As summer approaches, this winter’s snowfall will melt and replenish lakes and rivers. While rain and snowmelt is good news for Colorado’s wildlife and tourism industry, it also can result in severe water pollution.
To reduce sediment and pollution that entering surface and ground water from storm sewer systems, the Environmental Protection Agency has enacted the Stormwater Program, also know as MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems). Through this program, Colorado State University is working to reduce the amount of pollution that reaches the Poudre River and Spring Creek from the campus community.
Every year thousands of gallons of water from storms and snowmelt enter the storm drains of Fort Collins, and numerous contaminants and pollutants, such as pesticides, oils, metals, sediment and animal waste 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. Stormwater runoff is referred to as non-point source pollution, a leading source of water pollution according to the National Water Quality Inventory.
Colorado State University students, faculty and staff as well as the local community can help keep water around Fort Collins clean by:
— Properly disposing of hazardous wastes such as paint and car oil,
— Cleaning up pet waste and disposing of it properly,
— Maintaining vehicles and washing them in appropriate places such as an established carwash,
— Placing refuse in an appropriate container,
— Using no, or fewer, pesticides and fertilizers on yards and gardens.
Illegally discharged waste or people disposing of water waste on campus should be reported to Colorado State University’s Facilities Dispatch at (970) 491-0099.