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All storm drains on campus connect directly to local streams

Chalk goes through storm drain to campus stream

Pre-Event Planning

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

Prevent Chalk from Entering Storm Drains, Creeks or Protected Areas

  • Use of more than 3 (three) pounds of chalk at a single event requires the development of a cleanup plan. This will cost $$$. Contact the Student Union or EHS for sidewalk cleanup requirements.
  • If the event will be held on a small, contained area, cordon off the area to prevent artists from using chalk outside of designated area.
  • Protect storm drains by covering the drains with tarps.
  • Keep chalk art at least 50 feet from any stream or storm drain.

Chalk Ingredients

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

Event Cleanup

  • Several weeks before the event, develop a plan for chalk cleanup.
  • Do NOT use hoses or pressure washers to clean chalk off of sidewalks or paved areas!
  • If more than 3 (three) pounds of chalk will be used, the most effective cleaning method will be to rent an indoor floor buffer. Dispose of wastewater in housekeeping sinks (inside).
  • For smaller areas, use brooms or street sweepers to cleaned paved areas. Bag chalk dust and dispose into regular trash container.
  • Call EHS at 919-962-5507 if you need clarification on allowable cleanup methods.

Environmental Release

  • If any chalk causes discoloration in a stream, call EHS at 919-962-5507 immediately during regular working hours or call UNC Police at 911 after hours.