Skip to main content
Cape Fear Watershed

Welcome to UNC’s Stormwater Management website. UNC operates its own stormwater system under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Program. The UNC stormwater system is comprised of thousands of catch basins and inlets, miles of piping, dozens of structural best management practices (BMPs) and outfalls that discharge stormwater to Meeting of the Waters Creek, Bolin Creek, Battle Branch, Chapel Creek, Morgan Creek and Crow Branch Creek. UNC is located within the Haw River Watershed of the Cape Fear River Basin.

You can Surf Your Watershed to find out more about water quality in local streams of the Haw River watershed and learn more about the causes of impaired water quality in some of these streams.

Haw River Watershed

In response to rules issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ), UNC received an NPDES stormwater permit in July 2013 and has developed a Stormwater Management Program to reduce or prevent the discharge of pollutants carried by rainwater to local streams. Our 2013 annual report¬†was submitted in August 2013. UNC’s program also seeks to reduce the volume and rate of runoff from campus buildings and roads. UNC’s Stormwater Management program responsibilities are divided among several departments.

Energy Services Department Stormwater Responsibilities

UNC’s Energy Services Department is responsible for oversight and management of UNC’s stormwater system infrastructure and master planning. Stormwater infrastructure includes all structural best management practices (BMPs) and stormwater conveyances. Stormwater system master planning includes long range planning, infrastructure mapping, GIS database management, system modeling, flood risk evaluation, and infrastructure evaluation and recommendations. UNC Energy Services maintains and enforces UNC’s stormwater design requirements, and provides technical and informational assistance to consultants, contractors, and the campus community.

EHS Department Stormwater Responsibilities

UNC’s EHS Department is responsible for ensuring that the University meets local, state and federal requirements with regard to stormwater permitting, stream buffer protection, and water quality protection. Under UNC’s Phase II NPDES Stormwater Management Plan, the EHS Department has oversight and implementation responsibilities for illicit discharge detection and elimination, water quality sampling and analysis, education and outreach activities, erosion and sedimentation inspections, hazardous materials management, and operation of a stormwater hotline and an emergency response team for hazardous material spill management.

Grounds Department Stormwater Responsibilities

UNC’s Grounds Department is responsible for cleaning and maintenance of stormwater inlets, catch basins, pipes and structural BMPs. Grounds has initiated a GIS-assisted Preventive Maintenance Work Order system that insures catch basins are cleaned at least once per year. Each month, a percentage of storm drains are scheduled for inspection and are cleaned by Grounds maintenance crews. Deep catch basins are cleaned using a towable vacuum unit. The Grounds Department monitors the function of structural BMPs and coordinates their maintenance with UNC’s Energy Services Department. In order to improve campus water quality, the Grounds Department has implemented a landscape conversion program where areas of turf are converted to tree, shrub and perennial plantings that hold stormwater runoff and allow for improved infiltration. Porous pavement parking lots and other types of paved surfaces are vacuumed regularly using the Grounds Department’s regenerative vacuum sweeper truck in order to prevent automobile related pollution and parking lot trash from entering campus streams.

Facilities Planning and Construction Department Responsibilities

UNC’s Department of Facilities Planning and Design is responsible for ensuring that buildings and other campus amenities are designed and constructed in ways that minimize their impacts on campus water quality. Facilities Planning directs the project development process to insure that projects are designed and developed in accordance with the Campus Master Plan and UNC’s Design and Construction Guidelines. Facilities Planning maintains and updates the campus Design and Construction Guidelines and works with other departments to ensure that they reflect the requirements of local, state and federal regulations for the management of stormwater runoff. Construction Management is responsible for ensuring that stormwater BMPs for projects are installed in accordance with their approved designs, and for ensuring that sedimentation and erosion control devices are installed correctly and maintained for the life of the project.

Historic Streams Comparison