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Stormwater Overview

What is stormwater?
Stormwater is water runoff after a rain storm from streets, construction sites, parking lots, buildings and other areas that goes directly into storm drains and eventually into local streams and rivers. This water can pick up pollutants along the way to these streams and rivers. MTSU has set up a program that seeks to protect this water from pollutants.

Why are stormwater and sewer systems separate?
Stormwater systems are not treated at the waste water treatment facility. This water flows directly to the streams and rivers. Waste water (sewage) is sent to the waste water treatment facility and cleaned before it is released into the rivers.

What is a MS4?
An MS4 is a conveyance or system of conveyances that is:

  • Owned by a state, city, town, village, or other public entity that discharges to waters of the U.S.;
  • Designed or used to collect or convey stormwater (including storm drains, pipes, ditches, etc.);
  • Not a combined sewer;
  • Not part of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (sewage treatment plant) 

Stormwater Management Program Components

The Phase II Permit is broken down into six components, and the implementation and enforcement of the six components is collectivley referred to as a municipality's SWMP. The six components are:

  1. Public Education and Outreach
  2. Public Participation and Involvement
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  4. Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
  5. Post-Construction Stormwater Management for New Development and Redevelopment
  6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations

What is impervious surface area?
Impervious surfaces are areas constructed of infrastructure such as pavement, concrete and buildings that do not allow water to penetrate into the ground.

MTSU Parking Lot with Pervious Concrete
parking lot 


What can I do to reduce pollution in stormwater runoff?
There are many things that we can do to help reduce pollution:

  • Disposing of waste properly
  • Placing litter in proper containers
  • Never dump anything into a storm drain
  • Check vehicles for leaking fluids.
  • Recycle used motor oil

What is an illicit discharge?
An illicit discharge is disposal of anything other than storm water into the storm water drainage system. This includes illegal connection or tie-ins to the storm sewer system.

Examples of illicit discharge to storm sewer system:trash

  • Trash
  • Sanitary wastewater (sewage)
  • Septic tank waste
  • Car wash, laundry or industrial wash water
  • Concrete truck washout
  • Improper disposal of automotive fluids and household toxics
  • Soapy water used to wash parking lots, sidewalks,buildings and loading docks
  • Grease trap overflows
  • Sump pump with contaminated water flowing into storm drain
  • Dirty water from mopping being dumped to a storm drain


 Click to view the MTSU Stormwater Illicit Discharge & Enforcement Plan