The City of Mason Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) consists of approximately 231,800 linear feet (43.9 miles) of concrete and plastic drainage pipes ranging from 6 inches to 42 inches in diameter, with some corrugated metal pipes up to 72 inches in diameter. The system has 1,026 stormwater catch basins that collect stormwater and debris from roadways, parking lots, building roofs, sump pumps, and some low lying areas. Stormwater enters the system by gravity then flows through a series of pipes that connects to the catch basins. A catch basin is designed to have a bottom that is lower than the stormwater lines to allow for a settling of the solids and debris before continuing on its journey creek’s waters. The collected stormwater flows into one of the three creeks flowing through the City of Mason, the Sycamore Creek, Willow Creek or Rayner Drain.
Maintenance of the storm water system is divided between the City and the Ingham County Drain Commission. The county has designated drains that flow through the City such as the Willow Creek and the Rayner Drain. The City of Mason is responsible for the stormwater entering the Sycamore Creek, Willow Creek, and Rayner Drain through its 58 stormwater City-owned outfalls locations. The stormwater NPDES permit requires that each outfall entering the Sycamore Creek be inspected and monitored for water quality during the permit cycle.
What You Can Do To Protect Your Water
- The stormwater system drains directly into the Sycamore Creek with no treatment, whatever enters the storm sewer system, enters the Sycamore Creek.
- Check your sump pump and roof drain connections. Sump pumps and roof drains should NOT be connected to the Sanitary Sewer System. A sump pump’s discharge should flow into a storm sewer connection, a catch basin, a street curb, or on a grassy area in your lawn.
- Keep storm sewer catch basins near your home cleared from trash, debris, sticks and leaves.
- Wash your vehicles in a grassy area not in your driveway or street.
- Do not dump anything onto the streets, your driveway, or in the catch basins.
- Repair vehicle leaks. Any oil or antifreeze that is on the street, in the parking lot, or on your driveway is washed into the storm water system and goes directly to the receiving waters (Sycamore Creek).
- Use lawn fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides sparingly.
- Report any unauthorized dumping.
- Dispose pet waste in the trash.
To learn more about the Greater Lansing Regional Committee (GLRC) visit www.mywatersheds.org.
What is Stormwater Runoff?
Stormwater runoff is created when rain falls on pavement, buildings, and other impervious surfaces that do not allow water to soak into the ground. In developed areas like the City of Mason, we limit flooding by moving this runoff from our roads, parking lots, and neighborhoods through storm drains which discharge directly into rivers and streams. Since the discharge from separate storm sewer systems does not get processed at a treatment plant, any containment on the ground can "hitch a ride" with runoff and impact our shared surface waters. Pet waste, oil, leaves and dirty water from cleaning your car can enter storm drains and flow downstream where it harms aquatic habitats and makes water unsafe for swimming, canoeing and other water-related activities. The City takes steps to reduce this pollution to improve water quality and to meet State and Federal requirements.
Per these requirements, the City must apply for a stormwater discharge permit every five years. A large part of that application consists of a description as to how the City will commit to and proceed with the development, implementation, and enforcement of practices to reduce the discharge of pollutants from its municipal separate storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable. This documentation was formally designated as the City of Mason’s Stormwater Management Plan, which is located below for public review and input.
To help facilitate a regional approach to stormwater management, the City of Mason is a member of the Greater Lansing Regional Committee for Stormwater Management, a guiding body comprised of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) communities within the Greater Lansing Region. The committee has been established to guide the implementation of the stormwater program for participating communities within the Grand River, the Red Cedar River and the Looking Glass River watersheds. Visit MyWatersheds.org to learn about upcoming events, find steps you can take to limit water pollution, and to get involved in managing our shared water resources!
If you have questions or comments regarding the City’s stormwater management plan, please contact Customer Service at 517-676-9155 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is an illicit discharge?
An illicit discharge is defined as any discharge to the municipal separate storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of stormwater, except for discharges allowed under an NPDES permit or waters used for firefighting operations. Many of these non-stormwater discharges occur due to illegal connections to the storm drain system from commercial, residential, and other establishments.
Illicit discharges and dumping allow contaminated wastewater into our local waterways without receiving any treatment. Such activities may be intentional, but also may be unknown to the property owner. Some examples of illicit discharges or dumping are failing septic systems, improper disposal of sewage from recreational vehicles, illicit connections of sanitary sewer lines to the storm sewer system, or the cleaning of pool filters, paint brushes, and vehicles in a driveway or street.
Please help us protect the Red Cedar and Grand River watershed by reporting illicit discharges and dumping into the City’s stormwater sewer system. You may email the City of Mason at email@example.com or call Customer Service at 517-676-9155 during business hours, if after hours dial 517-676-2458 or contact the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Pollution Emergency Alerting System (PEAS) at 800-292-4706.
Where can I dispose of Household Hazardous Waste?
When not stored, used, or disposed of properly, household hazardous waste pollutes our waters. Household cleaners, paints, automotive fluids and more should be recycled at a household hazardous waste event or designated collection facility. Check out these links to learn more about area collection events and resources to help you properly dispose of household materials!
Tips for Pollution Prevention
Want to learn more about how you can protect our waterways at your home, school, or business? Check out these articles, brochures, and flyers and feel free to print and post them at your workplace or classroom!
-Business and Construction Stormwater Flyers
Visit the GLRC website at MyWatersheds.org for more materials like these, to discover what watershed you live in, and other pollution prevention tips!
- Annual Reports: mywatersheds.org/annual-reports
- Quarterly Newsletters: mywatersheds.org/quarterly-newsletter
- Homeowners: mywatersheds.org/for-homeowners
Social Media Campaigns
There are several watershed management efforts currently underway by local watershed groups. Their mission is to improve regional water quality and management. The Greater Lansing Regional Committee for Stormwater Management (GLRC) collaborates on several different projects and efforts related to water quality improvements, recreational opportunities, pollution prevention and in general regional water resource management.
City of Mason Documents: Progress Reports, Permits
Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP)