Stormwater Management Program
The Clean Water Act authorizes The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States, including runoff from drainage systems. In 2003, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) Phase II Stormwater Program took effect and the EPA began regulating municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) in additional urbanized areas. The Town of Essex is a designated small MS4 community.
Stormwater is runoff from a storm event that collects and carries natural and man-made pollutants into our wetlands and waterways.
What the town is required to do?
Under the Small MS4 Stormwater Program, operators of regulated small MS4’s are required to:
Implement the stormwater management program using appropriate stormwater management controls, or best management practices (BMP’s)
Develop measurable goals for the program.
Evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
Listed below are the six minimum control measures that operators of regulated small MS4s must incorporate into stormwater management programs. These measures are expected to result in significant reductions of pollutants discharged into receiving water bodies.
What is the town doing?
The Town DPW is using its best management practices to administer this policy with limited resources. We encourage public input and assistance with stormwater compliance.
What can I do?
Excess fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and gardens wash off and pollute streams. In addition, yard clippings and leaves can wash into storm drains and contribute nutrients and organic matter to streams.
Leaking and poorly maintained septic systems release nutrients and pathogens that can be picked up by storm water and discharge them into nearby water bodies.
Washing your car at home can send detergents and other contaminants through the stormwater system. Dumping automotive fluids into storm drains has the same result as directly dumping the materials into a water body.
Pet waste can be a source of bacteria and excess nutrients in local waters
Erosion controls that aren’t maintained can cause excessive amounts of sediment and debris to be carried into stormwater system. Construction vehicles can leak fuel, oil and other harmful fluids that can be picked up by stormwater and deposited into local streams.
EPA stormwater homepage http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/index.cfm
Greenscapes Homepage http://greenscapes.org