What is Stormwater?
When it rains, snows or sleets, where does that water go? Does it soak into the ground? Does it sit in puddles until it evaporates? The water actually does both of those things, but some of the water will also flow over the land surface, heading downhill to the nearest ditch or stream.
This water flow is called stormwater runoff. In urban areas where there are higher concentrations of impervious surfaces such as driveways, rooftops, sidewalks, and parking lots, water flows at higher speeds and larger quantities.
Storm drains help drain the water from homes and streets to keep us safe. These pipes or ditches carry stormwater directly to local creeks and streams without being treated.
During construction, soil is highly vulnerable to erosion by wind and water. Eroded soil endangers our river, creeks, streams and underground water resources by reducing water quality and damaging aquatic habitats for fish and other species. Clearing and grading during the construction process reduces the amount of native vegetation necessary for wildlife habitats.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires that jurisdictions with "urbanized areas" (such as cities, counties, universities, military bases, etc.) must obtain an MS4 permit to better manage their stormwater runoff.
The goal? Improve and protect the quality of our waterways.
What is a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)?
MS4 is short for municipal separate storm sewer system. The storm system collects mostly rainwater and is separate from the sanitary sewer system. The sanitary sewer flows to a treatment facility where the water is cleaned before it is discharged into a waterway.
The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit (ARR040000) authorizes stormwater discharges from regulated small MS4s located within the State of Arkansas.
The City of Pine Bluff, White Hall, along with Jefferson County joined together in partnership with the University of Arkansas Division of Algaculture to manage Stormwater education and outreach.