MS4 Water Pollution Prevention Program

04.1a Campus Water Pollution Prevention Program

04.1b School Newsletter Article

Our school has a storm water management plan that is available for review at the front office. It is part of the federal government's effort to keep our streams and oceans clean and eliminate pollution discharge.

NPDES MS4 Report On Water Pollution Prevention Awareness

The provisions of the Clean Water Act; Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), Chapter 342D; and the Hawaii Administrative Rules, Chapters 11-54 and 11-55, the Department of Health (DOH) has issued to the Department of Education (DOE) NPDES Permit No. HI S000003, which authorizes DOE facilities to discharge storm water runoff and certain non-storm water discharges into Small Municipal Separate storm Sewer Systems (Small MS4) which discharge to state waters.

There are two major parts for compliance, known simply as the Campus Drainage Report, and the Campus Annual Report for Water Pollution Awareness or the MS4 Annual Report.

A copy of the Campus Drainage Report AND the MS4 Annual Report is available for review with the Administration.



Use water wisely. By conserving water, the amount of wastewater needing treatment and disposal will be reduced. Overwatering and runoff can carry pollutants into the storm drain system.

Use and dispose hazardous substances properly. Always read the product label and choose the least toxic alternative. Motor oil, paints, solvents and other chemicals should not be poured on the ground or down the storm drains, because they can pollute our streams and ocean. Motor oil is recycled at oil change locations; other chemical products should be first used up by buying only the amount needed; typically unused excess could be evaporated or soaked into clay litter, wrapped in plastic and disposed with trash. Excess pesticides require special handling and must be disposed as hazardous waste.

Use fertilizer and pesticides sparingly. Choose the least toxic alternative such as compost for fertilizer, repellant/resistant plants and instead of bug sprays, use baited traps. Follow label instructions and use only the amount needed. Apply outdoors only during dry weather, rain water can easily carry substances to nearby storm drains and stream.

Landscape the land to prevent erosion. Cover bare ground with grass, shrubs or trees to hold soil in place. Establish native plantings and provide vegetation buffer zones along storm drains and stream.

Improve housekeeping. Fix water leaks throughout campus by replacing faucet washers and toilet flappers as needed. A slow drip or leak can easily waste more than 100 gallons of water a week. Put all litter into trash cans so it does not get washed into the storm drains or streams.

Implement annual campus cleanup event. Coordinate cleanup event for the whole campus to collect litter and address any other issues that would impact storm water quality, such as storage of materials and soil erosion areas. Maintain record of litter collected and other changes that impact storm water quality and take before and after photos of campus.


Study storm water management. Teachers can address hazards associated with illicit discharges to our storm drains and streams. Develop steps that can be taken to reduce storm water pollution.

Learn about good housekeeping. Good housekeeping practices are simply maintaining a safe, orderly and clean learning environment. Conduct an individual or class project to reinforce pollution prevention activities consistent with protecting storm water.

Learn where your wastewater goes. Investigate the wastewater drainage process from campus to the ocean via streams, storm and sewer drains.

Educate others. Conduct an individual or class project to inform others about protecting our ocean from pollution.

Participate in annual campus cleanup event. Participate in a campus cleanup day to collect litter and address any other issues that would impact storm water quality, such as storage of materials and soil erosion areas.


As a member of our school we can make a difference, report any illegal discharge in our school and community.


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.