Frequently Asked Questions
What is stormwater?
Stormwater is rainwater that runs off of roofs, roads and yards. Stormwater frequently carries pollution such as trash, animal droppings, and automobile fluids. This water is carried in ditches and pipes and is discharged, untreated, directly to creeks and rivers. Stormwater at UNC is regulated by the NPDES program.
What is NPDES?
NPDES stands for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. This is a regulatory program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce or eliminate the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States. UNC is regulated by Phase II of NPDES. Phase II has 6 requirements:
- Public education and outreach
- Public involvement/participation
- Illicit discharge detection and elimination
- Construction site stormwater runoff control
- Post-construction stormwater management
- Pollution prevention/good housekeeping
What is an illicit discharge?
An illicit discharge is any discharge to UNC’s stormwater system that is not comprised of runoff from precipitation (rainfall or snowfall) events. Examples of illicit discharges are wash water from clothes washing, vehicle and equipment wash water, improper disposal of paint brush rinse water, sanitary sewage, and mop rinse water. UNC has an Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Policy.
What is a BMP?
A BMP is a best management practice for managing or treating stormwater runoff. BMPs can be structural, such as a constructed wetland or porous pavement parking lot, or non-structural. Examples of non-structural BMPs include properly disposing of used oil and paint, converting land cover types to increase the capture of runoff, application of fertilizers only when the need is indicated by soil testing, and proper disposal of pet waste.