UMaine’s stormwater management program works to protect surface and groundwater impacted by stormwater flows from construction projects, facility maintenance, and waste management activities. UMaine utilizes numerous best management practices (BMPs) to protect our stormwater, from good housekeeping to prevent the spill of hazardous and special materials and waste, to dredging and cleaning detention ponds and drainage swales to ensure they function as designed. Below find examples of some of the BMPs UMaine uses.
Stormwater and Stormwater Pollution
Stormwater is water from rain or snow melt that doesn’t soak into the ground but runs off into water bodies and wetlands. It flows from developed areas, including rooftops, over paved areas and bare soil, and across lawns while picking up a variety of materials on its way. Stormwater runoff typically drains to water bodies and wetlands untreated. As it flows, stormwater runoff collects and transports soil, pet waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizers, oil and grease, trash, debris and other potential pollutants to the receiving water body.
Impact of Stormwater Pollution
The quality of stormwater runoff is affected by many factors and depends on the season, local meteorology, geography and upon activities which occur in the flow path. Polluted runoff degrades our lakes, rivers, and wetlands and interferes with aquatic habitat and plant life.
Nutrients in runoff, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, can promote the overgrowth of algae, deplete oxygen in receiving water bodies and be harmful to aquatic life. Toxic chemicals from automobiles, sediment from construction activities and careless application of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers may also threaten the health of the receiving water bodies. Bacteria from pet wastes and illicit connections to sewerage systems can make nearby water bodies unsafe for recreational activities such as wading, swimming and fishing.
Preventing Stormwater Pollution
According to an inventory conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one half of the impaired waterways are affected by urban/suburban and construction sources of stormwater runoff. Everyone has a role in reducing the impacts from stormwater runoff, from the large developer to the homeowner.
UMaine maintains a Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) general permit that enables UMaine to discharge our stormwater to the Stillwater and Penobscot Rivers, and adjacent MS4s. UMaine’s stormwater management program works to protect surface and groundwater impacted by stormwater flows from construction, facility maintenance, and waste management activities.
Where non-stormwater discharges are detected, UMaine must take steps to locate and eliminate the discharge from our stormwater system. UMaine must also take steps to educate employees and students on proper stormwater management strategies and create volunteer cleanup opportunities such as Maine Day and municipal street and stream cleanups.
UMaine’s Stormwater Management Program as a Resource
This website is a vehicle where students, faculty, staff and community members can report non-stormwater discharges at UMaine. We want to hear from you should you discover a stormwater pollution incident at UMaine, such as a chemical spill, an act that could result in a spill, discolored water from one or more of our out falls to the rivers, dirt and silt migration from a construction site, and similar conditions.
This website also provides extensive information on UMaine’s program, to include information on street and stream cleanup projects, pollution prevention strategies, UMaine’s best management pactices, and an attitude survey you can complete to help us understand what you know about stormwater management issues.
For additional information about UMaine’s Stormwater Management Program, please contact Scott Wilkerson at 581.3049 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You
Image Description: Where does our Stormwater go? Test Your Knowlege. Click here and take the survey.
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