MS4 & MS4 Activities

The City of Redwood Falls is a designated Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) Community

What is the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) program?

MS4 programs are required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to reduce pollution from stormwater to surface waters and groundwater. Municipalities with populations of 50,000 or greater and some smaller designated cities along with other public entities with significant stormwater drainage systems such as universities, counties or state transportation departments have been selected to have MS4 programs. The City of Redwood Falls is one of the smaller designated cities under the MS4 program.

When did the City of Redwood Falls become a Designated MS4?

In 1972, the Clean Water Act (CWA) came into effect which prohibited the point discharge of any pollutant to waters of the United States unless the discharges were covered by a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. In 1987, Congress amended the CWA to require the EPA to establish phased requirements for NPDES permits. When Phase II became effective in 2003, The City of Redwood Falls was required to apply for a NPDES permit to discharge stormwater. The City of Redwood Falls received the NPDES permit in 2007 that outlines the requirements and responsibilities for administering the MS4 Program.

How are pollutants from stormwater discharges reduced?

As part of the NPDES Permit, the City of Redwood Falls was required to develop and implement a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP) to reduce the discharge of pollutants from our storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable. Targeted pollutants of concern are total phosphorus (TP) and total suspended solids (TSS) but the SWPPP is intended to address all pollutants from entering the storm sewer system. The SWPPP covers six minimum control measures:

  • Public education and outreach;
  • Public participation/involvement;
  • Illicit discharge detection and elimination;
  • Construction site runoff control;
  • Post-construction site runoff control; and
  • Pollution prevention/good housekeeping.

For each of these six minimum control measures, the City of Redwood Falls adheres to Best Management Practices (BMPs). The MS4 Activities section (below) has information regarding these BMPs. To review the City of Redwood Falls Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan in its entirety, click on the following link: Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan

What enforcement roles does the City of Redwood Falls have to perform?

As an MS4 community, the City of Redwood Falls had to enact Ordinance No. 117-Third Series “Ordinance Establishing Storm Water Management and Standards for Construction Activities” insuring the minimum control measures bulleted above are addressed and enforceable throughout its municipal jurisdiction.

Ordinance No. 117-Third Series addresses construction site:

  • Erosion and Sediment Control
  • Waste Control
  • Submission of construction plans for review
  • Submission of a construction storm water pollution prevention plan for the site
  • Elimination of illicit discharges to the storm sewer
  • Promotion of low impact development (LID)
  • Post construction storm water management in new development and re-development
  • Violations and prohibited activities
  • Enforcement, penalties and non-compliance fees

Ordinance No. 117, Third Series

What are the important requirements a home owner, property owner, developer or contractor need to consider when planning construction projects within the municipal boundaries of the City of Redwood Falls?

1. Contact the City of Redwood Falls Building Official for permit requirements pertaining to your project

2. Determine if the project is going to disturb land ≥ 1 acre. If the answer is yes, an MPCA Construction Storm Water Permit may be needed go to: MPCA Construction Storm Water Page

3. If the project is going to disturb land ≤ 1 acre, determine if the stormwater post project storm water will reach “Special Waters” such as: Ramsey Creek Trout Stream, TMDL impaired Redwood River or TMDL impaired MN River directly; If yes, a Construction Storm Water Permit may be needed go to: MPCA Construction Storm Water Page

4. Any construction activities that do not qualify under items 2 and 3 above still have to submit a storm water pollution prevention plan that reduce or eliminate pollutants from entering the MS4 community.

5. Any discharge introduction into the City of Redwood Falls MS4 that is not composed entirely of stormwater is violation and considered an illicit discharge. Certain exemptions do apply see “Ordinance No. 117, Third Series, section 1.4; Subd. 2. B.

6. A” Gopher One” Call/Utility locate is required for all excavations

For additional background information on MS4 regulations and permits please visit the following websites:

 

MS4 Activities

What is the City of Redwood Falls doing in the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP)?

Below is a summary of activities planned for each of the six minimum control measures:

1. Public education and outreach

· Develop and distribute educational materials to inform citizens about the impacts polluted stormwater runoff can have on water quality.

· Form partnerships with other MS4’s to more effectively distribute public educational materials.

· Incorporate new and updated educational materials/information into existing program.

2. Public Involvement

· Provide opportunity for public participation and comments through our Annual Meetings and the “Contact” link listed on the right of this MS4 web page.

· Conducted on site preconstruction meetings with contractors to review requirements and receive input

· Maintain Storm Water informational page on the City of Redwood Falls Website

3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

· Develop a storm sewer system map that identifies MS4 pipes (at least 24 inches or larger), manholes, catch basins, aprons, ditches, outfalls, ponds, sediment basins and structural pollution control devices.

· Defined Drainage Areas on City Comprehensive Storm Sewer Map

· Develop and implement a plan to detect and address non-stormwater discharges on our right of way.

· Effectively prohibit non-stormwater discharges into our storm sewer system and implement enforcement procedures and actions.

· Educate employees, volunteers and the public of the hazards from illegal discharges and the improper disposal of wastes.

4. Construction Site Discharge Controls

· Implementing proper erosion & sediment controls and controls for other wastes on construction sites of one acre or greater in size

· Implementing procedures for site plan review

· Enforced the storm water runoff control ordinance for construction activities

· Continued a site plan review procedures in conjunction with building permits

· Held preconstruction meetings with contractors reminding that SWPPP compliance is required

· Reviewed 11 new home SWPPP plans

· Reviewed 32 Commercial SWPPP plans

· Inspections conducted monthly and after significant rainfall events that produce runoff

5. Post-Construction Controls for New and Re-Development

· Permit language which addresses volume, rate and quality of stormwater discharging into the MS4 to mimic pre-construction conditions will be incorporated into existing permit requirements.

· Followed the ordinance and procedure for non-compliance.

· Conducted post inspections for 7 new homes

· Conducted post inspections for 31 commercial sites/ winter prep

6. Good Housekeeping & Pollution Prevention

· Street sweeping practices in the spring and fall of each year will continue

· Structural pollution control devices, ponds, sediment basins, outfalls, pipes, manholes, catch basins and aprons will continue to be inventoried and inspected.

· Cleaning and repair projects involving pipes, ponds, and structural pollution control devices will continue to occur.

· All inspection, cleaning and repair activities will be recorded and optimum frequencies will be determined

· Inspected Storm Sewer outfalls, Storm Water ponds, and City stockpiles.

· Maintained a system of record keeping and information database

· Spring Clean-Up collected 63 tons of leaves, 22 tons in catch basin cleanouts and 767.8 tons of street sweeping debris removing approximately 1.05 tons of phosphorus from surface water

· Fall Clean-Up collected 405 tons of leaves, and 509 tons of street sweeping debris removing approximately 1.13 tons of phosphorus from surface water

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