About Stormwater Quality

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History and Mission Statement

In 2012, Water Quality became a separate division as part of the newly formed Department of Environmental Services. The Water Quality Division is responsible for compliance with the City's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. The Mission of the Water Quality Division is to serve the community and ensure compliance to protect and improve area streams, rivers, and lakes. This is achieved through a stormwater management program and projects that focus on pollution prevention, sustainable solutions, increased community awareness, and watershed health.

Stormwater 101

Explaining Stormwater

Stormwater is the runoff from rainfall and snow melt. In undeveloped areas such as grasslands and forests, much of the rainfall and snow melt soaks into the ground. Vegetation helps to slow runoff. 
In urban areas, buildings and other impervious surfaces such as parking lots do not allow water to soak into the ground resulting in both increased amounts of runoff and faster flow. Along the way, runoff can pick up pollutants such as fertilizers and pesticides from yards, motor oil from leaking cars, pet waste, and dirt from construction sites. This can cause downstream waterways to become polluted.

Stormwater System & Sewer System

The city's stormwater drainage system is separate from the sanitary sewer system (indoor sinks, toilets, etc). The sanitary sewer system drains to the city's 2 wastewater treatment plants while the stormwater system drains to area streams, rivers, and lakes.

Parts of the Stormwater Drainage System

A variety of structures and land forms, both natural and artificial, are considered to be part of the stormwater drainage system, these include:

  • box culverts
  • detention basins
  • ditches
  • earth berms
  • grass and concrete channels
  • pipes
  • sinkholes
  • storm drains
  • streams
  • street gutters

All of these are part of the course which stormwater runoff travels on its way out of urban areas and into nearby streams, rivers, and lakes.

Watershed Definition

The area of land that drains to a waterway such as a river or lake is its watershed. Each watershed is part of a bigger watershed. The Springfield area is made up of many small watersheds.

These small watersheds drain into one of 2 larger watersheds, the James River or the Sac River. Some portions of the Springfield area are not part of a smaller watershed, but drain directly into the James River or the Sac River. These 2 watersheds are each part of different, larger watersheds that eventually drain to the Gulf of Mexico.

Storm water pollution prevention not only makes a difference locally, but downstream as well. Find out where runoff from your home ends up by figuring out your watershed address.

Watershed Address

Where does your runoff go (PDF)?  For printed copies of the brochure that includes this watershed address map, contact Carrie Lamb via email or by phone at 417-864-1996. For a more detailed map, visit our interactive stormwater map.

Importance of Stormwater Management

Good stormwater management benefits citizens and the community by reducing potential flood hazards and protecting area waterways. This includes stormwater capital improvement projects, requirements for development, and maintaining compliance with the City’s MS4 permit for water quality protection.

Rain Gauge Network

The city's rain gauge network can be accessed by visiting Mission Communications and entering:

Site Navigation Information

  • Once you are logged in to the webpage, go to the folders on the left-hand side of the webpage.
  • Open data, then rainfall. Under the rainfall folder, view the table to see the most recent data for all the gauges.
  • Click on a particular gauge to see historic data (click on "Last 12 Months" or "All Data" at the top of the page).
  • To see daily totals, click on calendar under the rainfall folder.

Rain Gauge Network Facts


  • The equipment cost was jointly funded by a grant from Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, and funding from stormwater engineering, clean water services, and Greene County Resource Management. The ongoing annual service fee cost is shared by stormwater engineering and clean water services.
  • Gauge Type
    • The gauges are tipping bucket style gauges with a solar-powered transmitter that utilizes the digital control channel of the cellular communications network to transmit the data to a webpage in 15-minute increments when it has rained at least 0.01 inches in that 15-minute period. The data transmission is near real time, displaying on the webpage with an approximate 3 to 5 minute delay. The gauges report in once / day when no rainfall has occurred.
  • Number of Gauges
    • 36 (20 gauges were installed in 2006 and an additional 18 installed in 2011)

Current and Potential Uses

  • Establishing long-term rainfall data for statistical analysis
  • Evaluating flooding from individual storm events
  • Evaluating Infiltration/Inflow and sanitary sewer overflows
  • Potentially improving flood warning system response time in the urban area
  • Potentially issuing flood warnings for specific watersheds and streams
  • Providing rainfall data for the City's MS4 Permit Monitoring Program
  • Public education/outreach tool at schools with gauges and for the general public