Storm Water Phase II Information
Did you know Calhoun County is a Phase II community?
What is Phase II and who is affected by the Phase II program?
The Storm Water Phase II Final Rule applies to operators of regulated small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), which are designated based on the criteria discussed in this fact sheet. In this fact sheet, the definition of an MS4 and the distinction between small, medium, and large MS4s is reviewed. Conditions under which a small MS4 may be designated as a regulated small MS4, as well as the conditions for a waiver from the Phase II program requirements, are outlined. This fact sheet also attempts to clarify possible implementation issues related to determining one’s status as an operator of a regulated small MS4.
What is a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)?
What constitutes an MS4 is often misinterpreted and misunderstood. The term MS4 does not solely refer to municipally owned storm sewer systems, but rather is a term of art with a much broader application that can include, in addition to local jurisdictions, State departments of transportation, universities, local sewer districts, hospitals, military bases, and prisons. An MS4 also is not always just a system of underground pipes – it can include roads with drainage systems, gutters, and ditches.
Why are we regulated as a Phase II community?
Storm water discharges from MS4s in urbanized areas are a concern because of the high concentration of pollutants found in these discharges. Concentrated development in urbanized areas substantially increases impervious surfaces, such as city streets, driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks, on which pollutants from concentrated human activities settle and remain until a storm event washes them into nearby storm drains. Common pollutants include pesticides, fertilizers, oils, salt, litter and other debris, and sediment. Another concern is the possible illicit connections of sanitary sewers, which can result in fecal coliform bacteria entering the storm sewer system. Storm water runoff picks up and transports these and other harmful pollutants then discharges them – untreated – to waterways via storm sewer systems. When left uncontrolled, these discharges can result in fish kills, the destruction of spawning and wildlife habitats, a loss in aesthetic value, and contamination of drinking water supplies and recreational waterways that can threaten public health.
Who do I contact with a storm water concern?
Please contact Chris Gann, Assistant County Engineer at (256) 237-4657.