Municipal separate storm sewer system, or MS4, is a publicly-owned conveyance system that's designed to collect or convey stormwater runoff through storm drains, curbs, ditches, and pipes. These systems eventually discharge the collected stormwater into nearby streams, lakes, or other surface waters. The stormwater collected by the MS4 is often contaminated with pollutants, trash, and debris.

Operators of regulated MS4s are required to develop and implement a stormwater management plan. This plan includes ways the operator or community will reduce the discharge of pollutants from its sewer system. Stormwater control measures, or SCMs, are implemented throughout the MS4 to prevent stormwater from coming in contact with pollutants, or to remove pollutants from stormwater prior to discharge from an area.

The Summit SWCD assists communities with a variety of public education, outreach, involvement and participation programs to help meet the requirements of the local MS4 management plan. These programs include both print and electronic newsletters, social media platforms, community displays, and workshops.

Stormwater Theme: Lake Erie/Ohio River Starts Here

We aim to promote watershed awareness and protection strategies which will increase the public’s knowledge of the impacts of non-point source pollution. Our program this year will use a seasonal approach in Summit County, implementing our five main themes, which are:

Clean Water Starts at Home
Steer Clear of Pollutants
Stormwater - Slow it Down, Spread it Out, Soak it In
It's Not Hard to Have a Healthy Yard
All About Watersheds

To carry out these themes, we will encourage the communities to use BMP's (Best Management Practices), for example: In the Winter, we would focus on road snow placement, salt storage, and safe salting practices at home. In the Spring, we will advertise streamside native plantings and buffers. In the Summer, we like to use raingardens, rainbarrels, water storage, and infiltration. Finally, in the Autumn, we will promote vegetation that reduces runoff, including trees.