PROTECTING WATER QUALITY

Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS-4) Program

What is MS-4? Who does it affect?

The small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS-4) Program is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to preserve, protect, and improve the Nation’s water resources from polluted storm water runoff.  Department of Education (DOE) schools on Oahu will incrementally comply with this requirement by initiating programs such as education, monitoring, enforcement, clean-up, and annual reporting.  This program affects everyone who uses a DOE campus on Oahu, including staff, students, and all community users.

Although Oahu is currently the only island to initiate this program, (due to its urban density and higher concentration of pollution) all schools can benefit from good housekeeping practices.

Why is this important?

Clean water is essential to life. When it rains, litter, pesticides, green waste, and other pollutants are washed into the storm drain system and eventually flow into our streams and ocean. Large quantity of debris can clog the drain system resulting in flood damage to our schools and neighbors. Small organic and chemical waste can poison our food chain and contaminate our water supplies. Pollution control benefits the environment, wildlife, and people.

How can we help?

The following list suggests a dozen things we can all do to minimize pollution from getting into our water resources. Additional information is available at the EPA’s website:   www.epa.gov .  The contact number for the City & County’s Environmental Concern Line is 692-5656.