National Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Needs Assessment Survey

WEF Stormwater Institute’s 2020 MS4 Needs Assessment Survey

In 2018, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Stormwater Institute polled more than 600 Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (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, released May 2019, underscored broad needs for dedicated sources of funding, infrastructure renewal or replacement, and clearer regulations among respondents. WEF is using this information to help guide the direction of its stormwater programming as well as to provide better context for regulators and policymakers.

Survey Results – Executive Summary (September 2018)

Survey Results – Full Report (May 2019)

Press Release: First-Ever Stormwater Needs Survey Shows $7.5 Billion Annual Funding Gap (May 2019)

Press Release: WEF Applauds Inclusion of Stormwater in American Society of Civil Engineers 2021 Infrastructure Report Card (July 2019)

Words on Water Podcast: Emily Feenstra on Stormwater in the Infrastructure Report Card (December 2019)

YouTube Video Update on the MS4 Survey by Seth Brown, WEF Stormwater Institute’s Senior Advisor (September 2020)

This year, the WEF Stormwater Institute is updating the survey. Consisting of 26 questions, the 2020 MS4 Needs Assessment Survey will take the pulse of the U.S. stormwater sector in search of up-to-date information on permittee characteristics, obstacles, and opportunities. For more information, visit the Stormwater Report.

Results will be compiled and interpreted by the WEF Stormwater Institute MS4 Survey Work Team, which consists of leaders from municipalities, utilities, the private sector, and stormwater industry associations. Survey respondents will receive a summary of the findings before the report is published by the end of the year. The WEF Stormwater Institute plans to update the survey every 2 years.

If you would like any additional information or have questions, please email Rebecca Arvin-Colon at