Storm Water Management

stenciling

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) has developed a Storm Water Management Plan and a Storm Water Management Pamphlet to help prevent potential contamination of stormwater runoff. (Storm water runoff is defined as rain, snow melt, or other sources of precipitation that does not infiltrate into the soil and runs off the land. Storm water management practices are used to delay, capture, store, treat, or infiltrate stormwater runoff.)

The current EPA MS4 stormwater permit for NH (issued 2003) is scheduled to be replaced with a new 5 year permit.  The draft of the proposed new permit can be viewed at: www.epa.gov/NE/npdes/stormwater/MS4_2008_NH.html.

The UNH Storm Water Management Program comprises six elements (called Minimum Control Measures or MCMs. Minimum Control Measures are listed in the reports section of the archives under New Hampshire-University of New Hampshire) that, when implemented in concert over the next five years, are expected to result in significant reductions of non-point pollutants discharged into Great Bay. These six elements include:

  • Public Education and Outreach
  • Public Participation / Involvement
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Construction Site Runoff Control
  • Post-Construction Runoff Control
  • Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping

UNH and the New Hampshire Seacoast Storm Water Coalition have written Guidelines and Standard Operation Procedures for Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination, Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping. This document can also be found on the State of New Hampshire's Department of Environmental Services website at des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/stormwater/categories/publications.htm.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a regulation entitled, "National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System - Regulations for Revision of the Water Pollution Control Program Addressing Storm Water Discharges," on December 8, 1999 to address storm water runoff concerns in the United States.

Storm water runoff from lands modified by human activities can harm surface water and, in turn, change natural hydrologic patterns, accelerate natural stream flows, destroy aquatic habitat, and elevate pollutant concentrations. Such runoff may contain high levels of contaminants, such as sediment, suspended solids, nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen), heavy metals, pathogens, toxins, oxygen-demanding substances (organic material), and floating material.

UNH activities with the potential to impact the storm water system include:

  • General maintenance of buildings, grounds, and roads;
  • Seasonal application of sand, salt, and de-icer to roads, parking lots, and sidewalks;
  • Seasonal application of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to landscaped areas;
  • Small construction projects; and,
  • Spills and leaks.

Questions about private well testing in New Hampshire can be found in the EPA/NHDES brochure, "Protect Your Family - Test Your Well's Water Quality Today."

 EPA/UNH Publications:

OTHER LINKS/RESOURCES: