Storm Water Discharges From

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4)

Best Management Practices

Best Management Practices (BMPs) are effective methods which prevent the movement of pollutants into Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). Storm water runoff is diffuse pollution that comes from almost everywhere. The amount of pollutants from any particular spot is small and insignificant, but the combined sources can create enormous water quality problems. Although it is unrealistic to expect that all non-point source pollution can be eliminated, BMPs can be used to minimize the impact.

Car Washing BMPs

  • Use biodegradable soap with a phosphorus content of 0.5% or lower
  • Use as minimal amount of soap
  • Use hose with a nozzle to save water
  • Wash car on grassy area so that ground can filter water
  • Pour soapy water down the sink, not in the street
  • Take your car to a commercial car wash if you plan to clean the engine or the bottom of the car so that the waste water can be treated

Lawn and Garden BMPs

  • Test soils every 3 years to determine appropriate amount of nutrients needed for gardening
  • Choose native plants since they are usually more water efficient and disease resistant
  • Plant non-turf areas where possible, because lawns require more water and maintenance
  • Use low-volume irrigation devices such as drip-type or sprinkler systems
  • Use mulches to help retain moisture, reduce weed growth, prevent erosion, and improve the quality of the soil
  • Eliminate use of fertilizers if possible; use composted organic fertilizers if necessary
  • Use pesticides only when absolutely necessary

Water Conservation BMPs

  • Do not let water run continuously when washing hands, shaving, brushing teeth, or washing your face
  • Hand wash dishes instead of using a dish washer
  • Only wash full loads of laundry
  • Take shorter showers using a water-conserving shower head
  • Hand wash vehicles using a bucket
  • Water lawns during the coolest time of day
  • Invest in low-flow toilets and energy-efficient appliances
  • Avoid using garbage disposals