Do you know what the Village and Town of New Hartford and the Village of New York Mills have in common with Clayville, Utica, Kirkland, Deerefield, Westmoreland, and a dozen other communities in our area? They are all MS4's. So, what is an MS4? An MS4 is a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. It's a publicly owned storm sewer system that conveys storm water to a creek or a wetland, rather than a sewage treatment plant. That's right... the water that lands on the streets and the parking lots in our area flows into a series of drains called catch basins or storm grates. All of that water eventually finds its way, untreated, into tributaries of the Mohawk River including the Sauquoit Creek. In order to protect the water quality of our streams, the MS4 communities in the Utica Urbanized Area had to develop Storm Water Management Plans. These state mandated plans include public education and outreach activities, erosion and sediment control ordinances, and storm system mapping.
Want to help keep our streams clean? Avoid littering - garbage collects in the catch basins and can end up polluting your favorite fishing hole. Keep your car maintained - fluids that leak out of your car collect in parking lots and can be washed into the catch basins and be carried to the creeks. Finally, don't dump anything like motor oil, dirt or green waste into the street or into catch basins - remember the water in the catch basins is not filtered before it enters our creeks.
For more information about the Village MS4 program, please contact the Village of New Hartford DPW, who is the local stormwater contact, at 724-0379.