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Stormwater Awareness. Introduction. UNC has a Stormwater Permit from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) The permit requires “stormwater pollution awareness training for appropriate faculty, staff, students, and volunteers”

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Presentation Transcript
  • UNC has a Stormwater Permit from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR)
  • The permit requires “stormwater pollution awareness training for appropriate faculty, staff, students, and volunteers”
  • For more information you can find a copy of the University’s stormwater permit at
what is stormwater
Introduction (continued)Whatis Stormwater?
  • Stormwater…
  • Is rain that doesn’t soak into the ground
  • Is carried by drains and pipes through campus until it discharges to the creek
  • Can pick up pollutants as it runs over the ground
  • Does NOT go to the waste water treatment plant
introduction continued
Introduction (continued)

What pollutes stormwater?

  • Oils and Grease
  • Metals
  • Nitrogen and Phosphorous
  • Sediment
  • Other Chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, etc.)
  • Bacteria
what are the effects of stormwater runoff
What are the effects of stormwater runoff?
  • Flooding
  • Picture taken on Raleigh Street across from the Coker Arboretum during rainstorm on August 27, 2008
what are the effects of stormwater runoff continued
What are the effects of stormwater runoff? (continued)
  • Creates areas that are unsafe for recreation such as fishing, swimming, and boating
what are the effects of stormwater runoff continued1
What are the effects of stormwater runoff? (continued)
  • Harms aquatic organisms
  • Damage to commercial fisheries and tourism

Neuse River, NC(2003) An estimated 2 million fish killed due to low oxygen as a result of polluted stormwater runoff.

what are the effects of stormwater runoff continued2
What are the effects of stormwater runoff? (continued)
  • Increased costs for drinking water treatment
  • Jordan Lake is the main drinking water source for Cary, Apex, Morrisville, and sections of Chatham and Wake Counties
Campus Drainage Areas (Watersheds)
  • A watershed is an area of land that drains to a common outlet
  • On main campus there are 5 different watersheds
  • The majority of main campus drains to three different areas
  • Water within all of these watersheds ends up in Jordan Lake
north campus battle branch creek
North Campus-Battle Branch Creek

The northern areas of campus drain to Battle Branch Creek located in Battle Park behind the Forest Theatre.

central campus meeting of the waters creek
Central Campus-Meeting of the Waters Creek

Central campus drains to Meeting of the Waters creek which is visible near the intersection of Bell Tower Drive and South Road before entering a pipe and flowing underneath Kenan Stadium. This pipe discharges below Boshamer Stadium in the Coker Pinetum.

south campus meeting of the waters creek
South Campus- Meeting of the Waters Creek

Much of South Campus drains to a branch of Meeting of the Waters creek located near the Dean Smith Center.

All stormwater runoff from campus eventually ends up in Jordan Lake!

Storm Drain or Sanitary Sewer?
  • There are two types of drains on campus
  • STORM DRAINS go to the creek without treatment
  • SANITARY SEWERS go to the wastewater treatment plant
  • These two systems are completely separate of each other
Storm Drain or Sanitary Sewer? (continued)
  • Some storm drains on campus have UNC markers that say “No Dumping, Drains to Creek” or “No Dumping, Drains to Stream”
  • Of the several thousand storm drains on campus only a few hundred have UNC drain markers
  • The following slides describe different categories of drains as well of explanations of which system they drain to (storm drain or sanitary sewer)
Storm Drain or Sanitary Sewer? Storm Drain Inlet
  • Inlets along roads, in parking lots, in landscaped areas, in parking garages, and on rooftops go to the storm drain system
Storm Drain or Sanitary Sewer? Outdoor Trench Drain
  • Though it isn’t marked, this is a stormwater drain- that goes directly to the creek
  • Usually if a drain is located outside, it is a stormwater drain and water entering it is not treated before being discharged to the creek
Storm Drain or Sanitary Sewer? Manhole
  • Manhole covers lead to underground pipes
  • Some are labeled “Storm Drain” or “Sanitary Sewer”
  • Unfortunately, many manholes on campus are mislabeled
  • Call EHS before disposing of anything into a manhole that you haven’t previously checked
Storm Drain or Sanitary Sewer? Indoor Floor Drain
  • In all newer buildings floor drains are connected to the sanitary sewer system
  • However, in older buildings some floor drains may be connected to the stormwater system
  • Do not dispose of anything into floor drains located in older buildings
Storm Drain or Sanitary Sewer? Housekeeping Sink
  • This sink is located in a housekeeping closet
  • Housekeeping sinks drain to the sanitary sewer
  • These sinks are designed for buckets don’t have to be lifted to dump the water
  • Buckets of wash water should not be disposed of outside
  • If you don’t have an easy way to dispose of wash water, contact EHS
Storm Drain or Sanitary Sewer? Toilets
  • Toilets are connected to the sewer system
  • Anything flushed down the toilet goes to the wastewater treatment plant
  • Do not dispose of garbage or chemical waste into toilets
recognizing and preventing stormwater pollution
Recognizing and Preventing Stormwater Pollution

General Rule- only rain can go into the stormwater system. If you wouldn’t want to swim in it, don’t put it in the drain. Intentional disposal into storm drains, cross connections with other piping systems, improper storage of chemicals, and chemical spills can all have negative impacts on water quality and in many cases are illegal.

illegal disposal
Illegal Disposal

OK in Stormwater Drains:

Illegal Disposal (continued)

It is not OK to dispose of paint, chemicals, or solid waste into the storm drain. If you have paint or chemicals you need to dispose of, or see anyone disposing of anything into a storm drain contact EHS at 962-5507.

Contractors and UNC employees working in the area were spoken to and reminded of the correct ways to dispose of paint. Dried paint was cleaned up as much as possible. (11/21/2007)

Cross Connections

A cross connection occurs when a drain or pipe is improperly connected to the storm drain system.

Upon discovery, this washing machine was immediately taken out of service. (11/11/2008)

The water discharge for this washing machine was routed through a small pipe that went through the wall of an air handler. The water then dumped into a drain in an outdoor air intake pit that was connected to the stormwater system, resulting in the water getting to the creek. This water should have been routed to the sewer system when the washing machine was installed.

Cross Connections (continued)

The following pictures are from the Ram’s Head loading dock located on the ground floor of the Rams Head parking deck

The loading dock area was constantly slippery from garbage and other food waste that was leaking from the dumpsters on the loading dock.

In order to remove the slip hazard, the workers routinely used a degreaser to wash the loading dock area. The trench drain located at the loading dock was connected to the stormdrain system so all the degreaser and grease ended up in the creek.

Cross Connections (continued)

To remedy this discharge a sump pump was installed in the trench drain that ran to the sanitary sewer instead of the stormwater system.

Cross Connections (continued)

If you suspect you have found a cross connection into the stormwater system call EHS at 962-5507. EHS will access building plans to try and determine if a cross connection exists. EHS can also perform biodegradable dye tests to determine where pipes discharge.

Dye in the water confirming that a laundry facility was discharging into the storm drain instead of the sanitary sewer. This connection was fixed and the laundry facility was connected to the sanitary sewer.

Good Housekeeping

Improper storage of materials outdoors and not cleaning up spills of hazardous materials are both common sources of stormwater pollution.

This bucket was found with oil on top of the lid. If not corrected the oil would wash into the nearest storm drain the next time it rained. If you have see a situation like this or have a spill call EHS at 962-5507.

This situation was addressed immediately by contractor responsible for the bucket. (3/4/08)

Good Housekeeping- Chemical Storage

Chemicals and hazardous materials must also be stored and disposed of correctly.

  • This picture is an example of BAD housekeeping practices
  • Chemicals that are being stored outside should be covered and be placed in secondary containment
  • If you need to dispose of chemicals call EHS at 962-5507
  • EHS will dispose of your chemicals for FREE

Issues were addressed immediately by contractor. (8/19/2005)

Good Housekeeping- Chemical Storage
  • This picture is an example of GOOD housekeeping practices
  • Barrels are labeled and in secondary containment
  • There is a cover to protect the barrels from rain when not in use
Good Housekeeping- Spill Cleanup and Reporting
  • Spills that are not cleaned up immediately are a source of water pollution
  • EHS has a spill response team that can assist in the cleanup of hazardous materials spills
  • If you have a spill or see a spill call EHS at 962-5507 immediately

Spill cleaned up by EHS. (5/29/2008)

Good Housekeeping- Vehicle/Equipment Washing
  • Do not wash your vehicles or equipment and allow the wash water to enter the storm drain
  • UNC has a vehicle washing station located at the service station
  • Water is directed to the sanitary sewer system
  • Contact EHS for other alternatives if you have equipment or vehicles that need to be washed on a routine basis
Good Housekeeping-Pressure Washing
  • Do not power wash areas that do not need to be power washed
  • Broom and shovel should be used to clean up dirt
  • If you need to use a power washer, the wash water cannot enter the storm drain
  • Contact EHS or visit our website at to learn more about disposing of water from power washing operations
Good Housekeeping- Chemical Application

It is important to follow manufacturers instructions when applying pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer. Never apply pesticides immediately before rain is forecast, and be careful not to over fertilize. Rain can wash the pesticides, herbicides, and excess fertilizer into the storm drain system.

construction sites
Construction Sites
  • Construction sites are another common source of stormwater pollution. There are numerous chemicals and pollutants present on construction sites that if not handled correctly can have negative impacts on water quality. The most common pollutant at construction sites is sediment. During clearing and grading operations vegetation and ground cover are generally removed, and unless proper actions are taken to protect the soil it will wash off the site during rain storms. Sediment is considered by the EPA and State of North Carolina to be the #1 threat to water quality. Sediment is bad for several reasons.
  • Sediment is harmful to aquatic organisms
  • Sediment fills in reservoirs
  • Sediment makes water treatment more expensive
  • Sediment is a mechanism to transport other pollutants such as heavy metals and nutrients
construction sites continued
Construction Sites (continued)
  • On campus, the larger construction sites have Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permits. These permits require that measures are taken to prevent contaminated runoff.
  • Smaller construction sites are not required to obtain permits but are still required to take measures to prevent contaminated runoff.
  • The following slides contain examples where measures were not taken to prevent stormwater pollution. If you see an area on campus like any of these pictures call EHS.
Construction Sites (continued)
  • Silt fence was not maintained properly
  • Soil and construction debris filling the drainage channel
  • Erosion and sedimentation control measures must be maintained throughout the duration of a project.

silt fence

Silt fence was repaired, and slope above the fence was seeded to prevent erosion. (1/30/2008)

construction sites continued1
Construction Sites (continued)
  • Stockpiles of soil need to be covered and/or surrounded by silt fence
  • If there is no cover on the stockpile, soil will wash into the storm drain system whenever it rains

Contractor covered pile until it was removed. (10/29/08)

Construction Sites (continued)
  • Muddy water should not run off from a site
  • Proper controls were not installed to prevent this from happening

The following day, EHS visited the site and contractor repaired all ESC deficiencies. (11/15/07)

construction sites continued2
Construction Sites (continued)

Smaller projects are required to install erosion and sedimentation control measures. On this site either silt fence should have been installed on the down slope areas or temporary cover should be placed on the area when not being actively worked or when rain is forecast. For small areas like this, plastic tarps work well to prevent erosion.

Department responsible for this area installed permanent cover to prevent erosion upon notification by EHS. (1/30/2008)

  • Stormwater pollution is a serious problem that harms wildlife and water quality, has adverse effects on recreation (swimming, boating, and fishing), makes it more expensive to treat drinking water, and causes economic hardship for commercial fisheries
  • Illegal disposal of materials, cross connections, improper storage of materials, improper cleanup of hazardous material spills, and sediment from construction sites are all sources of stormwater pollution
  • If you notice any sources of stormwater pollution on campus, need help cleaning up a spill, or need more information on how to prevent stormwater pollution in day to day activities, contact EHS at 962-5507
  • Visit our website at for more information on UNC’s stormwater program, and to find out other ways you can help keep our water clean