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Definitions

Best Management Practices (BMPs): management practices and procedures used to prevent or reduce the pollution of surface waters.

Clean Water Act: established in 1972, the act prohibited the discharge of any pollutant from a point source without a NPDES permit. Also known as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

Discharge: a measure of the amount of water flow at a particular point, e.g. the flow of water in a stream or in a pipe.

Ecosystem: all of the plants and animals in an area that interact to make up the local environment.

Erosion: the overall process of the transport of material on the earth’s surface including the movement of soil and rock by agents such as water, wind, or gravity.

Groundwater: all of the water contained in void space beneath the earth’s surface.

Illicit Discharge: any discharge to a municipal separate storm sewer or stormwater conveyane that is not entirely composed of stormwater. Illicit discharges should be reported immediately to OEHS at 982-4911.

Large Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (Large MS4): all municipal separate storm sewers that are located in an incorporated place with a population of 250,000 or more according to the latest Census.

Maximum Extent Practicable (MEP): a water quality standard that applies to all MS4 operators under NPDES permits. The standard has no exact definition, as it was intended to be flexible to allow operators to tailor their stormwater programs to their particular site.

Medium Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (Medium MS4): all municipal separate storm sewers that are located in an incorporated place with a population of more than 100,000 but less than 250,000.

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer: a conveyance or conveyance system including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, curbs, gutters, and storm drains.

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4): all separate storm sewers that are defined as “large,” “medium,” or “small.”

Non-Point Source Pollutants (NPS): pollution coming from many diffuse sources whose origin is often difficult to identify. This pollution occurs as rain or snowmelt travels over the land surface and picks up pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, and chemicals from cars. This pollution is difficult to regulate due to its origin from many different sources. These pollutants enter waterways untreated and are a major threat to aquatic organisms and people who fish or use waterways for recreational purposes.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Standards (NPDES): the EPA’s regulatory program to control the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States.

Outfall: the point where a sewer or drainage discharges into a receiving waterway.

Point Source Pollution: pollution coming from a single, definable source, such as a factory.

Runoff: any drainage that leaves an area as surface flow.

Sanitary Sewer: an underground pipe system that carries sanitary waste and other wastewater to a treatment plant.

Sediment: material derived from the weathering of rock such as sand and soil. This material can be detrimental to aquatic life and habitats if too much is allowed to wash into rivers and ponds.

Site plan: a geographic representation of the layout of buildings and other important features on a tract of land.

Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (Small MS4): any municipal separate storm sewer that is not defined as being “large” or “medium.” UVA’s municipal separate storm sewer falls into this category.

Storm Drain: any drain which drains directly into the storm sewer system, usually found along roadways or in parking lots. Drains can be easily clogged by debris such as leaves and litter, creating street flooding problems.

Storm Sewer: an underground pipe system that carries runoff from streets and other surfaces and discharges directly to a stream or river without any form of pretreatment. Because storm sewer water is not treated, it is important for institutions such as the University to develop SWPPP plans to ensure stormwater from the facilities are not adversely impacting the waterways into which the sewer discharges.

Stormwater: stormwater or snow melt runoff, and surface runoff and drainage.

Stormwater Management: anything associated with the planning, maintenance, and regulation of facilities which collect, store, or convey stormwater.

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP): a plan required for any industrial facility that discharges stormwater. The SWPPP identifies potential pollutant sources and describes practices that will be implemented to prevent or control pollutant releases to storm water discharges.

Surface runoff: the flow of water across the land surface that occurs when the rainfall rate exceeds the ability of the soil to absorb the water. Also occurs on impervious surfaces, such as parking lots, where water cannot infiltrate at all.

Surface Water: any water that remains on the earth’s surface, such as ponds, rivers, streams, impoundments, wetlands, oceans, etc.

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL): a regulatory limit of the greatest amount of pollutants that can be released into a body of water without adversely affecting water quality.

Tributary: a stream which drains into another larger stream or body of water.

Watershed: a geographic area in which water flowing across the surface will drain into a certain stream or river and flow out of the area via that stream or river. All of the land that drains to a particular body of water. Also known as a catchment or drainage basin).

Wetlands: an area of land where part of the surface is covered with water or the soil is completely saturated with water for a large majority of the year. Wetlands provide an important habitat for many different types of plant and animal species. Wetlands are also natural stormwater control areas, since they filter out pollutants and are able to retain large amounts of water during storm events.

 

Abbreviations

BMPs: Best Management Practices

CWA: Clean Water Act

DCR: Department of Conservation and Recreation

DEQ: Department of Environmental Quality (Virginia Office)

EPA: Environmental Protection Agency

OEHS: Office of Environmental Health and Safety

FM: Facilities Management (Department of)

MEP: Maximum Extent Practicable (Possible)

MS4: Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System

NPS: Non-Point Source Pollutants

NPDES: National Pollution Discharge Elimination Standards

SWPPP: Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan

TMDL: Total Maximum Daily Load

UVA: University of Virginia

VPDES: Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

VSMP: Virginia Stormwater Management Program

by Linn, Molly M last modified Apr 09, 2013 03:18 PM