Stormwater Management


What is stormwater management?

The City of Grand Ledge is a member of the Greater Lansing Regional Committee for Stormwater Management (GLRC), a guiding body comprised of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) communities within the Greater Lansing Region. The committee has been established to guide the implementation of the stormwater program for participating communities within the Grand River, the Red Cedar River and the Looking Glass River watersheds. Visit to learn about upcoming events, find steps you can take to limit water pollution, and to get involved in managing our shared water resources!

Stormwater runoff is created when rain falls on pavement, buildings, and other impervious surfaces that do not allow water to soak into the ground. In developed areas like Grand Ledge, we limit flooding by moving this runoff from our roads and neighborhoods through storm drains that discharge directly into rivers and streams. Since stormwater does not get processed at a treatment plant, any contaminant on the ground can "hitch a ride" with runoff and impact our shared surface waters. Pet waste, oil, leaves and dirty water from cleaning your car can enter storm drains and flow downstream where it harms aquatic habitats and makes water unsafe for swimming, canoeing, and other water-related fun. The City takes steps to reduce this pollution to protect our water resources and meet State and Federal requirements.

Every five years, the City must submit an application to MDEQ to obtain a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, or authorization to discharge municipal stormwater into the “waters of the state.” A large part of that application consists of a description as to how the City will commit to and proceed with the development, implementation, and enforcement of practices to reduce the discharge of pollutants from its municipal separate storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable and protect water quality. This documentation was formally designated as the City of Grand Ledge Stormwater Management Program. If you would like to submit feedback regarding the SWMP please contact Dave Gutchess.

What is an illicit discharge?

All water that goes into a storm pipe, catch basin, or drainage ditch within the City of Grand Ledge eventually travels into the Grand River Watershed. An illicit discharge is defined as any discharge to the municipal separate storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of stormwater, except for discharges allowed under an NPDES permit or waters used for firefighting operations. Many of these non-stormwater discharges occur due to illegal connections to the storm drain system from commercial, residential, and other establishments.

As a result of these illicit connections, contaminated wastewater enters into storm drains or directly into local water ways without receiving treatment from a wastewater treatment plant. Illicit connections may be intentional or unknown to the property owner. An examples of an illicit connection is when floor drains are connected to the storm drainage system. Additional sources of illicit discharges are failing septic systems, illegal dumping practices, and the improper disposal of sewage from recreational practices such as boating or camping. Illicit discharges also can be generated by persons using antiquated methods for tasks such as cleaning pool filters, cleaning paint brushes, car washing, and other common activities.

If you happen to see something entering or exiting a storm pipe, catch basin, or drainage ditch that looks, smells or feels like something other than stormwater, please contact Dave Gutchess or call 517-627-2149. You can also report polluters through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Pollution Emergency Alerting System (PEAS) hotline at 800-292-4706.