Public Participation & Involvement

The purpose of this MCM is to include public and other interested parties in the processes of stormwater program development and implementation. Do you want to be part of solution to prevent stormwater pollution? There are many practices you can do right where you live and work. In addition, the City of Valparaiso has some activities you can volunteer and help. If you are interested, please click on the links listed below for more details on how to become involved. For more information please contact Mingyan Zhou, the City's MS4 Coordinator. 


Storm sewers empty directly into lakes, streams and rivers, so anything that goes into a storm drain will end up in a water body without any sort of treatment. City of Valparaiso relies on citizens to report illegal dumping (the disposal of waste in an area where it is not permitted) so that it can be cleaned up and water quality can be protected. The Report Pollution page provides more information on this program and how you can report a polluter. 

"Scoop the Poop" Pet Waste Management Campaign

 No-one wants to see pet waste where they walk or play. Did you know that in addition to being a nuisance, pet waste is also a significant pollutant found in stormwater runoff? When it is improperly disposed of, it can be picked up by stormwater runoff and washed into storm drains or nearby waterbodies. Since storm drains do not always connect to treatment facilities, untreated animal feces often end up in lakes and streams, causing significant water pollution.

The City of Valparaiso MS4 Program is announcing the “Scoop the Poop” Pet Waste Management Campaign. Free dog waste bag dispensers are available to pet owners who live within the City of Valparaiso limits and pay stormwater fees.

These re-fillable dispensers attach to pet’s leash and carry 15 biodegradable baggies for convenience in picking up pet’s waste and disposing it in the trash. The dispenser is limited to one per pet owner. The dispensers are available while supplies last. You may pick one up at Valparaiso City Hall,166 W Lincolnway.

Review this Scoop the Poop (PDF) document to learn more about the campaign and problems created by pet waste.

Pet Waste Stations

Valparaiso Parks Department has also partnered with Vale Park Animal Hospital to install pet waste stations in several locations throughout the city, including Fairgrounds Park, Central Park Plaza, and the Cumberland Loop. There is also one installed near the intersection of Jefferson St and Lafayette St. Take advantage of the stations when you are walking your dogs in these areas.

Rain Barrel Program

 Are you tired of swimming or fishing in slimy green lakes? Would you like to save money on your summer water bill? Using rain barrels at home is an easy way for you to help reduce pollution in our lakes and rivers and offer free water for exterior uses.

Many people are not aware that the polluted stormwater runoff is a major cause of pollution in our nation’s waters. Every time it rains, water runs off of roofs, driveways, parking lots and roads, picking up pollutants. The water is then collected in storm sewers and ditches and then sent rushing into local water bodies without pretreatment, causing erosion, flooding and water pollution.

Pet Refuse Collection Canister On Leash
Golden Retriever
Dog Waste Station
Barrel pics 2014 062

By installing a rain barrel at your home, you can help reduce the impact of stormwater runoff. The water collected by rain barrels can later be used to water your lawn or garden during dry weeks, or even wash your car, which helps conserve potable water supplies and reduce your water bill.

Since 2012, the MS4 Program has been offering rain barrels at a reduced price to City residents. So far more than 1,200 rain barrels have been distributed out. To get a rain barrel for your house, contact Mingyan Zhou, the City's MS4 Coordinator.  

Rain Barrel Design Competition

The Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County (RWRDPC) together with MS4 communities across Porter County, including the City of Valparaiso, have put up a Rain Barrel Design Competition for all schools in Porter County since 2013.

The purpose of this contest is to teach students about environmental protection and conservation, a great way to incorporate environmental education into classroom activities. The painted barrels are displayed at the NWI Earth Day Celebration Events every year. The contest has been a great success for the past years! Visit the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County site to learn more about the program! 

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection

Do you have some household hazardous waste you want to dispose of but are not sure how to do it properly? Bring it to a household hazardous waste collection events organized by the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County.

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program site posts a collection schedule and a list of accepted items. Notice that latex paint is now accepted! More and more people are taking advantage of this free opportunity. By doing this, you can help reduce the risk of polluting our water bodies and protect our environment.