash so soapy water doesn’t run down the driveway.
  • Wait to fertilize your lawn until after it rains or on a clear dry day.
  • Take your yard clippings, including, grass, leaves, dirt and tree bark to the Mesa County Compost Facility instead of sweeping them into the gutters.

In the Grand Valley, all storm drains go directly to the river. Help us protect our rivers and our beautiful Colorado community. If you witness illegal dumping or activities that are environmentally harmful to our rivers, please contact the Mesa County Stormwater Division Hotline at: 970-263-8201 or send an email to: stormwater@mesacounty.us. A representative from the Stormwater Division will follow up with the responsible parties. For more information, helpful tips, or to make an online hotline report, visit: stormwater@mesacounty.us.

About Mesa County Public Works Stormwater Division –
Mesa County has intergovernmental agreements with the City of Grand Junction, City of Fruita, and the Town of Palisade to implement, administrate, and enforce all aspects of the Colorado Discharge Permit System Phase II MS4 Stormwater Program.

Mesa County Stormwater Division is committed to managing a proactive Stormwater Program to improve the quality of runoff entering the storm sewer system and receiving streams. The Stormwater Program is regulated by the Clean Water Act under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and is administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

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Joshua Martinez
Mesa County Public Works - Stormwater Division
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