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Stormwater management, permitting, and pollution control is a major priority for the University of Maryland. The College Park campus is centrally located within the Anacostia Watershed and discharges stormwater to 3 tributaries. Stormwater is significantly regulated within Maryland to protect water quality.
The university currently holds 3 different stormwater permits in addition to those obtained as a part of major construction projects. These include an Individual Industrial Permit, which specifically authorizes the university’s discharge of cooling water, boiler blow-down, and condensate wastewater to surrounding surface waters via a separate storm drain system; an 12-SW permit that regulates stormwater management on 6 specific campus locations; and a NPDES Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Phase II General Permit, which covers the discharge of all stormwater runoff that enters the university storm drain system including land, pavement, parking lots, roads, building rooftops and construction sites on campus. These permits require the university to meet certain discharge limitations and employ Best Management Practices (BMPs) to minimize pollutants discharged into the stormwater.
The university employs several strategies to reduce stormwater impacts, but major approaches include: routine sampling of 13 permitted outfalls to ensure pollutants are below allowable levels; an Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) to identify and mitigate unallowable discharges; and regular site inspections. In addition, the university has over 100 stormwater control facilities that are subject to routine inspection and maintenance.
In an effort to further control stormwater impacts, UMD is currently conducting extensive GIS mapping of its existing storm drain infrastructure and impermeable areas to identify future stormwater mitigation projects. The university’s goal is to meet all stormwater regulation and permit requirements; identify future improvements; and seek ways to beneficially reuse stormwater to reduce consumption of potable water. In addition, the university is actively conducting ongoing research in stormwater treatment, participating in educating the campus community and public about stormwater and water quality; and rapidly identifying and addressing discharges that may impact water quality.