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All Storm Drains on Campus Connect Directly to Local Streams
People with colored dye

Pre-Event Planning

  • Draw a map of your event, and make a note of streams and storm drain locations.
  • Call UNC’s Environment, Health and Safety Department at 919-962-5507 for a pre-event site visit.

Preventing Runoff from Entering Storm Drains, Creeks or Protected Areas

  • If the event will be held on a small, contained area, cordon off the area and place enough tarps on the ground to cover the entire site.
  • Protect storm drains by using berms and covering the drains with tarps.
  • Require participants to not throw the dye within 100 feet of any stream.
  • Set up color stations at least 100 feet from any stream.

Dye Ingredients

  • Request a copy of the dye product’s MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) from the manufacturer or supplier. Review MSDS for potential safety and environmental hazards, and e-mail a copy to EHS at
  • Biodegradable does NOT mean that the substance can go into the local streams. The dye material can harm aquatic organisms by altering water quality and chemistry.

Event Clean-Up

  • Dry off tarps and stained wet pavement with towels or absorbent pads.
  • Do not use hoses or pressure washers to rinse excess dye off of tarps, sidewalks or paved areas!
  • Use brooms or street sweepers to clean up paved areas.
  • Call EHS at 919-962-5507 if you need any help with the clean-up requirements.
  • Call EHS at 919-962-5507 immediately (24/7) if any colored water enters a stream.

Colored dye that has flowed to a stream