Regardless of your political position on EPA clean water regulations, we should all agree that keeping our lake free of sediment, chemicals, and excessive algae growth is a goal that we can all support. This is important for the health of our swimmers and boaters, good for the environment and our property values, and key to the beauty and serenity of our neighborhood.
The State of Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) provides guidance, and establishes reporting guidelines for, how we deal with storm water as part of our MS4 classification. MS4 is short for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. An MS4 is a conveyance or system of conveyances that is:
- owned by a state, city, town, village, or other public entity that discharges to waters of the U.S.,
- designed or used to collect or convey stormwater (e.g., storm drains, pipes, ditches),
- not a combined sewer, and
- not part of a sewage treatment plant, or publicly owned treatment works (POTW).
As an MS4 community, we establish how we fulfill the guidances by setting our own goals and best management practices. One of the key goals is community education. This is why I get to put on my teacher and environmentalist hats every month and write articles on water management practices. This includes topics of erosion, lawn and household chemicals, controlling pet waste and fertilizers that increase plant nutrients in the lake, and even on deer management and control of invasive plant species since those impact runoff.
We will be updating our community storm water plan (SWPPP) in 2018 and can use your help! Please contact Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in helping out.