Utilities

The town of Cumberland owns and operates the Cumberland stormwater utility, Cumberland wastewater utility, and Gem wastewater utility. Cumberland Storm Water UtilityThe Cumberland Storm Water Utility is dedicated to keeping our town safe, clean, and environmentally responsible by managing rainwater and stormwater to prevent flooding, reduce pollution, and protect natural resources. Our work adheres to the standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to ensure compliance with all regulations. We operate through the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) and are overseen by the Storm Water Utility Board, which manages the utility's finances, reviews new development projects, and oversees operations and maintenance. The Board also regulates unauthorized discharges, drainage improvements, and erosion control during construction, ensuring that water discharged into local streams is clean and safe.

Storm Water Updates
Storm Water vs Waste WaterStorm Water refers to the water that flows over surfaces like roads, parking lots, and rooftops when it rains or snow melts. This water is typically directed into storm drains, which form a network known as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). Storm water often carries debris, pollutants, and other contaminants picked up along the way, so it's important to manage it properly to prevent flooding, reduce pollution, and protect local waterways. In most cases, stormwater is not treated before it flows into rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water.

Waste Water, on the other hand, comes from homes, businesses, and industries. This includes water from sinks, showers, toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines. Wastewater is collected in a separate system from storm water, known as the sanitary sewer system. Unlike stormwater, wastewater is sent to treatment facilities where it's cleaned and treated to remove pollutants before being released into the environment.

It's crucial that these systems remain separate to avoid contamination and overflows. When storm water and wastewater systems mix, it can lead to significant environmental and health risks, as untreated wastewater might enter natural water sources. Governments maintain these systems and enforce regulations to ensure public safety, protect natural resources, and comply with environmental standards.
Stormwater FAQ
How do I report illegal dumping?
To report the illegal dumping of chemicals, heavy erosion from construction sites, heavily polluted water, or other illegal connections to the storm system (such as septic tank discharges or washing machine wash water), please call the Storm Water Hotline. The Public Works Department will accept stormwater hotline calls at phone number 894-6200 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday. Callers are required to give their names and contact information so that stormwater problems can be tracked as they are resolved.
What is an MS4?

MS4, or Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System, refers to a community-operated infrastructure designed for collecting and conveying stormwater. This system includes various components such as roads with drains, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, storm drains, piping, channels, ditches, tunnels, and conduits, excluding combined sewer overflows and publicly owned treatment works. As an unfunded, federally mandated program, MS4 requires municipalities to implement measures to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff, thereby improving water quality. In the Town of Cumberland, compliance with MS4 regulations is mandated by state law (327 IAC 15-13) and enforced through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program managed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). Permits for MS4 are issued on a five-year cycle, necessitating regular renewal.

A critical component of the MS4 program is the Storm Water Quality Management Plan (SWQMP), which is divided into three parts. Part A involves the initial application, including a general budget sheet to ensure financial resources are allocated to the MS4 program. Part B, the Baseline Characterization, involves assessing the water quality of all waters receiving stormwater discharges within the MS4 area. Part C, the Implementation Plan, is a dynamic document outlining priorities, goals, and strategies for improving water quality, adapting as best management practices and technology evolve. The MS4 program also requires communities to implement six minimum control measures (MCMs), including public education and outreach, public involvement, illicit discharge detection, and elimination, construction site runoff control, post-construction stormwater management, and pollution prevention, and good housekeeping for municipal operations. Each measure aims to enhance stormwater quality through community engagement, regulatory compliance, and proactive municipal management.

How can I help?

Saving water is extremely important for the protection of our water resources and is everyone's responsibility.  Water supports all forms of life and affects our health, lifestyle, and economic well-being.  Below is a list of actions you can take as a resident or business in the Town of Cumberland to protect our water resources.  

Top Ways You Can Protect Ground Water

  1. Dispose of chemicals properly.  Do not pour chemicals down drains!
  2. Take used motor oil to a recycling center.
  3. Limit the amount of fertilizer and pesticides used on gardens and lawns.
  4. Properly abandon unused wells or cisterns.
  5. Dispose of household hazardous waste properly.
  6. Remove abandoned fuel oil and gasoline tanks properly.
  7. Keep septic systems well-maintained.
  8. Report illegal dumping.
  9. Minimize the use of de-icers.
  10. Get involved in water educational programs.
  11. Plant a rain garden.
  12. Install a rain barrel.
  13. Fix household leaks.