Stormwater Management (MS4)

MS4 is a conveyance or system of conveyances that is:

  • owned by a state, city, town, village or other public entity that discharges to waters of the U.S.; designed or used to collect or convey stormwater (including storm drains, pipes, ditches, etc.); not a combined sewer; and not part of a publicly owned treatment works (sewage treatment plant).

Polluted stormwater runoff is commonly transported through municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), from which it is often discharged untreated into local waterbodies. To prevent harmful pollutants from being washed or dumped into an MS4, operators must develop a stormwater management program.

Phase I, issued in 1990, requires medium and large cities or certain counties with populations of 100,000 or more to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage for their stormwater discharges.

Phase II, issued in 1999, requires regulated small MS4s in urbanized areas, as well as small MS4s outside the urbanized areas that are designated by the permitting authority, to obtain NPDES permit coverage for their stormwater discharges.

Generally, Phase I MS4s are covered by individual permits and Phase II MS4s are covered by a general permit. Each regulated MS4 is required to develop and implement a stormwater management program to reduce the contamination of stormwater runoff and prohibit illicit discharges.

The MS4 program consists of several requirements, referred to as the six minimum control measures and are as follows: public education and outreach; public participation and involvement; illicit discharge detection and elimination; construction site runoff control; post-construction runoff control; and pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations. The Phase I communities have additional requirements of monitoring outfalls and inspection of industrial facilities located in the MS4 boundary.

Click the link below to read the Borough’s Pollutant Reduction Plan.

Pollutant Reduction Plan


Walk with Watershed Stewards: Union Canal Tow Path

Walk with Watershed Stewards: Union Canal Tow Path and explore your local landscape with a trained Master Watershed Steward. Learn about the historical and natural environment around us and the recreational opportunities.

Sat., May 7, 2022
(10:00 AM – 12:30 PM ET)

Heritage Center

1102 Red Bridge Rd.
Reading, PA 19605

This walk will start and end at the Heritage Center in Reading, PA and will be approximately 2.5 miles round trip. Please wear comfortable shoes suitable for a trail hike. The hike will take you along the Union Canal trail and turn around at Gring’s Mills. Rest Rooms are available at the start and midpoints of the hike. Expected walk time is about 2.5 hours including a 15-minute rest stop at Gring’s Mills. There will be eight pauses for specific talking points along the walk.

Who is this for?

  • General public
  • Families – children aged 14-18 may attend but must be accompanied by an adult
  • Anyone interested in learning about their local watershed

What will you learn?

  • Increase walkers’ awareness of the historical and natural environment around us as well as the recreational opportunities
  • Provide some historical background with examples in the vicinity
  • Highlight watershed concepts and illustrations in the surroundings seen during the walk
  • Discuss the origin and highlights of the Clean Water Act
  • Talk about the Master Watershed Steward Program
  • Introduce the Tulpehocken Creek Watershed Association

Register By

May 2, 202211:59 PMET


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