MS4 - Stormwater Division

             Report a Water Quality Concern

City of La Porte, MS4 Coordinator

call (219) 362-2354 or email dhunsberger@CityofLaPorteIN.Gov

Public Notice

The City of La Porte, 801 Michigan Avenue, La Porte IN, 46350 intends to discharge stormwater into the Travis Ditch 071200010403 and Kingsbury Creek 071200010402 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 (219) 362-2354 or for questions.


The City of La Porte's NPDES General Permit requires a plan to reduce or eliminate pollution that storm water that might transport through the storm drain network. The plan is called a Storm Water Quality Management Plan (SWQMP).  You can see the SWQMP here.

Municipal Separated Storm Sewer System (MS4)

An MS4 is a public network of structures that convey stormwater run-off, usually to a stream, ditch or lake. They are a permitted stormwater drainage system. This collection of inlets and pipes help prevent flooding by directing rain water away from paved areas and into nearby waterbodies. Unlike a sanitary sewer system that treats sewage water before discharging it, a storm drain system simply conveys the water without treatment.

The EPA delegated authority to the State of Indiana's Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), Office of Water Quality, to issue water quality permits. Not every business or activity requires a permit. The EPA and IDEM only require permits for activities that have potential to cause pollution or exceed water quality standards.  Examples include: construction projects that disturb over 1-acre, industrial facilities, sewage treatment plants, etc.

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act was first enacted in 1948. Although not an effective bill, it was the first major legislation in the U.S. to address water pollution. Events such as the Cuyahoga River fires in Ohio, a river so full of pollution that it caught fire 13 times between 1968 and 1969, made it clear that something needed to be done to protect streams, lakes, rivers, and the ocean. In 1972, significant amendments were added to the act leading to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act gives the EPA authority to set water quality standards and establish pollution control programs. The act also mandates a permit is needed to discharge any pollutants to U.S. waters. This permit is called a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The permit allows a permittee to discharge to a waterbody, requiring that permittee to have procedures/practices in place that reduce or eliminate pollution.

The Clean Water Act originally focused on industrial facilities and sewage treatment facilities. It now applies to everyone including individuals, businesses, construction projects and storm drain systems.


Stormwater Fees

According to the EPA, polluted stormwater run-off is the leading cause of impairment to our waterbodies. Further, the increased quantity of stormwater runoff further degrades our lakes, rivers and streams.

The stormwater quality management program (SWQMP) mandated by the Clean Water Act protects our waters, which benefit the livability and way of life in La Porte. In 2003, the City of La Porte partnered with La Porte County, Trail Creek and Long Beach to manage a Rule 13 NPDES permit and comply with state and federal stormwater expectations. In December 2021, IDEM changed the permit by rule for stormwater to a stormwater general permit. The La Porte County MS4 partnership was disolved and the city of La Porte manages its own permit.

Recognizing the need to maintain a seperate and stable funding source, the city of La Porte, like many Indiana cities, adopted a monthly stormwater user fee. In 2018, a rate study was performed to review the stormwater program and budgetary needs. An assessment rate and fee structure were recommended to meet those growing needs. Early 2019, a stormwater fee was introduced to residents within the city limits. With this fee in place, residents now enjoy improvements to the stormwater drainage system and better water quality for recreation. Sewer seperation projects and maintenance to aging infrastructure have also reduced flooding in the community.

The rate study revealed the impervious area of

an average home in the City of La Porte is 3,000 sq ft.

This created the benchmark for the rate schedule:

3,000 sq ft = 1 equivalent residential unit (ERU)

1 ERU = $5.49             Each residential parcel is charged $5.49 per month.

Class I) Any parcel existing in the City considered to be agricultural and residential. Includes duplexes, triplexes, mobile homes and condominiums.

Class II) Any parcel existing in the City considered to be railroad parcels or unimproved parcels. Unimproved parcels include but are not limited to: Unimproved agriculture parcels, unimproved residential parcels, unimproved commercial parcels, unimproved industrial parcels, unimproved tax-exempt parcels, unimproved municipal parcels and unimproved utility parcels.

Class III) All parcels not encompassed within the definitions of Class I and Class II. This includes but is not limited to, commercial parcels, industrial parcels, tax-exempt parcels, municipal parcels and utility parcels.

The following table is found in Ordinance 26-2020 (link below).

Stormwater Fee Schedule, effective 1/1/2022.
Property Type # ERUs Monthly Fee Per ERU Monthly Fee
Class I 1 $5.49 $5.49
Class II .33 $5.49 $1.81
Class III 1 ERU per 3,000 sq ft impervious area $5.49 Variable, but not less than $5.49


Annual Reports



Devon Hunsberger
MS4 Coordinator

2101 Boyd Blvd.
La Porte, IN 46350

Ph: (219) 362-2354