The Gary Storm Water Management District of the City of Gary, Indiana, is charged with the responsibility of providing the collection, disposal, and drainage of storm and surface water and relieving sanitary sewers of such. Polluted storm water runoff if discharged and untreated, can enter the storm water sewer system and directly into local water bodies. According to the U.S. EPA, polluted storm water runoff is a leading cause of impairment to the nearly 40 percent of surveyed U.S. water bodies which do not meet water quality standards. When left uncontrolled, this water pollution can result in the destruction of fish, wildlife, and aquatic life habitats. Polluted storm water runoff is also a threat to public health due to contaminated food, drinking water supply, and recreational waterways.
MS4 Minimum Control Measures (MCMs)
Polluted storm water runoff is often transported to municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) and ultimately discharged into local rivers and streams without treatment. The Storm Water Phase II Rule requires that six minimum control measures (MCM) be implemented in order to minimize the amount of pollutants discharged into receiving waterbodies. The six minimum control measures that must be addressed by the MS4 Program are:
- Public Education and Outreach: Distributing educational materials and performing outreach to inform citizens about the impacts polluted storm water runoff discharges can have on water quality.
- Public Participation/ Involvement: 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.
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination: Developing and implementing a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the storm sewer system (includes developing a system map and informing the community about the hazards associated with illegal discharges and improper disposal of waste).
- Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control: Developing, implementing, and enforcing an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities that disturb (1) one or more acres of land. These controls could include silt fences, erosion control blankets, rip rap, and inlet protection.
- Post-Construction Storm Water Runoff Control: Developing, implementing, and enforcing a program to address discharges of post-construction storm water runoff from new development and redevelopment areas. Applicable controls could include preventative actions such as protecting sensitive areas (e.g., wetlands) or the use of structural Best Management Practices (BMPs) such as grassed swales or porous pavement.
- Pollution Prevention/ Good Housekeeping: Developing and implementing 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).
Storm Water Permit Application Process
- Request a Storm Water Application Package from the Gary Storm Water Management District, please contact the MS4 Coordinator at 219-882-3000.
- Upon receipt of your Storm Water Permit Application and applicable payment, an application number will be assigned.
- If you have questions regarding your application or storm water management plans, contact our GSWMD engineers at 219-944-1211 ext. 1704.
Storm Water Utility Fee:
The Federal Government has required all storm water districts to comply with the Federal Clean Water Act. To comply with this unfunded mandate, the Gary Storm Water District Board of Directors passed Resolution Number SW11-06 (July 2011) to establish the creation of a storm water district user fee. This resolution was passed and adopted by the City of Gary Common Council by final reading on August 2, 2011 (please refer to City of Gary Ordinance CPO2011-41/Ordinance 8472).