An overview of NPDES Phase 2

Stephen R. Bicking, P.E.

HR Green

Stormwater runoff is a major source of water pollution. When rain falls or snow melts, it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and often flows directly into lakes, streams, and wetlands. As areas experience growth and development, impervious surfaces such as roads, parking lots, and rooftops increase. Effective management of stormwater is a community effort that requires investment in public infrastructure coupled with changes in corporate and personal behavior.

Stormwater is a major concern of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Congress directed the EPA to develop a Federal program under the Clean Water Act to regulate all discharges into public waters including stormwater runoff from urbanized areas (as defined by the census).  The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) issues stormwater discharge permits under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). The Village of Spring Grove is regulated under Phase 2 of the NPDES program.  The IEPA, through the use of NPDES permits, monitors municipal programs and practices that were put in place to control polluted stormwater runoff.

Phase 2 defines a small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) stormwater management program as a program comprising six elements that, when implemented, are expected to result in significant reductions of pollutants discharged into receiving water bodies. The six MS4 program elements are termed “minimum control measures” and are as follows:

  1. Public Education and Outreach
  2. Public Participation/Involvement
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  4. Construction Site Runoff Control
  5. Post-Construction Runoff Control
  6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping

The Village of Spring Grove has implemented the required portion of each minimum control measure as documented in the Notice of Intent (NOI) that was submitted to the IEPA.  The IEPA periodically reviews (audits) all MS4s that submit NOIs to ensure compliance with the minimum control measures outlined above.  As part of the audit process, the IEPA has verified that the Village is in compliance with its NOI.

Water quality affects everyone and Phase 2 is intended to further reduce impacts to water quality and aquatic habitat by instituting the use of controls on the unregulated sources of stormwater discharges that have the greatest likelihood of causing continued environmental degradation.  The Village has done this through the adoption of ordinances that contribute to the improvement of water quality and the tracking of stormwater discharges.  If you have any questions relating to NPDES Phase 2, please contact Steve Bicking, P.E., Village Engineer at 815-759-8306 or Sandi Rusher, Village Clerk at 815-675-2121.

For more information on NPDES Phase II, visit the following sites:

Brochures and other information: