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MS4 Program       BePartoftheSolution

What is an MS4?
MS4 stands for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. An MS4 entity owns or operates a system for collecting and conveying stormwater. The purpose of the MS4 program is to maintain and benefit water quality in creeks, streams, and waterways by reducing pollutants in stormwater runoff.

MS4 program is an unfunded federal mandate. It is the result of the 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA), commonly referred to as the Water Quality Act of 1987. In these amendments, Congress mandated that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) address non-point source pollution associated with stormwater runoff. In response to the Congressional action, EPA developed the MS4 program to permit the discharge of the stormwater from the MS4s. In essence, EPA defined urban stormwater (previously considered a non-point source) as a point source with numerous physical locations (or points) of discharge.

The MS4s are permitted under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program through either the U.S. EPA or the states; in Indiana, through the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). MS4 permits are granted in five-year cycles at the end of which the permit must be renewed. The City of Valparaiso’s NPDES permit was granted in 2003, and was renewed in 2008 and 2013.

The MS4 entities are required to develop a Stormwater Quality Management Plan (SWQMP), and to implement the following six Minimum Control Measures (MCMs) to reduce polluted stormwater runoff.  Learn about these components and what we are doing by clicking on the links.


The City of Valparaiso's MS4 program was recognized by Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) at the 2013, 2014 and 2015 MS4 Annual Meetings for multiple categories, including illicit discharge detection and elimination, post-construction stormwater runoff control, public education/participation through rain barrel decorating competition, stormwater management utilizing trees, and programs and projects that are beyond the MS4 Stormwater Quality Management Plan. Click 
20132014 and 2015 for the stories and Certificate of Recognition.

News on 2016 Rain Barrel Program
The City of Valparaiso has launched the Rain Barrel program for 2016. Same as the past years, 55 Gallon rain barrels will be offered to City of Valparaiso residents at $20 each. This year, we also provide 50 Gallon Terra Cotta rain barrel at $17.50 each! Read this brochure for details of the program.

The online order form can be accessed from
this link, and mail in order form from here.
For those Valparaiso residents who are not within City limits, rain barrels can be purchased through Porter County's program following
this link

Check the Valparaiso City Street Map for City limits to verify residency. 

Additional Information
For additional information on what the MS4 Program is all about and what you can do on stormwater pollution prevention, please visit:

For more information, please contact Mingyan Zhou, the City of Valparaiso's MS4 Coordinator, at 219.462.1161, or .