Stormwater Management

Boneyard Creek

Emergency Spill Response

If a release is LIFE THREATENING, dial 911. If a release is NON-LIFE THREATENING, call the Service Office 217-333-0340.


Stormwater is important on our campus

Stormwater is simply rainwater and snowmelt. It’s important on our campus because stormwater takes pollutants on the ground and transport them via the storm drain to our creeks and rivers. The University’s Stormwater Management Program is designed to minimize this pollution and improve water quality in our receiving streams.

Permit Requirements

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.

Best Management Practices (BMPs)

The 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.

Public Education and Outreach

Public Participation and Involvement

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

Construction Site Erosion and Sediment Controls

Post-Construction Stormwater Management

Good Housekeeping/Pollution Prevention


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, City of Urbana, Village of Savoy, and Champaign County. Committee activities include hosting stormwater conferences and sponsoring clean up events.

Champaign County Stormwater Partnership

Division of Research Safety


Audio PSA: Clean streams are for everyone.

Audio PSA: Take it to the carwash.

Storm Drains Get Artistic Makeover News-Gazette 8-17-13

The University completes and submits an annual written report to the Illinois EPA. The reports summarize the University’s activities to comply with the Stormwater Management Program. Program years are from April 1 to March 31. Please click below to see the reports.

2022 – 2023

2021 – 2022

2020 – 2021

2019 – 2020

2018 – 2019

2017 – 2018

2016 – 2017

2015 – 2016

2014 – 2015

Construction sites must comply with Federal, State, and University stormwater requirements. University requirements are found in the University’s Facility Standards. Below are resources for compliance with the Standards.

Template: SWPPP
Forms: Incidence of NoncomplianceInspectionChange in SWPPP, Dewatering Inspection Report Template
Brochure: Pollution Prevention
Websites: Illinois Urban Manual
International Erosion Control Association

The University’s Stormwater Management Program includes Public Education activities that inform campus and community about keeping our receiving streams clean. 


2024 Boneyard Creek Community Day Was Amazing!

The Boneyard Creek Community Day is an annual volunteer event that helps minimize pollution, improve water quality, and restore the beauty of the Boneyard Creek and other local waterways. Volunteers remove trash and non-native plants, and mark storm drains.

Registration information and more event details are available at

See more about Boneyard Creek Community Day here:




Feel free to download these outreach posters.

Rain Garden Map

Keep it Clean: Basketball

Keep it Clean: Punt Pass Kick

Spill Response 1

Spill Response 2

Spill Response 3

Pollution Solution Brochure

Stormwater Tool Box Talks

For information on climate change and stormwater, visit the following websites:

US Environmental Protection Agency:
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration:

For information on environmental justice and stormwater, visit the following website:

US Environmental Protection Agency:

Do you know where your stormwater goes? On the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, there are two answers: Boneyard Creek and a tributary to the Embarras River. The goal of the Stormwater Management Program is to improve the water quality the campus sends to these receiving streams.

EPA: Healthy Watersheds Initiative
Boneyard Creek and Embarras River
Humans and Animals Enjoying the Second Street Basin

Green Stormwater Infrastructure helps improve stormwater quality and decrease flooding by delaying peak flows and filtering pollutants. In addition to these benefits, they also can increase landscape aesthetics. Green Stormwater Infrastructure can be found throughout the Urbana-Champaign campus. These projects include green roofs, rain gardens/infiltration basins, detention ponds, rain barrels, permeable asphalt/concrete/pavers and underground retention basins.

Campus Green Stormwater Infrastructure highlights:
Yeh Student Center Green Roof
Business Instructional Facility Green Roof
Red Oak Rain Garden
Japan House and Arboretum Bicycle Parking Permeable Pavers

See more projects here.


The Red Oak Rain Garden (RORG) is a sustainable landscape that celebrates rain, invigorates the campus and community education experience, and promotes well-being. The RORG is a green space located between Allen Hall and the McKinley Health Center.

It was the first rain garden on the Urbana campus. Since it was established in 2006, RORG lost its effectiveness as an aesthetically beautiful feature which also provides flood protection, improves water quality, and promotes ecological health.

In the summer and fall of 2019, Eliana Brown, a water quality specialist with Illinois Extension and the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, led a renovation team that’s improving the area, with the help of F&S. Brent Lewis, campus landscape architect, provided design consultation, and Grounds, Concrete Finishers, Electricians and other laborers helped establish new concrete sidewalks, move rocks, and light poles, and reshape and prepare the ground for volunteers to plant new flowers, grasses, and shrubs.

“The Red Oak Rain Garden is a model for how our campus landscape can be beautiful and resilient while engaging student and community volunteers in service learning,” said Brown. “F&S has been a wonderful partner on this project – contributing years of construction expertise making things go successfully. We are pleased with the improvements and look forward to enjoying this exemplary rainwater amenity for years to come.”

In spring of 2020, the F&S Carpenter shop will install a boardwalk comprised of Osage Orange wood, which will be sustainably harvested by Allerton Park staff.

Follow progress and future news at, and on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram all at @RainGardenUIUC.

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