"It's a typical federal mandate that's unfunded," said Madison County Commissioner Otis Cox, president of the county drainage board. "I just don't understand why there hasn't been some pressure put on our representatives in Washington to get some money. It's local government (by limiting other services) that will suffer."

Millions of dollars are needed to make changes in drainage of urbanized areas to eliminate the pollution of water from storm water that mixes with oils on roads, sediments and fertilizer used on lawns and in fields.

According to the 2000 census, 21 counties, or some portion of them, were classified as urbanized but not incorporated as an urban area. Portions of Madison County were classified as urbanized and fall under the federal clean water act.

"Some of these places we don't understand why they are on here," Cox said, pointing to a map on the wall outlining the areas classified as urbanized. "All of this was determined by population numbers."

Under the EPA requirement governing water quality, counties must form a drainage district. County commissioners or drainage boards must find ways to eliminate pollution from entering into streams and drainage ditches.

For drainage boards and county commissioners, dealing with water quality is new territory, Cox said. Drainage has always been an issue of how to deal with excess water. This rule has nothing to do with issues of flooding.

"Drainage deals with quantity and this deals with quality of water," Cox said.

There isn't any money for addressing water quality issues, he said. What the federal government and the state regulators are proposing is going to cost a lot of money.

It's also adding to the workload, he said. The part-time commissioners will have their hands full dealing with drainage issues and water quality issues.

Typically large ditches and drains in the county are maintained by fees called county drainage assessments, Cox added.

"There's no doubt counties are looking for alternative funding," said Mark Balazs, Rule 13 coordinator for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the state organization administering the regulation of Rule 13. "The governor vetoed a bill that would let counties develop a fee structure to pay for drainage projects and now they are probably scrambling for a way to raise money for this.

Cox has learned that Indiana legislators plan to challenge the veto and override it so counties will have a way to raise money for projects that will maintain clean water. Until that happens, money will remain an issue.

He pointed to a part of the map that had an arrowhead shaped point extending from the border of lines used to indicate the urbanized areas.

"There's only three houses there," Cox said.

In cases where there are a limited number of homes, the county is supposed to be able to get an exemption from the rule from IDEM, he said.

Tentatively the effective date of the IDEM rule is July 30, he said. County units would have 90 days to apply for a permit and then must develop a plan to attack pollution problems in the following six months. They have a year to begin to implement the plan, Balazs said.

Cox isn't sure July 30 will become the effective date. He has seen at least two such deadlines come and go as the regulations have been drafted and checked by other agencies.

The first step in the process is to begin educating the public what they can do to eliminate the possibilities of detergents, oils and fertilizers from getting into storm-water drains.

Once this becomes a regulation people can expect to see such changes as signage in sensitive areas, drain covers will be labeled so people know where the water from a drain is going and education programs.

It could affect older homes that use old septic tanks hooked into field tile, he said.

"It may affect them down the line if it can be proven their (septic) is the problem," Cox said. "But it's not the intent of the law to go out and tell people to put a new septic in."