Town of Fishers


The Town of Fishers, Indiana has enacted a Stormwater Management Ordinance in order to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of Town of Fishers through the regulation of stormwater and non-stormwater discharges to the storm drainage system and to protect, conserve and promote the orderly development of land and water resources within the Town of Fishers.  The Town of Fishers is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The Town of Fishers will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. Stormwater fees will be calculated and collected by the Town of Fishers. The Town of Fishers, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The Town of Fishers has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.

Stormwater Fee

The stormwater utility rate was set at $4.95 per equivalent residential unit (ERU) in the Town of Fishers. An ERU is equal to 3,318 square feet, which is the average amount of impervious area on a residential lot in Fishers. All residential properties are charged 1 ERU a month. Other properties are charged based the number of ERUs on site. For example a property with 9,954 square feet would pay $14.85 per month.

Prohibited Discharges & Connections

APPLICABILITY AND EXEMPTIONS

This Article shall apply to all discharges, including illegal dumping, entering the stormwater drainage system regulated by the Town of Fishers, regardless of whether the discharge originates from developed or undeveloped lands, and regardless of whether the discharge is generated from an active construction site or a stabilized site. These discharges include flows from direct connections to the stormwater drainage system, illegal dumping, and contaminated runoff.

Stormwater runoff from agricultural, timber harvesting, and coal mining activities is exempted from the requirements of this Article unless determined to contain pollutants not associated with such activities or in excess of standard practices. Farm residences are not included in this exemption.

Any non-stormwater discharge permitted under an NPDES permit, waiver, or waste discharge order issued to the discharger and administered under the authority of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, provided that the discharger is in full compliance with all requirements of the permit, waiver, or order and other applicable laws and regulations, and provided that IDEM issues written acceptance for the subject discharge to the stormwater drainage system, is also exempted from this Article.

PROHIBITED DISCHARGES AND CONNECTIONS

No person shall discharge to a MS4 conveyance, watercourse, or waterbody, directly or indirectly, any substance other than stormwater or an exempted discharge. Any person discharging stormwater shall effectively minimize pollutants from also being discharged with the stormwater, through the use of best management practices (BMPs).

The Town of Fishers is authorized to require dischargers to implement pollution prevention measures, utilizing BMPs, necessary to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants into the Town of Fishers stormwater drainage system.

EXEMPTED DISCHARGES AND CONNECTIONS

Notwithstanding other requirements in this Ordinance, the following categories of non-stormwater discharges or flows are exempted from the requirements of this Article:

  1. Water line flushing;
  2. Landscape irrigation;
  3. Diverted streamflows;
  4. Rising ground waters;
  5. Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration;
  6. Uncontaminated pumped ground water;
  7. Discharges from potable water sources;
  8. Foundation drains;
  9. Air conditioning condensation;
  10. Irrigation water;
  11. Springs;
  12. Water from crawl space pumps;
  13. Footing drains;
  14. Lawn watering;
  15. Individual residential car washing;
  16. Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands;
  17. Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges;
  18. Street wash water;
  19. Discharges from firefighting activities;
  20. Naturally introduced detritus (e.g. leaves and twigs).

STORAGE OF HAZARDOUS OR TOXIC MATERIAL

Storage or stockpiling of hazardous or toxic material within any watercourse, or in its associated floodway or floodplain, is strictly prohibited. Storage or stockpiling of hazardous or toxic material, including sewage treatment plant stockpiles, on active construction sites must include adequate protection and/or containment so as to prevent any such materials from entering any temporary or permanent stormwater conveyance or watercourse.

PRIVATE PROPERTY MAINTENANCE DUTIES

Every person owning property through which a watercourse passes, or such person's lessee, shall keep and maintain that part of the watercourse located within their property boundaries, free of trash, debris, excessive vegetation, and other obstacles that would pollute, contaminate, or significantly retard the flow of water through the watercourse. In addition, the owner or lessee shall maintain existing privately owned structures within or adjacent to a watercourse, so that such structures will not become a hazard to the use, function, or physical integrity of the watercourse.

SPILL REPORTING

Any discharger who accidentally discharges into a waterbody any substance other than stormwater or an exempted discharge shall immediately inform the Hamilton County Health Department or HAZMAT concerning the discharge. A written report concerning the discharge shall be filed with the Town of Fishers and IDEM, by the dischargers, within five (5) days. The written report shall specify:

  1. The composition of the discharge and the cause thereof;
  2. The date, time, and estimated volume of the discharge;
  3. All measures taken to clean up the accidental discharge, and all measures proposed to be taken to prevent any recurrence;
  4. The name and telephone number of the person making the report, and the name and telephone number of a person who may be contacted for additional information on the matter.

A properly reported accidental discharge shall be an affirmative defense to a civil infraction proceeding brought under this Ordinance against a discharger for such discharge. It shall not, however, be a defense to a legal action brought to obtain an injunction, to obtain recovery of costs or to obtain other relief because of or arising out of the discharge. A discharge shall be considered properly reported only if the discharger complies with all the requirements of this section. This requirement does not relieve discharger from notifying other entities as required by other Local, State, and Federal regulations.

INSPECTIONS AND MONITORING

A. Storm Drainage System

The Town Engineer has the authority to periodically inspect the portion of the storm drainage system under the Town of Fishers’ control, in an effort to detect and eliminate illicit connections and discharges into the system. This inspection will include a screening of discharges from outfalls connected to the system in order to determine if prohibited flows are being conveyed into the storm drainage system. It could also include spot testing of waters contained in the storm drainage system itself to detect the introduction of pollutants into the system by means other than a defined outfall, such as dumping or contaminated sheet runoff.

B. Potential Polluters

If, as a result of the storm drainage system inspection, a discharger is suspected of an illicit discharge, the Town Engineer may inspect and/or obtain stormwater samples from stormwater runoff facilities of the subject discharger, to determine compliance with the requirements of this Ordinance. Upon request, the discharger shall allow the Town Engineer’s Office’s properly identified representative to enter upon the premises of the discharger at all hours necessary for the purposes of such inspection or sampling. The Town Engineer’s Office or its properly identified representative may place on the discharger's property the equipment or devices used for such sampling or inspection. Identified illicit connections or discharges shall be subject to enforcement action.

C. New Development and Re-Development

Following the final completion of construction and the receipt of as-built drawings by the Town Engineer’s Office, the Town Engineer’s Office has the authority to inspect new development and re-development sites to verify that all on-site stormwater conveyances and connections to the storm drainage system are in compliance with this Article.

STORMWATER QUANTITY MANAGEMENT

APPLICABILITY AND EXEMPTIONS

The storage and controlled release rate of excess stormwater runoff shall be required for all new business, commercial and industrial developments, residential subdivisions, planned development, rural estate subdivisions, and any redevelopment or other new construction located within Town of Fishers. The Town Engineer, after thorough investigation and evaluation, may waive the requirement of controlled runoff for minor subdivisions and parcelization.

POLICY ON STORMWATER QUANTITY MANAGEMENT

 A. Detention Policy

It is recognized that most streams and drainage channels serving the Town of Fishers do not have sufficient capacity to receive and convey stormwater runoff resulting from continued urbanization. Accordingly, the storage and controlled release of excess stormwater runoff shall be required for all developments and redevelopments (as defined in Article 8) located within Town of Fishers.

B. Grading and Building Pad Elevations

Maximum yard slopes are 3:1 where soil has been disturbed during construction processes. Finished floor elevation or the lowest building entry elevation must be no less than 6 inches above finished grade around the building. Also, the building’s lowest entry elevation that is adjacent to and facing a road shall be a minimum of 15 inches above the road elevation.

It shall be the property owners’ responsibility to maintain the natural features on their lots and to take preventive measures against any and all erosion and/or deterioration of natural or manmade features on their lots.

C. Acceptable Outlet and Adjoining Property Impact Policies

Design and construction of the stormwater facility shall provide for the discharge of the stormwater runoff from off-site land areas as well as the stormwater from the area being developed (on-site land areas) to an acceptable outlet(s) (as determined by the Town Engineer) having capacity to receive upstream (off-site) and on-site drainage. The flow path from the development outfall(s) to a regulated drain or natural watercourse (as determined by the Town Engineer) shall be provided on an exhibit that includes topographic information. Any existing field tile encountered during the construction shall also be incorporated into the proposed stormwater drainage system or tied to an acceptable outlet. In addition, no activities conducted as part of the development shall be allowed to obstruct the free flow of flood waters from an upstream property.

D. No Net Loss Floodplain Storage Policy

Floodplains exist adjacent to all natural and man-made streams, regardless of contributing drainage area or whether they have been previously identified or mapped. Due to potential impacts of floodplain loss on peak flows in streams and on the environment, disturbance to floodplains should be avoided. When the avoidance of floodplain disturbance is not practical, the natural functions of floodplain should be preserved to the extent possible.

INSPECTION, MAINTENANCE, RECORD KEEPING, AND REPORTING

After the approval of the stormwater management permit by the Town Engineer and the commencement of construction activities, the Town Engineer’s Office has the authority to conduct inspections of the work being done to insure full compliance with the provisions of this Article, the Stormwater Technical Standards Manual, and the terms and conditions of the approved permit.

The Town Engineer’s Office also has the authority to perform long-term, post-construction inspection of all public or privately owned stormwater quantity facilities. The inspection will cover physical conditions, available storage capacity, and the operational condition of key facility elements. Stormwater quantity facilities shall be maintained in good condition, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the approved stormwater management permit, and shall not be subsequently altered, revised or replaced except in accordance with the approved stormwater permit, or in accordance with approved amendments or revisions to the permit. If deficiencies are found during the inspection, the owner of the facility will be notified by Town Engineer’s Office and will be required to take all necessary measures to correct such deficiencies. If the owner fails to correct the deficiencies within the allowed time period, as specified in the notification letter, the Town Engineer’s Office will undertake the work and collect from the owner using lien rights if necessary.

STORMWATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT FOR POST-CONSTRUCTION

POLICY ON STORMWATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT

It is recognized that developed areas, as compared to undeveloped areas, generally have increased imperviousness, decreased infiltration rates, increased runoff rates, and increased concentrations of pollutants such as fertilizers, herbicides, greases, oil, salts and other pollutants. As new development and re-development continues in Town of Fishers, measures must be taken to intercept and filter pollutants from stormwater runoff prior to reaching regional creeks, streams, and rivers. It is presumed that through the use of Best Management Practices (BMP), stormwater runoff will be filtered and harmful amounts of sediment, nutrients, and contaminants will be removed. Town of Fishers has established a minimum standard that the measurement of the effectiveness of the control of Stormwater quality will be based on the management of Total Suspended Solids (TSS). However, in order to promote the use of green infrastructure in leu of the potential for a wide range of pollutant removal, the minimum TSS removal percentage may be waived in certain cases where specific BMPs are shown to have high pollutant removal capacities over a wide range of pollutants (i.e. phosphates, petroleum, pesticides, herbicides, bacteria, surfactants, metals, etc.).

The project site owner must submit to the Town of Fishers, a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) that would show placement of appropriate BMP(s) from a pre-approved list of BMPs specified in the Town of Fishers Stormwater Technical Standards Manual. The noted BMPs must be designed, constructed, and maintained according to guidelines provided or referenced in the Town of Fishers Stormwater Technical Standards Manual. Practices other than those specified in the pre-approved list may be utilized. However, the burden of proof, as to whether the performance (minimum 80% TSS removal) and ease of maintenance of such practices will be according to guidelines provided in the Town of Fishers Stormwater Technical Standards Manual, would be placed with the applicant. Details regarding the procedures and criteria for consideration of acceptance of such BMPs are provided in the Town of Fishers Stormwater Technical Standards Manual.

Gasoline outlets and refueling areas must install appropriate practices to reduce lead, copper, zinc, and hydrocarbons in stormwater runoff. These requirements will apply to all new facilities and existing facilities that replace their tanks.

EASEMENT REQUIREMENTS

All stormwater quality management systems, including detention or retention basins, filter strips, pocket wetlands, in-line filters, infiltration systems, conveyance systems, structures and appurtenances located outside of the right-of-way shall be designated as common areas or incorporated into permanent drainage easements. For the purposes of monitoring, inspection, and general maintenance activities, adequate easement width, as detailed in the Town of Fishers Stormwater Technical Standards Manual, beyond the actual footprint of the stormwater quality management facility as well as a 20-foot wide access easement from a public right-of-way to each BMP shall be provided.

INSPECTION, MAINTENANCE, RECORD KEEPING, AND REPORTING

After the approval of the stormwater management permit, the Town Engineer’s Office has the authority to conduct inspections of the work being done to ensure full compliance with the provisions of this Article, the Stormwater Technical Standards Manual, and the terms and conditions of the approved permit.

Stormwater quality management facilities shall be maintained in good condition, in accordance with the Operation and Maintenance procedures and schedules listed in the latest editions of the Indiana Stormwater Quality Manual and the Town of Fishers Stormwater Technical Standards Manual, and the terms and conditions of the approved stormwater permit, and shall not be subsequently altered, revised, or replaced except in accordance with the approved stormwater permit, or in accordance with approved amendments or revisions in the permit. Following construction completion, maintenance of stormwater quality facilities shall be the long-term responsibility of the facility’s owner.

The Town Engineer’s Office has the authority to perform long-term, post-construction inspection of all public or privately owned stormwater quality facilities. The inspections will follow the Operation and Maintenance procedures included in the Stormwater Technical Standards Manual and/or permit application for each specific BMP. The inspection will cover physical conditions, available water quality storage capacity and the operational condition of key facility elements. Noted deficiencies and recommended corrective action will be included in an inspection report. If deficiencies are found during the inspection, the owner of the facility will be notified by the Town Engineer’s Office and will be required to take all necessary measures to correct such deficiencies. If the owner fails to correct the deficiencies within the allowed time period, as specified in the notification letter, the Town of Fishers will undertake the work and collect from the owner using lien rights if necessary.

ENFORCEMENT

PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS

Any person found in violation of any provision of this Ordinance shall be responsible for a civil infraction and subject to a maximum fine of $5,000 for a first offense, and a maximum of $10,000 for a subsequent offense, plus costs, damages, and expenses. Each day such violation occurs or continues shall be deemed a separate offense and shall make the violator liable for the imposition of a fine for each day.

The rights and remedies provided for in this section are cumulative and in addition to any other remedies provided by law. An admission or determination of responsibility shall not exempt the offender from compliance with the requirements of this Ordinance.

Any person who aids or abets a person in a violation of this Ordinance shall be subject to the penalties provided in this section.

For purposes of this section, "subsequent offense" means a violation of the provisions of this Ordinance committed by the same person within 12 months of a previous violation of the same provision of this Ordinance for which said person admitted responsibility or was adjudicated to be responsible.

FAILURE TO COMPLY OR COMPLETE

In addition to any other remedies, should any owner fail to comply with the provisions of this ordinance, the Town Engineer may, after giving notice and opportunity for compliance, have the necessary work done, and the owner shall be required to promptly reimburse the Town of Fishers for all costs of such work.

SUSPENSION OF ACCESS TO THE STORM DRAIN SYSTEM

A. Suspension due to Emergency Situations

The Town Engineer may, without prior notice, suspend stormwater drainage system discharge access to a person when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened discharge which presents or may present imminent and substantial danger to the environment, or to the health or welfare of persons, or to the stormwater drainage system or Waters of the United States. If the violator fails to comply with a suspension order issued in an emergency, Town Engineer may take such steps as deemed necessary to prevent or minimize damage to the stormwater drainage system or Waters of the United States, or to minimize danger to persons.

B. Suspension due to the Detection of Illicit Discharge

Any person discharging to the stormwater drainage system in violation of this Ordinance may have their stormwater drainage system access terminated if such termination would abate or reduce an illicit discharge. The Town Engineer will notify a violator of the proposed termination of its MS4 access. The violator may petition the Town of Fishers Council for a reconsideration and hearing.

CORRECTIVE ACTION

Nothing herein contained shall prevent the Town of Fishers from taking such other lawful action as may be necessary to prevent or remedy any violation. All costs connected therewith shall accrue to the person or persons responsible. Costs include, but are not limited to, repairs to the stormwater drainage system made necessary by the violation, as well as those penalties levied by the EPA or IDEM for violation of the Town of Fishers NPDES permit, attorney fees, and other costs and expenses.

APPEALS

Any person to whom any provision of this Ordinance has been applied may appeal in writing, not later than 30 days after the action or decision being appealed from, to the Town of Fishers Council the action or decision whereby any such provision was so applied. Such appeal shall identify the matter being appealed, and the basis for the appeal. The Town of Fishers Council shall consider the appeal and make a decision whereby it affirms, rejects or modifies the action being appealed. In considering any such appeal, the Town of Fishers Council may consider the recommendations of the Town Engineer and the comments of other persons having knowledge of the matter. In considering any such appeal, the Town of Fishers Council may grant a variance from the terms of this Ordinance to provide relief, in whole or in part, from the action being appealed, but only upon finding that the following requirements are satisfied:

  1. The application of the Ordinance provisions being appealed will present or cause practical difficulties for a development or development site; provided, however, that practical difficulties shall not include the need for the developer to incur additional reasonable expenses in order to comply with the Ordinance; and
  2. The granting of the relief requested will not substantially prevent the goals and purposes of this Ordinance, nor result in less effective management of stormwater runoff.

LINK:

Fishers Stormwater Utility

Fishers Stormwater Technical Standards