Stormwater + Water Quality

Stormwater runoff is the dominant source of phosphorus and other nutrients in the St. Albans Bay. Agricultural lands followed by suburban and urban developments are the two main contributors to pollution in the Bay. The Town of St. Albans is planning for the restoration of our Bay by taking regulatory actions, installing stormwater infrastructure, and working with partners to provide stormwater education.


  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit

o   The Town has received a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit. As part of the permit, the Town has developed a Stormwater Management Program that will guide Town policies and efforts to reduce pollution to state waters.

Read the 2013 Town Stormwater Management Plan

  • Stormwater zoning regulations

o   The Town is updating its zoning to include regulations that will reduce stormwater runoff by decreasing impervious surfaces and incentivizing development practices that protect water quality beyond the current standards.

Read the draft bylaws.

  • Stormwater Ordinance

o   The Town will adopt a stormwater ordinance that will target development currently not covered under State permits and ensuring proper erosion and sediment control on construction sites

  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination 

o   The Town will enact procedures to detect illicit stormwater discharges and to enforce their elimination.

o   Learn more about Illicit Discharges and what you can do to prevent them:Illicit Discharge Info Sheet

Infrastructure Plans

  • Flow Restoration Plan for the Stevens and Rugg Brooks

o   As part of the MS4 requirements, the Town and City of St. Albans are currently developing a plan that would reduce stormwater flows to the Stevens and Rugg Brooks, which discharge to the St. Albans Bay. The Plan outlines infrastructure improvements in the town such as detention ponds that should be implemented in the next twenty years, bringing all expired permits in the impaired watershed into compliance.

  • Inventory of existing studies and projects

o   The Town is creating a list of priority stormwater mitigation projects which it can use to apply for State grant funds to install the identified infrastructure.

Read the Stormwater Bibliography

Review the Problem Area Data Sheet

Working in Partnership

  • St. Albans Bay Watershed Initiative

o   Started by the Town, this group of water quality advocates, agricultural specialists, and representatives from State agencies meets quarterly to discuss water quality needs, share resources, identify projects, and look for funding.

  • Franklin County Stormwater Community Education Program

o   The Town, the City and Northwest Regional Planning established this program to conduct education and community outreach activities related to stormwater, including running media stories, sponsoring clean up days and workshops, and designing stormwater school curricula. Learn more at the Franklin County Stormwater website.


State and Federal Regulations

The following regulations were mandated by the State of Vermont. The Town of St. Albans is subject to these regulations.

  • Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Designation

o   A municipal separate storm sewer system is a stormwater water conveyance or system of conveyances (including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, or storm drains). The State has imposed MS4 permit requirements aimed at reducing stormwater runoff and designated the Town of St. Albans as a small MS4 because of impairment in Stevens and Rugg brook. Under the MS4 permitting program, the Town must develop a stormwater management program that includes six Minimum Control Measures designed to reduce the potential for pollutants to enter the MS4 system and discharge to surface waters. The MCMs include public education and outreach, public participation/involvement, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction site runoff control, post-construction runoff control, and pollution prevention/good housekeeping.

  • Lake Champlain Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) – Draft form

o   The TMDL implementation plan outlines how the State of Vermont will reduce phosphorous runoff. It includes new certification processes and regulations for small, medium, and large farms. It also sets new requirements for developed land and land in floodplains, among other things. The State has not yet released the final EPA-approved implementation plan.

Click here for more info

  • Shoreland Protection Act

o   The Shoreland Protection Act, enacted by VT legislature, regulates clearing areas or creating new impervious areas within 250 of the Lake. The Act is designed to reduce risk of shoreline erosion and stormwater runoff to the lake. The State is responsible for the enforcement of this act.

Click here for more info