Campus News

UK Stormwater Program needs community support to protect streams, water quality

To reduce stormwater runoff, the UK Stormwater Program has implemented a variety of projects to protect water quality across campus including installation of rain gardens, green roofs, new trees and water harvesting systems.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 20, 2022) The University of Kentucky Department of Environmental Quality Management has launched a new website as a resource and tool for the UK community and public to learn more about UK’s Stormwater Program.

The website provides a wealth of information on how the community can help protect local streams from pollution due to stormwater runoff, as well as involvement opportunities and training resources.

Stormwater is excess water from rainfall or snowmelt that flows over the ground and does not infiltrate into the soil. In urban areas like Lexington, stormwater runoff can carry trash, debris and pollutants, including pathogens, nutrients, sediments, heavy metals and chemicals into streams, negatively impacting water quality.

To reduce stormwater runoff, the UK Stormwater Program has implemented a variety of projects to protect water quality across campus including installation of rain gardens, green roofs, new trees and water harvesting systems.

But protecting streams and the environment takes the help of everyone.

Any discharge to a municipal separate storm sewer that is not composed entirely of stormwater is considered an illicit discharge. The university is required to prohibit discharges of non-stormwater as well as detect and eliminate any discharges that may occur. The goal is to prevent spills from occurring and to contain them if they do occur to prevent an illicit discharge. 

If you see something other than clean water entering a drain, or with the potential to enter a drain if it rains, please report it. Any substance entering a storm drain has the potential to harm water quality and needs to be stopped.

To report an illicit discharge, visit www.uky.edu/env/stormwater/illicit-discharges and click the red “Report an Illicit Discharge” button on the left.

Members of the community are also encouraged to help keep our campus and environment clean by picking up trash or litter and reducing the use of single-use plastics. There are also various clean-up projects and events around campus held throughout the year to help limit the risk. Learn more here.

Additionally, an interactive map has been developed that can be used to explore best management practices and stormwater infrastructure on campus. This map showcases some of the measures the university has taken to improve stormwater quality and quantity.

To learn more about UK’s Stormwater Program, visit the website at www.uky.edu/env/stormwater.

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