2056 N 150 W
Ph: (574) 372-9562
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Most people would never dream of polluting our local lakes and streams. Unfortunately, people inadvertently do this every day. When stormwater falls on hard surfaces like rooftops, driveways, parking lots, streets or sidewalks, and other impervious surfaces, pollutants are picked up as the stormwater runs across those surfaces. The polluted stormwater is captured by City inlets, and the storm sewer system, then flows directly into our rivers, lakes, and streams. In Warsaw we have over 50 miles of storm pipe, much of which goes directly to a lake or other waterway.
This system of pipes is called our Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System or MS4. Communities in urbanized areas like Warsaw are required to obtain a National Pollution Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) permit to control and reduce the pollution entering the MS4 as well as the waterways it discharges to.
Defining Stormwater Run-Off
Though often overlooked as a major contributor of pollution, stormwater runoff continues to adversely affect the environment. Stormwater runoff is a naturally occurring part of the earth’s hydrological cycle, which is best described as the distribution and movement of water between the atmosphere, land, and water. Any form of precipitation that reaches the earth’s surface is either absorbed into the soil or flows over land as runoff.
According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM)
, “Stormwater runoff is the volume of water generated by a rainfall event, snow melt, or other forms of precipitation that falls to the earth’s surface and does not infiltrate into the ground. Runoff can be directly correlated with specific land use. Runoff associated with a forested landscape will typically be less than runoff from an urbanized landscape.”
Effects on Local Watersheds
Due to increased levels of impervious surfaces through land development and urbanization, increased amounts of stormwater has changed the way in which water travels through watersheds. A watershed is simply any area of land that drains into another waterway, including rivers, lakes, or streams.
Warsaw has over 2,200 storm drain inlets that channel water into over 250 public outfalls. Most of these drain directly into a body of water, such as our local lakes and streams.
As a part of an MS4 community, IDEM requires us to develop and implement a comprehensive pollution prevention program that includes 6 different components.
- Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts
- Public involvement and participation
- Illicit discharge detection and elimination
- Construction site storm water runoff control
- Post construction storm water management in new development and redevelopment
- Pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations
Construction Site Run-off Control
If you have an environmental emergency, call 911.
Construction sites are at higher risk of polluting because of the work that they do. That is why MS4 communities are required to monitor construction activities that disturb more than an acre or more of land. Construction Operations are required to implement simple Best Management Practices (BMPs) to help ensure that they are protecting the stormwater and surface water from pollution. Concrete washout, sediment leaving the site, leaking fuels or other contaminants can percolate into the ground and contaminate groundwater or combine with stormwater and travel into our municipal storm drain system.
If you have concerns regarding environmental issues or illegal dumping in our community or work place and would like to notify us about it you may contact us at the telephone number listed below. If it is not a time sensitive issue feel free to email us or call (574)372-9562. If it is after normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 7:00 am - 3:30 pm), you will be directed to call an answering service number.
If you would like more information about the Stormwater Program, or are interested in volunteering to improve the community’s water quality, please contact MS4 Coordinator Ryan Workman at the Wastewater Treatment Utility office, 2056 N 150 W, Warsaw, IN 46580, (574) 372-9562.