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Stormwater Management

Water is essential for life.  It is our most precious natural resource.  Surface waters such as rivers, lakes, and bays can easily become polluted.

Stormwater runoff comes from many sources. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that at least 50 percent of our nation's water pollution is caused by stormwater runoff. When it rains or snows, runoff picks up and carries a wide variety of pollutants into our storm water system. These pollutants then flow into our local waterways.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that certain municipalities and agencies create a Stormwater Management Plan under the Phase II National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. The program is intended to improve water quality by reducing the discharge of pollutants from storm water runoff into local storm drains, rivers, ponds, streams, and other receiving waterbodies.

As a Massachusetts state agency affected by the Phase II rule, Bridgewater State University operates a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4).

An MS4 is a publicly-owned conveyance or system of conveyances (i.e., ditches, curbs, catch basins, underground pipes, etc.) that is designed or used for collecting or conveying storm water and that discharges to surface waters of the state. To name a few examples, an MS4 can be operated by municipalities, counties, drainage districts, colleges, military bases, or prisons. 

The MS4 is governed by the 2016 MS4 general permit. This permit is required by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act of 1972. 

Our goals as an MS4 are to:

  • Reduce any discharge of pollutants that could be transported through our MS4s and carried untreated to pollute our local bodies of water. 
  • Protect water quality
  • Satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act.

In order to achieve these goals Bridgewater State University is required to satisfy six minimum control measures as outlined below. 

  1. Public Education and Outreach
  2. Public Participation/Involvement
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE)
  4. Construction Site Runoff Control
  5. Post-Construction Runoff Control
  6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping

MS4 Permit Documentation