What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is runoff from rain and melting snow. It is collected by the stormwater collection system on campus that conveys it directly into local waterways such as Paradise Creek or Hog Creek. Most of the university’s stormwater eventually discharges to the South Fork Palouse River.
Why is stormwater important?
When stormwater flows over hard surfaces such as rooftops, streets, and parking lots it picks up harmful pollutants such as oil, fertilizer, and pet waste that are detrimental to aquatic life and human health.
Stormwater is not treated at the wastewater treatment plant.
It is discharged from the stormwater collection system untreated into local waterways and groundwater.
What can you do to help?
- Don’t dump anything down the storm drains
- Storm drains are for stormwater only. The storm drains are not for mop water, used motor oil, or even unwanted beverages. These fluids drain directly to the streams.
- Clean up yard trimmings
- Avoid sweeping or blowing grass clippings, leaves, or dirt directly into streets or storm catch basins. While these can be beneficial in small amounts, too much can be harmful to bodies of fresh water and can block the stormwater system, causing floods on campus.
- Pick up after pets
- Pick up after dogs when walking them. Fecal matter contains harmful bacteria which contaminates streams, spoils the outdoors for others, and increases the resources needed to keep campus areas clean.
- Throw away trash!
- Litter makes its way into our rivers through the stormwater system. Besides being unsightly, trash can harbor bacteria biofilms that encourages the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Take care of your car
- We all like our vehicles to be clean, but most car wash soap contributes to the phosphorus pollution we are seeing in our streams. Take your car to a local car wash that collects and cleans the wash water before discharging it.
- Oil leaks wash into the stream during the next storm. If you have a puddle underneath your parking spot, it’s time to take your car in for a repair. Your car and the fish will thank you.
Clean Water Act
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act) regulates discharges of pollutants into waters of the U.S. and regulates quality standard for surface waters and is the basis for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). The Clean Water Act prohibits anybody from discharging pollutants into a water of the U.S. unless they have an NPDES permit. The permit contains limits on what you can discharge, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that the discharge does not hurt water quality or people's health. In essence, the permit translates general requirements of the Clean Water Act into specific provisions tailored to the operations of each person discharging pollutants.
Reporting Lines and Contact Information
- Storm Water Complaints
Storm water hotline | 208-885-6246
- Emergency Spill Response
Latah County 911| 911
- University Streets and Building
University of Idaho Facilities | 208-885-6246
For more information contact:
University of Idaho Facilities
875 Perimeter Dr. MS 2281
Moscow Idaho 83844