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Stormwater Pollution Prevention

Welcome to the City of Las Cruces Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program page. Although we live in an arid climate, rainfall can appear suddenly and with great intensity. Accumulated pollutants on our roadways, rooftops, and other impervious surfaces get carried by these sudden storms and end up in our watershed. Pollutants such as oil, sediment, pet waste, fertilizers, pesticides, heavy metals, and household chemicals eventually find their way downstream to the Rio Grande where they can be harmful to the ecosystem. Unlike wastewater, stormwater does not get treated or cleaned so it is up to us to keep these harmful pollutants out of our watershed. Use this site to find out what you must do to help keep our river and watershed clean. For construction assistance please check out the SWPPP guide and follow the Quick Links tab for addition information. Thank you for visiting and remember, only rain goes in the storm drains.

What is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System?
As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an NPDES permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters.

What is an MS4
Polluted stormwater runoff is commonly transported through Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), from which it is often discharged untreated into local waterbodies. To prevent harmful pollutants from being washed or dumped into an MS4, operators must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters.

What is Nonpoint Source Stormwater Pollution?
Nonpoint source stormwater pollution is our nation’s largest remaining water quality problem. It is not caused by pipes discharging waste from big factories or from sewage treatment plants. Rather, it is generated by all of us, a product of rainfall interacting with millions of actions that we collectively take each day, including activities such as applying pesticides, fertilizing our lawns, or even driving our cars. While most of our individual actions have relatively small impacts on water quality, the cumulative impact of how we choose to interact with our land and water is huge. By becoming more aware of the effect of our actions on our rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans, we can all become more water friendly.

Stormwater Program Overview -

Stormwater Management Plan

Stormwater Ordinance

Helpful Links:
Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, & Snow Network

Paso Del Norte Watershed Council

All About Watersheds, Forest and Watershed Health Information

Weather Station Map


Peter Bennett, CMS4S, CFM.
Engineering Technician Sr.