Stormwater Management

What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is the runoff resulting from any rainfall event. Usually, problems with stormwater occur when an intense precipitation even deposits large amounts of water on the earth in a short period of time. The ground surface becomes saturated and is not able to absorb any more water, so the excess becomes surface runoff. Another cause of surface runoff in urban areas is the abundance of impervious surfaces. Surfaces such as concrete, asphalt, and building roofs block water from seeping into the ground. Runoff is often immediately channeled into storm sewers but all runoff ultimately ends up in streams, rivers, and the ocean.
How Does Stormwater Affect Me?
 Improper treatment of stormwater can affect an entire city. Groundwater aquifers must be replenished periodically and the easiest way to do this is to allow stormwater to soak into the ground. If water cannot soak through the soil due to impervious surfaces, it will run off into the local streams, rivers, and lakes. Polluted stormwater is not only unappealing but it is dangerous to fish and plant life that require clean water. Runoff picks up and carries off many contaminants from impervious surfaces including litter and debris, pesticides, fertilizers, and even air pollutants that have fallen out of the air and settled on the ground. Stormwater runoff can negatively affect local water quality but there are ways to prevent this problem.

report a water problem

Report stormwater problems
In accordance with Part I E 2.b.(1) and (3) of the MS4 General Permit, citizens may report stormwater concerns, including, but not limited to, the following.

  • Illicit discharge
  • Improper disposal
  • Spills to the MS4
  • Complaints about land-disturbing activities
  • Stormwater pollution concerns
  • Give input on the MS4 Program Plan

Contact the City of Radford’s Illicit Discharge Hotline, by phone or text at (540) 617-STRM(7876) or email In case of emergencies, call 911.

Review or download and complete the Report a Stormwater Discharge form to provide as much information to assist with investigating the problem.


You have taken the first step to help your community deal with stormwater - you are educating yourself. The next step is to follow a few simple guidelines that will improve water quality in your area and prevent stormwater pollution. The links listed on the resources page include more information about stormwater, its effects, how you can help improve it, and what Radford is doing in regard to stormwater.
Stormwater Glossary & Definitions

MS4 permit

The City of Radford is required to have a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit to prevent the discharge of pollutants such as pet waste, sediment, nutrients, trash, engine oil and fertilizers into waterways. The permit conditions apply to the County's urbanized areas and requires the County to develop a stormwater management program that addresses the following six minimum control measures, or MCMs:

  • MCM 1: Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts
  • MCM 2: Public involvement and participation
  • MCM 3: Illicit discharge detection and elimination (Tracking illegal stormwater pollutants.)
  • MCM 4: Construction site stormwater runoff control
  • MCM 5: Post-construction stormwater management in new development and redevelopment
  • MCM 6: Pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations

Visit the resources page, which includes downloads about MCMs, our annual reports, and MS4 Program Plan.