water management program progresses
Yates, Media Relations
UNH is in the second year of a five-year plan to stop pollutants
from entering the university storm water drainage system.
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) and Facilities
Management have been working together to create an up-to-date storm
water sewer system drainage map of the campus in compliance with
the EPA Storm Water regulations.
In addition, OEHS has partnered with the UNH Computing and Information
Services Department and the Seacoast Storm Water Coalition to create
two educational videos on storm water run-off. The UNH Center for
Stormwater Technology Evaluation and Verification (CSTEV) is working
on two field projects of interest to UNH that seek to treat and
minimize storm water at the source, rather than after it is collected
and channeled into the sewer system.
The purpose of the University’s Storm Water Management Program
is to target and prevent potential sources of intentional and unintentional
discharges of pollutants into surface waters. The six specific parts
of the plan include: 1) public education and outreach, 2) public
participation and involvement, 3) illicit discharge detection and
elimination, 4) construction site runoff control, 5) post-construction
runoff control, and 6) pollution prevention and good housekeeping.
One project included in the plan aims to mark “catchments”
prone to pollution. A catchment is any receptacle that receives
water runoff, including lawn drains, trenches, building drains,
inverted drains (the round and square ones on roads and walkways)
and terrace drainage basins. Round metal plaques, about the circumference
of a golf hole, will be screwed or glued to the grates of all catchments
whose fallout goes directly to a significant body of water like
Oyster River, Little Bay or Great Bay. The plaques will display
a message—“No Dumping, Drains To Bay,” to remind
the campus community that what we do in our environment affects
“There are some (catchments) that receive many non-point pollutants
such as oil, sand, and cigarette butts,” said Bradford Manning,
director of OEHS. “Those are the ones we need to concentrate
on to make sure they are cleaned regularly,” he said.
“We’re working with Facilities to identify our storm
water problems and solve them,” said David Gillum, OEHS laboratory
To assist OEHS with satisfying the EPA requirements for the Illicit
Detection and Elimination (IDDE) minimum control measure, Peter
Tardie, the Spatial Information Systems (SIS) manager for Facilities
Information Technology and his team, successfully mapped the storm
water drainage distribution network. This resulted in the field
acquisition of more than 700 catchments and 250 outfalls within
the UNH campus covering an area of over 1,100 acres.
“This is a collective effort between OEHS and Facilities,”
said Tardie. “We are harnessing the diverse SIS mapping capabilities
for current or future campus projects such as these.”
In addition to GIS data collection, the UNH Storm Water Management
Program prohibits the intentional or improper dumping or draining
of a substance into the storm water drainage system.
“Most people think that the storm water runoff feeds into
a sanitary sewer facility and is treated, but it is not,”
OEHS and Facilities have been conducting dry weather inspections
of the drainage system’s outfalls. In addition, two educational
videos were produced, one to help the seacoast community identify
pollution sources and prevent them, and the second directed at the
university community. Also, an informational brochure was distributed
to the campus community and posters displayed in the MUB where students
In June, the CSTEV completed construction of a porous pavement parking
area at the West Edge Lot to treat and minimize storm water at the
“We are all working together to provide a solution to real
world problems,” Tardie said.