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Vanderburgh County Stormwater Information

About Vanderburgh County's MS4

The United States Environmental Protection Agency developed the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program in response to the 1987 Amendments to the Clean Water Act to reduce the amount of pollution in the nation's stormwater runoff and is requiring communities to develop a comprehensive stormwater quality management plan for preventing local waterways from becoming affected by polluted stormwater runoff.  Phase I of the NPDES program was developed in 1990 for medium and large Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), industrial activities, and construction activities that disturbed five or more acres of land.  All of which were determined to have the greatest potential to negatively impact water quality.  Phase II was developed in 1999 and required NPDES permit coverage for discharges from small MS4s and construction activities disturbing between one and five acres of land.  Vanderburgh County falls under the requirements of Phase II.

The State of Indiana, through the Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), enacted what is commonly known as Rule 13 (in 327 IAC, Article 15) in 2003 to comply with the NPDES program.  This rule is what Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) entities in Indiana must adhere to in order to be in compliance.

Under the NPDES Phase II regulations, Vanderburgh County was required to prepare a stormwater management program containing elements that address the following six Minimum Control Measures (MCMs):

 MCM #1 - Public Education and Outreach - This minimum control measure requires Vanderburgh County to develop a storm water management program that includes methods and measurable goals that will be used to inform residents, visitors, public service employees, commercial and industrial facilities, and construction site personnel within the MS4 area about the impacts polluted storm water run-off can have on water quality and ways they can minimize their impact on storm water quality. This can include the distribution of educational materials and performing outreach to inform citizens about the impacts polluted storm water runoff discharges can have on water quality.

Click here for more information on MCM #1.

 MCM #2 - Public Participation/Involvement – This MCM requires the development of a storm water quality management plan that includes provisions to allow opportunities for constituents within the MS4 area to participate in the storm water management program development and implementation. Examples of this include providing opportunities for citizens to participate in program development and implementation, including effectively publicizing public hearings and/or encouraging citizen representatives on a storm water management panel.

 MCM #3 - Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination – An illicit discharge is defined as any discharge to an storm water conveyance that is not composed entirely of storm water, except naturally occurring floatables, such as leaves or tree limbs. Sources of illicit discharges include sanitary wastewater, septic tank effluent, car wash wastewater, oil disposal, radiator flushing disposal, laundry wastewater, roadway accident spillage, and household hazardous wastes. This minimum control measure mandates the development and implementation of a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the storm sewer system. This includes developing a storm drainage system map, inspecting outfalls, and informing the community about hazards associated with illegal discharges and improper disposal of waste.

Click here for more information on MCM #3.

 MCM #4 - Construction Site Runoff Control – This minimum control measure necessitates the development, implementation, management, and enforcement of an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities that disturb one (1) or more acres of land within the MS4 area.

Click here for more information on MCM #4.

 MCM #5 - Post-Construction Site Runoff Control – This minimum control measure calls for the development of a program that implements, manages, and enforces a program to address discharges of post-construction storm water run-off from new development and redevelopment areas that disturb one (1) or more acres of land. Best management practices for this control measure could include preventive actions such as protecting sensitive areas such as wetlands or the use of structural BMPs such as grass swales, porous pavement, or the installation of manufactured products such as separator devices and filters.

Click here for more information on MCM #5.



 MCM #6 - Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping – This measure requires Vanderburgh County to develop and implement a program to prevent or reduce pollutant run-off from municipal operations within the MS4 area. Develop and implement a program with the goal of preventing or reducing pollutant runoff from municipal operations. The program must include municipal staff training on pollution prevention measures and techniques (e.g., regular street sweeping, reduction in the use of pesticides or street salt, or frequent catch-basin cleaning).

Click here for more information on MCM #6.

Below you will find links to items related to Vanderburgh County's efforts to comply with these regulations: from reports to new ordinances and associated plans and policies to public awareness information.  We plan to add content useful to designers in the future, so keep checking for updates.

Vanderburgh County Stormwater Links

Vanderburgh County's MS4 Program Audit from March 2010.

2007 Rule 13 Annual Report
2010 Rule 13 Biannual Report

Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control Ordinance (follow link to Title 13, Chapter 5)
Illicit Discharge into Storm Water Collection System Ordinance (follow link to Title 13, Chapter 6)

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Plan

Erosion Control Plan Review Checklist

2005 Storm Water Quality Management Plan, Part C - Vanderburgh County's submittal
2005 Storm Water Quality Management Plan, Part C - IDEM Notice of Sufficiency
2010 Storm Water Quality Management Plan, Part B Update - Vanderburgh County's submittal
2010 Storm Water Quality Management Plan, Part C Update - Vanderburgh County's submittal

Vanderburgh County Recycling Programs and Services

Contact Information

If you have any questions or complaints regarding erosion problems or to report pollutant discharges into a storm drainage system, please contact our erosion control specialist:

Mike Wathen, C.P.E.S.C.
Office telephone: (812) 435-5773

General questions regarding Vanderburgh County's stormwater program can be e-mailed to

Other Online Resources

Vanderburgh County SWCD - Homepage for the Vanderburgh County Soil and Water Conservation District.
IDEM Water Permits - Homepage for IDEM Water Permits.
U.S. EPA Region 5 Water - Homepage for EPA Region 5 water quality programs and initiatives.
Center for Watershed Protection - A non-profit corporation that provides technical tools to local governments, activists, and watershed organizations around the country.
Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) - An interstate commission representing eight states and the federal government that operates programs to improve water quality in the Ohio River and its tributaries.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division - Homepage for Ohio River water management information.