Department of Public Works
Division of Highway
Stormwater Management Office

The Stormwater Management Office protects the Town’s public health and quality of waterbodies from potentially-contaminated stormwater runoff by maintaining stormwater management practices (SMPs).

The Stormwater Management Office main responsibilities are ensuring compliance with Federal, State and local regulations governing the management of stormwater in the Town of Colonie. This is includes the development, implementation and enforcement of the Town’s Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP), reviewing site development plans for adequate drainage, and regulating construction activities with respect to stormwater discharge.


Zach Harrison, Stormwater Management Coordinator
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Public Operations Center
Second Floor
347 Old Niskayuna Road
Latham, NY 12110-2290

What is Stormwater?

Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that doesn't soak into the ground but runs off into waterways. It flows from impervious surfaces (rooftops, roads, driveways) and bare soil, and through sloped lawns while picking up a variety of materials on its way. The quality of runoff is affected by a variety of factors and depends on the season, local meteorology, geography, and land use.

Why SHould You Care?

As it flows, stormwater runoff collects and transports pollutants to surface waters. Although the amount of pollutants from a single residential, commercial, industrial or construction site may seem unimportant, the combined concentrations of contaminants threaten our lakes, rivers, wetlands and other waterbodies. Pollution conveyed by stormwater degrades the quality of drinking water, damages fisheries and habitat of plants and animals that depend on clean water for survival. Pollutants carried by stormwater can also affect recreational uses of waterbodies by making them unsafe for wading, swimming, boating and fishing. According to an inventory conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), half of the impaired waterways are affected by urban/suburban and construction sources of stormwater runoff. Polluted stormwater runoff is commonly transported through Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), and then often discharged, untreated, into local water bodies.

Federal & State Mandates

To avoid harmful pollutants from being washed or dumped into MS4s, certain operators are required to obtain permits and develop stormwater management programs (SWMPs). The Town of Colonie is required under State and Federal regulations to maintain coverage under a General Permit administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to discharge stormwater via its MS4. The General Permit (SPDES GP-0-15-003), mandates the development and implementation of a Stormwater Management Program Plan (SWMPP) addressing six Minimum Control Measures that are identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as components of a successful stormwater runoff control strategy:

  1. Public Education and Outreach
  2. Public Involvement and Participation
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  4. Construction Site Runoff Control
  5. Post-Construction Stormwater Management
  6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping of Municipal Operations

Albany County Stormwater Coalition

The Town of Colonie is a member of the Stormwater Coalition of Albany County. As of 2023, member communities include the Town of Bethlehem, Town of Colonie, Town of Guilderland, Town of New Scotland, Village of Altamont, Village of Green Island, Village of Menands, Village of Voorheesville, City of Cohoes, City of Albany, City of Watervliet, the University at Albany – Uptown, and Albany County. All members contribute annual dues and as a member we receive Coalition services and implement Clean Water Act mandates collaboratively.

For information about the Coalition, stormwater pollution prevention, and permit activities, go to the Coalition website.

Stormwater Management Plan and Annual Report

The Town of Colonie’s Stormwater Management Plan and Annual Report is part of the Stormwater Coalition’s annual report, available for review and comment on the Stormwater Coalition website.

Report an Illicit Discharge

To report polluted stormwater, illicit stormwater connections or activities, or construction activities causing stormwater pollution, please contact the Town of Colonie Stormwater Office at (518) 783-2758.