Stormwater Management Policy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires that jurisdictions with "urbanized areas" (such as cities, counties, universities, military bases, etc.) must obtain permits to better manage their stormwater runoff.
The goal? Improve and protect the quality of our waterways.
What is a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)?
When urban stormwater runoff is transported through storm storm sewer systems and discharged untreated into local waterbodies, it is a called a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s)
Is it the same as a sewer system?
No. MS4s have storm drain systems that are separate from their "sanitary sewer" systems. Sanitary sewers carry wastewater from homes and businesses to a municipal wastewater treatment facility before being discharged into a local waterway.
How do MS4s minimize pollution in storm drains?
Arkansas MS4 operators must be permitted through the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. Their permits require that MS4s develop and implement a stormwater management program to address six minimum control measures that are expected to result in significant reductions of pollutants discharged into receiving waterbodies.
There are 6 Minimum Control Measures:
1) Public Education and Outreach - MS4s inform individuals and households about ways to reduce stormwater pollution.
2) Public Participation/Involvement - MS4s involve the public in the development, implementation, and review of an MS4's stormwater management program.
3) Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination - MS4s identify and eliminate illicit discharges and spills to storm drain systems.
4) Construction Site Runoff Control - MS4s and construction site operators to address stormwater runoff from active construction sites.
5) Post-Construction Runoff Control - MS4s, developers, and property owners to address stormwater runoff after construction activities have completed.
6) Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping - MS4s to address stormwater runoff from their own facilities and activities.
What is Extension's role with stormwater management?
Partnerships are in some counties such as Benton, Washington and Jefferson have been formed among the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and city and county governments and Universities.
In these areas, we have been contracted to carry out the Public Education and Outreach, Public Participation/Public Involvement minimum control measures along with annual municipal employee training (within the Municipal Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping minimum control measure) for local entities affected by these regulations. For more information, contact one of our water quality agents.