Berks County, Pennsylvania
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The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), created as a result of the 1972 Clean Water Act, addresses water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States. The NPDES permit program authorized state governments to act on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to perform permitting, administrative and enforcement aspects of the program.
The Borough's collection system is designated as a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) by the EPA.
What is a “Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)”?
An MS4 is a conveyance or system of conveyances that is:
a. Owned by a state, city, town, village, or other public entity that discharges to waters of the Commonwealth;
b. Designed or used to collect or convey stormwater (including storm drains, pipes, ditches, etc.);
c. Not a combined sewer; and
d. Not part of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (sewage treatment plant).
Compliance with the NPDES permit requires the Borough to comply with 6 minimum control measures (MCM).
Problems with Stormwater Pollution (Source EPA.gov)
Stormwater runoff is generated from rain and snowmelt events that flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground. The runoff picks up pollutants like, trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that can harm our rivers, streams, lakes and coastal waters. To protect these resources, communities, construction companies, industries and others, use stormwater controls, known as best management practices (BMPs). These BMPs filter out pollutants and/or prevent pollution by controlling it at its source. The program regulating these sources is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System through permitting.