U.S. MS4 Needs Assessment Survey

This one-of-a-kind national survey seeks to understand municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) sector challenges, drivers, and needs.

U.S. MS4 Needs Assessment Survey

The WEF Stormwater Institute (SWI) is on a mission to better understand the challenges, drivers, and resource needs across the MS4 sector. As such, SWI is launching its third iteration of the National Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Needs Assessment Survey, which was originally established in 2018 to collect on a biannual basis. The primary objectives of the survey are to

  • better understand MS4 program challenges and drivers,
  • identify the information and resource needs of MS4 permittees, and
  • approximate current funding levels and estimated funding needs in the MS4 sector.

2022 Results

2020 Results 2018 Results

The target audience of the survey is

  • MS4 Permittee holders and
  • program managers that manage clients’ MS4 permits.

The impact of this survey ranges from advocating with our partner organizations for

The WEF Stormwater Institute's goal is to reach as many MS4 communities (phase I, phase II, and non-traditional MS4 permits) across the nation as possible, have the results significantly represent all 10 EPA regions, and surpass our previous responses.


2022 MS4 Needs Assessment Results

In late 2022 and early 2023, the WEF Stormwater Institute (SWI) conducted a national survey of municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permittees. The primary objectives of this survey were to:

2022 MS4 Needs Survey Cover.png

  • Identify information and technical resource needs of MS4 permittees and to better understand MS4 stormwater program challenges.
  • Estimate existing annual stormwater program budgets and the national funding gap in the stormwater sector.
  • Highlight sector data in critical areas such as asset management, resilience planning, and the maturation of stormwater programs.
  • Provide data and information to support the inclusion of stormwater as an independent infrastructure sector in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Infrastructure Report Card© program.

The 2022 survey is the third such effort led by WEF since 2018, and now provides some opportunities for longitudinal data trend analysis. This iteration of the survey received a total of 643 usable entries from 47 states including the District of Columbia.

Access the 2022 MS4
Needs Assessment Survey Results


2020 MS4 Needs Assessment Results

WEF_MS4_Needs_Assessment_Survey_Full_Report_2020_cover-232x300.jpgIn the 2020 survey, WEF received 804 responses from 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  

The WEF Stormwater Institute gratefully acknowledges the MS4 Survey Work Team for their contribution to the development and deployment of the survey, as well as the analysis of the results.

MS4-Survey-Dashboard-Image-768x344.jpgThis second iteration of the MS4 Needs Assessment survey provided a Data Dashboard feature that enables users to filter data by permittee type, geographic region, and other characteristics. The dashboard seeks to improve the understanding of the challenges, needs, and drivers of stormwater programs. The Data Dashboard is powered by 2NDNATURE Software.

Watch a recording of the June 3, 2021 Webcast, WEF MS4 Survey and Dashboard: Stormwater Data Coming Alive.


2018 National MS4 Needs Assessment Survey Results

MS4-Survey-Report-Cover-232x300.jpgIn 2018, the WEF Stormwater Institute polled more than 600 MS4 permittees in the first attempt of its kind to identify common challenges and needs among the diverse array of U.S. stormwater managers. Results of the survey underscored broad needs for dedicated sources of funding, infrastructure renewal or replacement, and clearer regulations among respondents.

If you would like any additional information or have questions, please email Lisa Deason at ldeason@wef.org.


National MS4 Needs Assessment Survey Work Team

  • Scott Taylor, P.E., D.WRE (Chair), National Municipal Stormwater Alliance
  • Fernando Pasquel, Arcadis
  • James Gibson, Jr., Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky
  • Fatemeh Babakhani, Ph.D., P.E., Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc.
  • Michael Beezhold, CPM, Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • Garrett Bergey, SDE, Inc.
  • Tyler Carson, Arcadis
  • Zach Henderson, Woodard & Curran
  • Matthew Jones, Ph.D., P.E., Hazen and Sawyer
  • Adrienne Nemura, P.E., Geosyntec Consultants
  • Dan Radulescu
  • Andrew Sauer, P.E., ENV SP, Burns & McDonnell
  • James Schlaman, P.E., ENV SP, Black & Veatch Corporation
  • Andrew Smith, P.E., CFM, ENV SP, Black & Veatch Corporation
  • Mark Van Auken, P.E., ENV SP, Arcadis

June 28, 2023

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