Stormwater is the surface runoff of rain and snowmelt. In undeveloped areas
such as grasslands and forests, the surface flow of water is slowed by vegetation
and much of the water seeps into the ground. With urban growth and
development, open land is replaced by hard surface areas, such as buildings,
streets and parking lots, which are unable to absorb stormwater. Because
development results in increased amounts of stormwater runoff, a stormwater
drainage system is necessary to channel the runoff out of urban areas and
reduce the occurrence of flooding.
What are the stormwater drainage issues in Plainfield?
Many parts of the Town lack adequate storm sewers and drainage, leading to
standing water in yards and flooded streets and basements. Standing water can
increase inflow and infiltration of clear water into the sanitary sewers and
combined sewers, contributing to overflows and backups. Standing water also
can prevent septic system drainage fields from working properly. In the winter,
poor drainage can lead to dangerous black ice on roadways. The Department of
Public Works has responded to numerous drainage complaints in recent years.
Such responses have been constrained by insufficient funds.
What stormwater drainage improvements is the Town making?
Alleviate neighborhood and street flooding to resolve numerous drainage
Assist neighborhoods undergoing septic conversions with drainage
Reduce the frequency and duration of combined sewage overflows by
improving neighborhood drainage, and thereby reducing stormwater inflow
and infiltration into the sanitary sewer system.
Meet the regulatory requirements of the National Pollution Discharge
Elimination System permit as regulated by the Indiana Department of
Environmental Management and the U.S. Environmental Protection
What are the regulatory requirements of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit?
The Federal government has mandated that Plainfield separate its storm and
sanitary sewer systems, but has not provided any funding for such mandate.
The Federal government has also required the Town to implement a stormwater
management program under its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit.
Plainfield must come up with the money to pay for these programs.
What is the benefit of the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System?
The Town’s newly created stormwater department will result in improved
operations and maintenance such as increased street sweeping, catch basin
cleaning, and implementation of best management practices that will improve the
water quality in the creeks and streams within the Town. Such improved water
quality will result in an increase in the quality of life for the residents of the Town.
When will the Town address drainage problems in my neighborhood?
Where can I get more information about the Town's plans?
For more information about improvements to the Town's drainage and clean
waterway projects, please visit www.town.plainfield.in.us. To report street
drainage or flooding concerns, call the Department of Public Works at 317-839-
What can the Town do about standing water in my yard?
If stormwater is standing in a residential yard for longer than several days
following wet weather, it probably is not considered flooding. Please feel free to
discuss your problem with the Department of Public Works to determine if a
public improvement would alleviate your problem.
How much will the stormwater improvements cost?
The Town has identified more than $20 million of capital improvement needs.
Of these projects, 5 have been selected as high priorities at a cost of slightly
more than $6 million.
How will the Town fund stormwater improvements?
The Town is implementing a stormwater utility fee structure to generate
sufficient revenue to fund high priority projects and improve stormwater
operations of the Department of Public Works in accordance with State and
How do the new rates affect my bill?
The Town intends to assess single-family dwellings a new $2 per month fee
effective on the September 2006 billing, which will increase by another $2 per
month effective on the January 2007 billing. Business and commercial property
owners will pay an amount proportional to the amount of hard surface area on
their property (rooftops, driveways, parking lots). The proportional basis is
intended to be fair and equitable because properties with more hard surface area
result in more stormwater runoff that the Town's sewer system must handle.
Will there be future stormwater rate increases?
That can not be determined at this time. Any future rate increase will require
the approval of the Town Council.
What is the benefit for those not located near the high priority projects?
Those not living near the high priority projects will see cleaner streams in the
parks throughout Town as water discharged into White Lick Creek, which is
along the extensive trail system, will be cleaner.
Why are residents and businesses outside of the Town with connections
Stormwater department improvement projects will benefit all sanitary sewer
customers because such projects will reduce the amount of clear water entering
the sanitary sewer system. The Town is required by State law to collect fees for
such improvements from all customers of the Town’s sewer system.