Stormwater is defined as rainwater and snowmelt. The stormwater sewer system is designed to transport excess stormwater from campus to the two local drainage basins: Boneyard Creek and the Embarras River. The operation of this system is regulated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Because the stormwater sewage system drains directly to natural basins, it is critical to keep it clean and not contribute pollutants to its flow. The University of Illinois’ Stormwater Management Program is designed to minimize pollution and improve water quality in the drainage basins.
The Stormwater Management Program meets the requirements of the University’s permit with the Illinois EPA. Called a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) Permit, it allows the University to discharge stormwater into its receiving streams. The Program's 49 best management practices (BMPs)
include initiatives that educate students, staff, and faculty about stormwater impacts, detect and eliminate illicit discharges, control stormwater runoff from construction sites during and after construction, and prevent pollution from facility operations.
Compliance audits improve campus environmental stewardship by identifying program deficiencies and reducing non-compliance liabilities. Environmental audits consist of records review and facility site visits.
More information on compliance and environmental auditing
The University collaborates with neighboring communities that also have MS4 permits by sharing information and resources to best comply with requirements. The MS4 Technical Committee includes practitioners from the University, the City of Champaign, the City of Urbana, the Village of Savoy, and Champaign County. Committee activities include hosting stormwater conferences and sponsoring semi-annual clean up events.
More about the Boneyard Creek Community Day cleanup