Gadsden-Etowah MS4

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit regulates discharges from small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4). This 75 square-mile area called the Gadsden-Etowah MS4 includes the City of Gadsden, Rainbow City, and the City of Southside. It also includes the City of Glencoe, City of Hokes Bluff, City of Attalla, and portions of unincorporated Etowah County.

Since 2012, S&ME has provided a wide range of environmental services for the Gadsden-Etowah MS4. Our team prepared a Storm Water Management Program (SWMP). S&ME also prepared a Storm Water Monitoring Plan for an approximately 38,000-acre area near Neely Henry Lake. S&ME performs quarterly watershed monitoring to assess the effectiveness in achieving Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) allocations. The monitoring consists of post-rainfall sampling at 18 points representative of the typical land uses in the subwatersheds.


  • S&ME assisted with the planning and hosting the first annual Gadsden-Etowah MS4 Conference. The purpose of the conference was to meet the permit requirements for public education and public involvement. It included attendees from nine cities, two counties, and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.  The conference also included representatives from the Coosa Riverkeeper, the Alabama Clean Water Partnership, and the Etowah County Soil & Water Conservation District.
  • S&ME prepared the required Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Program. The program includes methods for establishing Priority Areas and performing inspections of identified outfalls.
  • S&ME developed and conducted municipal training sessions for the cities and the county. The training included information on pollution prevention, and good housekeeping measures. The training also identifies potential illicit discharges and other potential threats to storm water quality.
  • S&ME prepared Annual Reports detailing permit condition compliance. The reports include an assessment of the best management practices identified in the SWMP. In addition, the reports detail the progress towards achieving the goal of reducing pollutants to the maximum extent practicable. Results are also collected and analyzed. Finally, a summary of storm water activities the municipalities plan to undertake during the next reporting cycle.