Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has issued the Township of Center an NPDES Permit for Stormwater Discharges from its small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). The Township’s MS4 system is inclusive of inlets, catch basins, storm sewers pipes, swales, and stormwater detention facilities, among many other facilities that collect, convey or manage stormwater. The MS4 Permit regulates discharges from the Township’s MS4 to the Waters of the Commonwealth with the intent of reducing the discharge of pollutants and increasing water quality to the maximum extent practicable. To comply with the requirements of the Permit, the Borough must implement a plan to address the following six Minimum Control Measures (MCMs):

  1. MCM 1 – Public Education and Outreach
  2. MCM 2 – Public Participation and Involvement
  3. MCM 3 – Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  4. MCM 4 – Construction Site Runoff Control
  5. MCM 5 – Post-Construction Storm Water Management in New Development and Redevelopment
  6. MCM 6 – Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping

Residents Roles in Helping to Prevent Stream Pollution

Township residents can help reduce the discharge of pollutants to the streams and protect water quality by
doing the following:

  1. Never dump anything besides stormwater into a storm drain, inlet, swale or stream. Dumping in
    these areas is an Illicit Discharge and is a violation of the Township Prohibited Discharge
    Ordinance.
  2. Report Illicit Discharges. If you observe anyone dumping anything into the MS4 system, or
    notice a non-stormwater discharge entering the MS4 or a stream, immediately notify the
    Township at (724) 774-0271.
  3. Pick up and properly dispose of pet waste. Pet waste should never be disposed of in a storm
    drains, inlet, catch basin or stream.
  4. Wash vehicles such that wash water does not enter the MS4. Wash vehicle in lawn or gravel
    areas, or take them to commercial car washes.
  5. Recycle or properly dispose of hazardous materials including paints, used oil and chemical.
  6. Pick up litter, debris or garbage from yard, sidewalks, driveways and other areas so that it is not washed into a storm drain.

Reporting Illicit Discharges

It is important to remember that stormwater runoff collected by the MS4 does not get treated before it is discharged to a waterway. The MS4 intended to convey only stormwater. An illicit discharge is any type of pollutant or substance that enters the storm sewer system that is not comprised entirely of stormwater.

Such examples of these pollutions are:

  • Yard Waste, Grass Clippings, Leaves
  • Oil, grease or chemicals
  • Soap suds
  • Animal waste
  • Garbage, Debris or Litter.

Residents and members of the community serve an important role in identifying and reporting illicit discharges to help prevent pollution of our streams and lakes. Anything that enters the MS4 system that is not stormwater is considered an illicit discharge. If you observe any instance of dumping any substance into a storm inlet, or notice discolored or evidently contaminated discharge from any storm sewer please notify the Township Office at 724-774-0271.

Additional Resources:

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
United States Environmental Protection Agency
When It Rains It Drains
SPC MS4 Educational Materials