Water Quality Monitoring


What is Stormwater?

Stormwater, or urban runoff, is the rain water and waste water that flows over driveways, lawns, sidewalks, and streets.  As this water flows over these surfaces it picks up debris, chemicals, fertilizers, auto fluids, and other pollutants before entering into the stormwater system.  Our stormwater system is designed to drain the city of rainwater during weather events and to help minimize flooding. The stormwater system carries the runoff through a system of interconnected pipes before depositing the runoff into Biscayne Bay and the surrounding the waterways.

Stormwater Pollution Solutions

By practicing healthy household habits, homeowners can keep common pollutants like pesticides, pet waste, grass clippings, and automotive fluids off the ground and out of stormwater. Help protect our coastal waters!

Make your residence the Solution to Stormwater Pollution. Click here to find out more!

Stormwater Management

The City of Miami Beach is a barrier island surrounded by Biscayne Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and an interconnected system of waterways that provide habitat for fish and wildlife, opportunities for recreation, and an enhanced quality of life. As such, we implement a multi-faceted strategy to limit pollution from entering our waterways and impacting water quality. Our stormwater management program is structured on the requirements set forth by the Clean Water Act of 1972 and regulated through the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program. The NPDES permit allows for municipal stormwater discharges as long as they meet water quality standards and implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) that reduce pollutants to the "Maximum Extent Practicable". We are one of 30+ co-permittees under Miami-Dade County's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) NPDES permit.

While we share one NPDES permit with other communities within Biscayne Bay watershed, each co-permittee is required to develop and employ their own tailored stormwater management program to ensure their respective compliance with the provisions of our NPDES permit. The BMPs we implement in Miami Beach include education and outreach, good housekeeping,
water quality monitoring, as well as the use of cutting edge equipment and industry-vetted operational practices. Together these elements reduce the pollutants that can be picked up by stormwater throughout our city and trap and remove a large percentage of those pollutants within our stormwater system. Also, each co-permittee is required to submit an NPDES Annual Report detailing the activities conducted under their stormwater management program, their anticipated success at preventing stormwater pollution, and justifying any decreases in stormwater pollution prevention efforts. In the State of Florida, this report is submitted to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) as this agency has delegated authority from the EPA to implement the program on their behalf.

The NPDES Annual Report includes the following stormwater management milestones:

•  Increasing the stormwater system cleaning frequency from every three years to annually, with pump stations being cleaned quarterly;

•  Increasing the frequency of waterway cleaning from two to three times weekly;

• 100+ education and outreach events;

• 46,000 lbs of debris removed from our waterways;

• 2.5 million lbs of street sweepings removed from our roadways;

• 17.8 million lbs of litter removed by litter crews from our roadways;

• 80% increase from Cycle 4 Year 1 to Year 2 in household hazardous waste collected from our residents for proper disposal;

• Passing of the City's first Fertilizer Ordinance restricting the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

The previous NPDES Annual Reports have completed their review and are available below.

Cycle 3 Year 1 (June 2011 - June 2012)

Cycle 3 Year 2 (June 2012 - June 2013)

Cycle 3 Year 3 (June 2013 - June 2014) 

Cycle 3 Year 4 (June 2014 - June 2015) 

Cycle 3 Year 5 (June 2015 - June 2016)

Cycle 3 Year 6 (June 2016 - June 2017) 

Cycle 3 Year 7 (June 2017 - December 2017)

Cycle 4 Year 1 (January 2018- December 2018)

Cycle 4 Year 2 (December 2018-December 2019)

Fertilizer Ordinance 

The City of Miami Beach adopted an ordinance that restricts fertilizer use. As a homeowner, property manager or landscaping professional, you can help protect our natural habitats by following the guidelines and restrictions on the ordinance. The ordinance takes into account best management practices and establishes critical restrictions to minimize negative and cumulative environmental effects associated with the misuse of fertilizers.

The ordinance regulates and promotes the following best management guidelines and required restrictions:

  1. Prohibits fertilizer application from June 1 through November 1 (accounting for rainy season and king tides).
  2. Prohibits fertilizer application in fertilizer-free zones of 20 feet adjacent to waterways and storm drains.
  3. Recommends low maintenance zones of 10 feet adjacent to waterways and storm drains.
  4. Establishes proper fertilizer application rates and methods outside of the prohibited application period.
  5. Requires that grass clippings and other vegetative matter be kept away from storm drains and waterways.
  6. Establishes minimum Florida-Friendly Landscaping and Low-Impact Design requirements for new golf courses and parks.
  7. Requires commercial applicators to complete the six-hour training program: “Florida-Friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by the Green Industries” offered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Golf course applicators are required to complete the “Florida Golf Course Best Management Practices Certification Training” offered by the University of Florida.
  8. Establishes the Miami Beach Biscayne Bay Protection Fund dedicated to water conservation, nonpoint pollution prevention activities, water quality improvements and marine and coastal ecosystems enhancements.
  9. Establishes enforcement and penalties

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