Colorado State University Implements Stormwater Management Programs to Help Clean Up Community Rivers and Lakes

Colorado State University is helping to create a healthier, more beautiful Colorado by developing and implementing stormwater management programs.

Every year, thousands of gallons of water from storms and snowmelt enter the storm drains of Fort Collins. Numerous contaminants and pollutants (pesticides, oils, metals, sediment, animal waste, etc.) are picked up and carried by the water. Storm drains are set up to divert excess water and flow directly into the Poudre River rather than treatment plants.

In 1972, Congress enacted what later became known as the Clean Water Act, or CWA.  This law established the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States. Amendments to the CWA brought about the Stormwater Program, referred to as MS4, or the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. This program is designed to reduce the amount of sediment and pollution that enters surface and ground water from storm sewer systems. According to the 1996 National Water Quality Inventory, stormwater runoff is a leading source of water pollution, and Colorado State is taking the necessary steps to address this issue.

Stormwater discharges are regulated through permits. In accordance with its permit, Colorado State has been developing and implementing six stormwater management programs, or minimum measures, as follows.

– Public education and outreach.

– Public participation/involvement.

– Illicit discharge detection and elimination.

– Construction site stormwater runoff control.

– Post-construction stormwater management.

– Pollution prevention/good housekeeping.

As the population of Fort Collins grows and urban development continues, it is important for the community to remember the direct link between the stormwater system and the health of rivers, creeks and lakes. The community and Colorado State can help keep the waters around Fort Collins clean by taking the following steps.

– Properly disposing of hazardous wastes (paint, car oil, etc.).

– Cleaning up your pet’s waste and disposing of it properly.

– Maintaining your vehicle and washing it in appropriate places.

– Placing refuse in appropriate containers.

– Conserving water.

– Using no, or fewer, pesticides and fertilizers on your yard and garden.

To report someone illegally discharging wastes around Colorado State, call Facilities Dispatch at 491-0099.