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Stormwater Quality Management

Stormwater Runoff

  • Stormwater runoff is water generated by rain and snow that falls to the earth’s surface and doesn’t soak into the ground
  • As is flows, stormwater runoff collects pollutants such as animal waste, litter, fertilizers, oil, and grease.
  • These pollutants will eventually be discharged to creeks, rivers, lakes and wetlands untreated unlike sanitary sewers that take sewage to a treatment plant.

Why address Stormwater Quality?

  • Runoff pollution can result in:
    • Contamination of water supplies
    • Threats to human health and the environment
    • Accumulation of toxins in the food supply
    • Stress on aquatic life and wildlife habitat
    • Reduced biological diversity
    • Degradation of the aesthetic and recreational value of surface water

Indiana regulations – MS4

  • IDEM (Indiana Department of Environmental Management) issued Rule 13 to regulate MS4 entities in accordance with EPA Clean Water Act regulations:
    • Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) are conveyances for storm water owned or operated by any municipality, sewer or sewage district, fired district, state agency of federal agency and discharging directly to the surface waters of the state. 
    • MS4 entities include cities , towns, colleges and universities, hospitals, and INDOT
    • MS4 entities are required to have a Stormwater Quality Management Plan (SWQMP)
    • Ivy Tech Community College Southwest is a MS4 entity, subject to IDEM rule 13 requirements. 
  • The Ivy Tech Community College Southwest main campus is located on First Avenue in the city of Evansville, Indiana. The local campus has occupied its current location since 1972 and sits on approximately 20 acres. The campus population, which is composed of students, faculty, and staff was a little more than 10,000 in 2014.  All of the campus stormwater is collected through a system of inlets throughout the parking lot, roof system, and green spaces and piped to the Evansville City storm sewer system which eventually ends up in Pigeon Creek and on to the Ohio River. 
  • Stormwater is not treated in a sewage treatment plant before entering the waterways.  Stormwater runoff contains everything from leaking fluids from automobiles to chemicals applied to the land.  Since stormwater is not treated before it enters the waterways, it is important to prevent storm water contamination. Stormwater gets contaminated by water flowing across pollutants.  Some examples of this would be oil and other fluids that have leaked from vehicles.  Herbicides and pesticides that are used on grass and landscape areas can also get into storm water.  It is also important to keep trash and natural debris from entering the storm inlets.

Ivy Tech Community College Southwest holds a MS4 permit and under that permit we are require to uphold The Six Minimum Control Measures (MCM):

  1. Public Education and Outreach
    1. Informing and educating our students, faculty, and staff about the importance of reducing polluted water runoff
    2. Providing information through different communication avenues that include pamphlets and a webpage.
    3. Marking stormwater inlets with reminders that the water drains directly to a waterway
  2. Public Participation and Involvement
    1. Involving the College community with local projects that improve water quality
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
    1. Map the entire storm sewer system and verify that the sanitary and the storm sewer systems stay separate.
    2. Cleaning storm inlets of trash and vegetative material on a regular basis to keep it out of the waterway.
    3. Enforcement and prohibition of illegal discharges.
  4. Construction Site Runoff Control
    1. All construction projects will strictly follow the City of Evansville’s policy for stormwater runoff during construction projects
    2. All storm inlets in the construction site will be protected against mud and other debris that would contaminate the waterways
    3. Storm inlets will be protected during parking lot sealing and striping activities. 
  5. Post-Construction Site Runoff Control
    1. Green space and parking lot construction will be designed with best management practices in mind 
    2. Designs will include ways of reducing sediment and other pollutants from entering the storm sewer system
  6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping
    1. Storm drains are cleaned on a regular basis
    2. The parking lot is swept a minimum of 3 times a week.
    3. Trash receptacles are provided at each entrance

By following these MCM Ivy Tech Community College hopes to do its part to help improve the quality of water.

What can I do to prevent or reduce storm water pollution?

  • On campus:
    • Call Security at 812-492-0517 and they will relay the information to the Facilities Department if you see a spill near a campus storm drain.
    • Put trash and cigarette butts in proper disposal containers so they don’t end up going down the drain. 
    • Keep your vehicle well-maintained – fix any fluid leaks promptly.
    • If you have any questions about Ivy Tech Community College Southwest’s storm water quality program, call 812-429-9842.
  • Off campus
    • Don’t litter and dispose of trash properly
    • Do not dump anything down a storm sewer inlet
    • Clean up pet waste- bag up pet waste and dispose of it in the trash to prevent harmful bacteria from washing into local waterways.
    • Sweep up leaves, trash, and grass off of the street that could end up in storm sewers
    • Use pesticides and herbicides per manufacturers instructions to prevent excessive runoff  
    • Dispose of used motor oils, paints, and pesticides at your county Household Hazardous Waste/ToxAway Days.

Here are some ways that everyone can help reduce or prevent water pollution:

  • Properly dispose of all hazardous waste 
  • Do not dump anything down a storm sewer inlet
  • Don’t litter and pick up trash that might end up in the storm sewer
  • Place trash in proper containers
  • Sweep up leaves, trash, and grass off of the street that could end up in storm sewers
  • Use pesticides and herbicides per manufacturer’s instructions  to prevent excessive runoff
  • Properly maintain vehicles to reduce fluid leaks 
  • Participate in activities such as cleaning up the river front.
  • Marking storm sewer inlets to remind people not to dump anything down the drain

Important links