MS4 – Storm Water Management
Polluted storm water runoff is commonly transported through Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), from which it is often discharged untreated into local water bodies. To prevent harmful pollutants from being washed or dumped into an MS4, operators must obtain a NPDES permit and develop a storm water management program.
When our pets leave those little surprises, rain washes all that pet waste and bacteria into our storm drains. Then it pollutes our waterways. So what to do? Simple, dispose of it properly (preferably in the toilet.) Then that little surprise gets treated like it should.
All the soap, scum, and oily grit runs along the curb. Then into the storm drain and directly into our lakes and streams. So how do you avoid this whole mess? Easy. Wash your car on grass or gravel instead of the street. Or better yet, take it to a car wash where the water gets treated and recycled.
You fertilize your lawn. Then it rains. The rain washes the fertilizer along the curb, into the storm drain, and directly into our lakes and streams. This causes algae to grow, which uses up oxygen that fish need to survive. So if you fertilize, please follow directions and use sparingly.
Leaking oil goes from car to street, and is washed from the street into our storm drain and into our lakes and streams. Now imagine the number of cars in the area and you can imagine the amount of oil that finds its way from leaky gaskets into our water. So please, fix your oil leak.
If you have questions regarding storm water, please contact Washington Township Belle Vernon or Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Regional Office. For general questions, you may also contact DEP’s Bureau of Water management at 717-772-5661 or visit www.dep.state.pa.us. Thanks to the Washington State Water Quality Consortium for permission to adapt and use these posters.
For more information, visit these websites:
EPA’s Stormwater Management website:
DEP’s MS4 website: