Storm Water Management

What is Stormwater runoff and why is it important?

Stormwater runoff is residual water that is created by rain or snowmelt that is not absorbed into the earth’s soil. The runoff flows into the Town’s storm sewer system and is conveyed into our local creeks and larger waterbodies. Unfortunately, stormwater runoff can carry trash, chemicals, debris and other pollutants that can be lying on ground into our local waterbodies and further contribute to the pollution of our ponds, streams, lakes, and oceans.

In an effort to reduce the impacts of Stormwater runoff and improve the water quality of our local creeks and streams, the Town of Gates joined the Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County, and implemented its own Stormwater Management Program Plan. As part of its commitment to preserve the quality of our larger and smaller waterbodies, and to remain in compliance with the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit, the Town of Gates has implemented practices that focus on the following objectives:

  1. Public Education and Outreach on Stormwater Impacts
  2. Public Involvement and Participation
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination
  4. Construction Stormwater Management
  5. Post-Construction Stormwater Management
  6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operation
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

Federal regulations define an illicit discharge as “...any discharge to an municipal sewer that is not composed entirely of stormwater...” with some exceptions. These exceptions include discharges from permitted industrial sources and discharges from fire-fighting activities. Illicit discharges are considered “illicit” because municipalities are not designed to accept, process, or discharge such non-stormwater wastes. 

Sources of Illicit Discharges include sanitary waste water; effluent from septic tanks; car wash wastewaters; improper oil disposal; radiator flushing disposal; laundry wastewaters; spills from roadway accidents; improper disposal of auto and household toxins.

How to report an Illicit Discharge

Step 1: Observe from a safe distance.  DO NOT touch or smell the substance.

Step 2: Notify

Weekdays between 8am-5pm please call the the building department at (585) 247-6100 ext. 413. In case of emergency call 911.

Step 3: Provide information the following information

    • Your name
    • phone number 
    • discover/incident time, date and location 
    • description of material, source if known
    • estimate extent of problem (slow trickle vs. significant flow)

The sooner we learn about these incidents, the better our chance of finding the source and correcting the problem!


Brianna Smith
Planning Assistant
(585)426-8581 Fax


additional information & resources:

The Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County:

Be an H2O Hero:

The NYS DEC’s recommendations on Water Quality Management:

The EPA’s Soak Up the Rain program: