When you see that rain or snowmelt running into street gutter inlets and along roadside ditches, remember that stormwater and anything else that gets into the storm drain (such as oil and grease from roadways, pesticides and pet waste from lawns, sediment from construction sites, and carelessly discarded cigarette butts, paper wrappers, and plastic bottles) is ultimately discharged into local rivers and streams without treatment. These pollutants can impair the waterways, discouraging recreational use, contaminating drinking water supplies, and interfering with the habitat for fish, other aquatic organisms, and wildlife.
Where does the water go? Stormwater runoff and the storm drainage system is a direct link to our local waterways. We hope that you will avoid dumping paint and used oil into that drain inlet, that you will make sure you use the appropriate amount of fertilizer on your lawn and not overwater, that you will pick up leaves and lawn clipping rather than sweeping or washing them into the gutter, that you will think of other ways you can participate in preventing stormwater pollution and share the message with others, and that you will remember the importance of protecting our resources and keeping clean that puddle your children love to play in after it rains.
If you’d like more information on the MS4 Program, you can contact the appropriate entity in your area. Several links to local programs are included on this page.
MS4 is the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permitting program for urban areas to address Storm Water Runoff