MS-4 Water Pollution Prevention Awareness

What is MS-4 and who does it affect?

The Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS-4) program is part of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA'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 all can do to minimize pollution from getting into our water resources. Additional information is available at the EPA 's web site:

The contact number for the City and County's Environmental Concern Line is 692-5656.

1. Place litter in trash bins.

2. Reduce waste. Buy products with less packaging.

3. Recycle cans, bottle, and paper products.

4. Reduce chemical usages such as fertilizer and pesticide .

5. Compost green waste. Do it yourself or utilize City green waste collection .

6. Protect loose stockpile of soil, fertilizers, and other materials from washing away.

7. Report violators of illegal dumping.

8. Maintain Storm Drain system. Inspect periodically and clean as needed.

9. Restrict washing of cars and other vehicles on school campus .

10. Practice proper handling of household hazardous waste and automotive fluids.

11. Volunteer for litter and stream clean ups .

12. Inform school principal of pollution hazards on campus.