UMass Storm Water Management Plan (MS4)
This Storm Water Management Program is a planning document that will help the University manage storm water run-off that enters our storm water drainage system. This system known technically as the “Municipal Separate Storm sewer System” (MS4) empties, most often untreated, into brooks, rivers, ponds, lakes and eventually the ocean. The purpose of the MS4 system is to prevent flooding of our buildings and infrastructure. Unfortunately, these systems can also carry pollutants such as silt, chemicals, trash and any other material found on lawns, streets and parking lots, which can harm the fauna utilizing our water bodies. This program describes our system as well as prevention activities and measures.
Sustainable Storm Water Infrastructure at UMass Amherst
Organic Lawn Care at UMass Amherst
The UMass Amherst campus is 1,463 acres. 960 of those acres are considered "managed grounds" of which 768 acres are managed organically, without the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides and 180 acres are Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed. Which leaves 12 acres of area that are managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices. This data was reported in the 2020 AASHE STARS Report in Operations Credit #9: Landscape Management.
|Area||Percentage of sustainably managed acreage|
|Area managed organically, without the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides||768 acres||80%|
|Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses selected chemicals only when needed||180 acres||19%|
|Area managed using conventional, chemical-based landscape management practices||12 acres||1%|
|Total area of managed grounds||960 acres|
Resources for Preventing Storm Water Pollution at Your Home
Prevent stormwater pollution around your home by following the steps below. Make sure that anyone that does work around your house (landscapers, contractors, handymen) follow the same rules as well!
Pet Waste - Belongs in the Trash!
You hate stepping in it. And fish hate swimming in it, too!
When you walk your dog, make sure to carry a plastic bag with you so that you can pick up the waste and dispose of it properly. Flushing is the best disposal method (don’t flush the plastic bag), but you can also throw it in a trash can. Some towns will fine you if they catch you leaving it in public areas! Pet waste carries high levels of harmful E. coli bacteria and other pathogens that can wash into storm drains and waterways, increasing public health risks and causing infections.
If you stop to think about it, your home is full of chemicals, such as used motor oil, cleaners, medicines, pesticides, solvents and old paint, just to name a few. When you're cleaning out the garage, it might be tempting to pour those chemicals down the toilet, sink or the storm drain, but don't! They can be hazardous to waterways and should be disposed of at your local DPW or by following manufacturer's guidelines.
- Never pour chemicals into storm drains.
- Avoid spilling onto paved surfaces.
- Clean up leaks and spills using an absorbent such as kitty litter or sand, and sweep up immediately.
- Test your soil and read the label before you apply fertilizer. If you use too much fertilizer, the excess will just wash away in the next rain, polluting your local waterways. Have your soil tested at the UMass Extension: http://ag.umass.edu/services/soil-plant-nutrient-testing-laboratory.
- Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways, sidewalks and walkways. You may not even need to fertilize your yard! According to experts, most homeowners over-fertilize their lawns.
- Use organic fertilizer whenever possible. Organic or slow-release nitrogen fertilizer causes less harm to water. Be sure to use fertilizer with no or low phosphorus—phosphorus causes algae growth in water.
- In the spring, bag your grass clippings for curbside pickup. In the fall, do it again with your leaves. Even better, compost them to make a natural fertilizer for your garden. But whatever you do, don't dump them in a brook or storm drain, and don't leave them on the sidewalk!
More information on Patios & Walkways, Irrigation, Rainwater catchment systems, Septic Systems, Snow/Ice Removal, Vehicle Care, and Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs at the UMass EH&S website: https://ehs.umass.edu/prevent-storm-water-pollution-residential
Resources for Preventing Storm Water Pollution at a Construction Project
Massachusetts Clean Water Toolkit - BMP Interactive Scenarios
Storm Water Pollution prevention Plans (SWPPPs):
Guide to Developing Your Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) - (PDF)
Best Management Practices (MBPs):
10 Steps to Stormwater Pollution Prevention on Construction Sites - Poster