Due to stormwater quality standards set by the EPA, the City of St. Francis and many similar cities have been identified as a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). Newly identified MS4 cities are required to apply for a MS4 general permit. The MS4 general permit is mandated by the federal regulations under the Clean Water Act and is administered by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
A MS4 is a publicly owned or operated stormwater infrastructure, used solely for stormwater. Examples of stormwater infrastructure include curbs, ditches, culverts, stormwater ponds and storm sewer pipes. The MS4 general permit focuses on reducing pollution that enters these public systems and discharges to wetlands, stream and lakes.
The MS4 general permit requires the owner or operator to create a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program which focuses on public education, public participation, illicit discharges, construction and post-construction site runoff controls, and pollution prevention and municipal “good housekeeping”.
Although the MS4 general permit is a requirement, it is also a tool to improve local water quality within the City of St. Francis. Improving water quality can seem like an insurmountable task, but small efforts that all residents can make will have a dramatic effect. Simple steps for better water quality include:
- Fertilize established lawns with phosphorous-free fertilizer and don’t overspray fertilizer into the street.
- Rake leaves and sweep grass clippings away from curbs. Clean curbs mean clean water.
- Direct your home’s gutters onto your lawn. Water that doesn’t make it to the curb can’t carry pollutants to lakes and streams.
For more detailed information about the MS4 general permit, or for further information about reducing stormwater pollution, visit https://www.pca.state.mn.us/water/municipal-stormwater-ms4.
Starting in 2016, each parcel will be billed $60.00 per year for the implementation of this requirement. Notices will be sent out in March annually.
Please send payment to:
City of St. Francis
23340 Cree Street NW
St. Francis, MN 55070
or submit to city hall drop box on south-end of building.