Storm Water Pollution Prevention Fact Sheet
Why be concerned about storm water pollution prevention?
Storm water that flows off buildings, walkways and streets into storm drains ultimately flows to the Fox River. Unlike water that goes to the sanitary sewer system (most indoor drains), storm water is not treated or filtered before it is discharged to the ocean. Polluted runoff can have harmful effects on wildlife and the recreational uses of streams, creeks and beaches. It is important to keep storm water runoff clean.
What types of pollutants contaminate storm water runoff?
Some common contaminates include: motor oil, pesticides, pet waste, paint, household chemicals, trash and construction debris. Rainwater comes in contact with these contaminates and washes them into the storm drain system. In addition, improper disposal of substances into the storm drain system, such as food waste, paint waste, construction material, oil, antifreeze and landscaping chemicals also cause contamination of storm water runoff.
What can be done to prevent storm water pollution?
- Don’t dump waste into storm water drains or areas that drain to storm drains
- Maintain good housekeeping, dispose of waste properly in trash cans or dumpsters
- Collect and properly dispose of wash water to the sanitary sewer or landscaped areas, not to storm drains
- When cleaning outside areas dry sweep or vacuum instead of washing down to storm drains
- Clean up spills quickly and properly, never hose spills to the gutter
- Maintain trash and dumpster areas to prevent materials from being washed into storm drains
- Maintain chemical storage areas, chemicals stored outside should be covered and have secondary containment
- Maintain spill clean-up kits in all chemical storage areas
- Perform vehicle maintenance only in approved areas
- Maintain vehicles and other equipment in order to prevent fluid leaks
In summary, only clean rainwater (with the exception of some permitted discharges) can be discharged to a storm drain. All work, construction, cleaning and other activities conducted outdoors must be carried out in a way that prevents wastewater and contamination such as trash, debris, dirt, construction materials and hazardous materials from entering storm drain systems.
What if there is a spill of hazardous materials?
In the event of a hazardous materials spill on campus, contact the UW Oshosh Facilities Management Department at (920) 424-3466. If unable to reach help at this number contact the University Police at (920) 424-1212 from a non-campus phone. If it is safe to do so, try to prevent spilled hazardous materials from entering storm drains.
How are hazardous materials disposed?
All hazardous materials waste generated from campus operations must be disposed of through the campus Hazardous Waste Program administered by the UW Oshosh Facilities Management Department.