Town Government

Public Works


Stop Storm Water Pollution

Storm water picks up debris, chemical, dirt, and other pollutants from surface. It carries them into a storm sewer system or directly to a lake, stream, river, wetland, or coastal water. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated in the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water. Yard waste such as grass clippings and leaves can cause harm in streams an dlakes. Although they are natural materials, too much of a good thing creates problems. Grass, leaves, and sediment can bury an important habitat. When it decays, it can suck all of the oxygen out of the water. Remember, only rain in the drain.

When debris such as plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles, and cigarette butts is washed into bodies of water, it can choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life like ducks, fish, turtles, and birds.

Household hazardous wastes like insticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, used motor oil, and other auto fluids can poison aquatic life. Just 4 quarts of oil downa  storm drain can form an oil slick the size of eight football fields in a lake or wetland. Lake County Solid Waste Management District's website,, has suggestions for proper disposal of hazardous waste. Contact the LCSWMD via their website or by phone at 219-853-2420.

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4)

Once stormwater hits the ground, it beomces contaminated from things like: dirt, fluid from automobiles, household chemicals, fertilizers, road salt, asphalt roofs, and any other debris that the water may come into contact with as it travels towards a stormwater sewer. Anything that enters a storm water sewer system is discharged untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water. We all need to be aware of what goes in our storm drains. 

Illicit discharges are those wastes which cannot legally be discharged down storm drains to a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). Sources include: sanitary waste water illegally connected to the storm drain system; residential laundry washwaters; effluent from septic takns; industrial wastewaters; auto and house hold toxics such as used motor oil; liquid fertilizers and pesticides; pet waste; drained pool water; spills from roadways; paint waste. Anything that isn't rain down the storm drain is a potential illicit discharge.

(Schererville Ordinance No.1708 Sec. 9-358 Prohibited and Exempted Discharges)

a. Policy. No person shall discharge, directly or indirectly, any substance other than stormwater or exempted discharges to the Town of Schererville stormwater collection and conveyance system, including all pipe networks, watercourses, and waterbodies. Any person discharging stormwater shall use best management practices to effectively miniimize pollutant carried with the stormwater. 

b. Exempted Discharges. The followign categories of non-stormwater discharges and flows are exempted from the requirements for this ordinance: 

  1. Water line flushing;
  2. Landscape irrigation;
  3. Diverted streamflows;
  4. Rising ground waters;
  5. Uncontaminated ground water infiltration;
  6. Uncontaminated pumped ground water;
  7. Discharges from potable water sources;
  8. Air condition condensation;
  9. Irrigation water;
  10. Springs;
  11. Lawn watering;
  12. Individual residential car washing;
  13. Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands;
  14. Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges;
  15. Street wash water; and
  16. Discharges from firefighting activities

c. Illicit or Illegal Discharges. Any discharge other than stormwater or an exempted discharge is considered illicit or illegal, volative of this ordinance, as amended from time to time, and shall be subject to corrective measures and enforcement provisions set forth hereafter in this ordinance.