Stormwater Education


General Information:

The quality of the water and stability of flow are important to support a diverse and healthy ecosystem and to provide recreational, economic, aesthetic, and educational opportunities that are essential to our quality of life. The way we use our land determines the condition of our watershed and water resources.

A watershed is another word for a river basin. It’s an area of land that drains into a common body of water. Rain and melting snow washes down the drain in the parking lots and streets into our storm water sewer system. This system then transports the water into rivers and streams and eventually into our lakes. In most of Macomb County, the eastern half of Oakland County, and small areas of southern Lapeer and St. Clair counties, this water makes its way into the Clinton River and eventually out to Lake St. Clair. Protecting and enhancing our water resources is the responsibility of everyone in our watershed and requires the coordinated involvement and effort of individuals, businesses, governments, and organizations throughout the watershed.

The City of Rochester is committed to protecting and enhancing our waterways by implementing bank stabilization, habitat improvement, and green infrastructure projects on our properties, improving recreational opportunities on our rivers, and educating our residents on the importance of our natural resources. We all play a part in keeping our lakes, rivers, and streams clean.

City of Rochester MS4 Permit

The City of Rochester’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit is provided below for public comments. If you have any comments on Rochester’s permit, please submit them to the City’s consultant using this email address

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit (Effective December 1, 2021)

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit Application (Submitted March 23, 2023, Revised submitted October 3, 2023)

Public Notice for DRAFT National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit (Posted January 24, 2024)

DRAFT National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit (Posted January 24, 2024)

Here are a few tips on ways to help us protect this vital resource:

  1. Household Hazard Waste
  2. Storm Drains
  3. Pet Care
  4. Lawn Care
  5. Car Care
  6. Additional Information
  7. Commonly Asked Questions

Household Hazard Waste (HHW)

Certain household products, such as batteries, cleaners, oils, paints, and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients and require special care when you dispose of them.

  • Keep household hazardous waste stored in its original container with its label intact, inside dry, cool areas, away from kids and pets.
  • Never dump household hazardous waste down storm drains, sinks, or on the ground.
  • Use baking soda, white vinegar, and essential oils when cleaning your house.
  • For more information regarding the North Oakland Household Hazardous Waste (NO HAZ) Program, visit their website at:
  • Don't know where to take your expired and/or unused prescriptions? Visit the Department of Environmental Quality web page to find a drop-off center close to you.