Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) – What are they are and why do they matter?

LandStudies staff have noticed a trend in our business lately… 20 They are looking for technical expertise to help them write their MS4 Program documents and pollutant reduction plans (PRPs) and determine which best management practices (BMPs) will be most efficient and cost-effective.

One problem is that so few people even know what an MS4 is and why they are important. So here is a level 101 briefing on MS4s so you will know what’s going on in your community.

So Just What is an MS4?

Simply stated, an MS4 is a publicly-owned storm drain, pipe, ditch, or other means of collecting and transporting rain water (i.e. stormwater) from a town to an outfall that deposits the water into a stream or river. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has rules that MS4 owners must follow in order to protect water quality. One of their requirements is that the MS4 owner must apply for a permit and create an MS4 Program that outlines how they will keep local streams and rivers clean.

MS4s collect stormwater from a lot of impervious surfaces like parking lots, streets, and roofs, where there can be a lot of sediment and other contaminants. Therefore, a well-managed MS4 will protect community members from these pollutants through the installation of BMPs, the creation of public education materials, and development of trainings for municipal staff.

Landstudies Staff Certified in MS4

LandStudies has the first Certified Professional in Municipal Stormwater Management (CPMSM) in Pennsylvania. He is working with MS4 communities large and small to help them deal with their MS4 issues. To see some examples of our MS4 work, and to speak with us about ways we can assist your community, visit https://landstudies.com/portfolio-2/ms4-services.