The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water Act of 1972 introduced the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) which addressed sources of pollution including Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4). Phase II NPDES regulations issued in 1999 regulated Columbus and urbanized areas in Bartholomew County. The Clean Water Act NPDES is an unfunded mandate.

The NPDES permit contains elements called minimum control measures (MCM) that, when implemented, should result in a significant reduction in the discharge of pollutants.

Columbus continues to implement the following MCM’s:

  • Public Education and Outreach
  • Public Participation and Involvement
  • Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination
  • Construction Erosion & Sediment Control
  • Post Construction Best Management Practices
  • Municipal Operations Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping


Public Notice

Posted 6-3-2022

The City of Columbus is required to post notice of the City’s intent to submit an IDEM application to continue MS4 permit coverage under the new Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System General Permit (MS4GP). Below is the required public notice:

The City of Columbus (123 Washington Street, Columbus, IN 47201) intends to discharge stormwater into the Catharine Creek-Driftwood River (051202040904),  Town of Northcliff-Flatrock River (051202050606), Little Haw Creek-Haw Creek (051202050605), Otter Creek-Clifty Creek (051202060107), Denios Creek-East Fork White River (051202060203), Opossum Creek-East Fork White River (051202060205), and Grandview Lake-East Fork White Creek (051202060401) Watersheds and is submitting a Notice of Intent to notify the Indiana Department of Environmental Management of the MS4’s intent to comply with the requirements of the MS4 General Permit to discharge stormwater run-off. Contact the MS4 Coordinator at 812-376-2540 or for questions.