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Storm Water Management Plan

CSUSM’s Storm Water Management Plan aims to prevent or reduce the potential discharge of pollutants into CSUSM storm drains. Storm water is rainfall or any surface runoff that is discharged through storm drain. Before storm water is discharged through the storm drain, it may pick up debris, dirt, chemicals, or other pollutants as it flows through impervious streets, parking lots, facility yards, or building rooftops. Unlike regular sewer drain systems, any possible storm water contaminants discharged through the storm drain system are untreated and ultimately enters local waterways, such as rivers, lakes, and bays.

The SWMP is designed to identify potential sources of environmental pollutants that would significantly alter stormwater discharge, and to provide Best Management Practices (BMP) to reduce the discharge of pollutants into the storm drain system.


Report Non-Storm Water Discharges 

Anything that discharges into a storm drain that is not composed entirely of storm water is a non-storm water discharge (e.g., irrigation water runoff, clean tap water, car washing). Report non-storm water discharges into CSUSM storm drains:

  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
    CSUSM owns and operates a system of conveyances (curbs, bioswales, ditches, catch basins, manholes, and pipes, etc) intended to collect stormwater and direct it to outfall locations for release into local waterways. CSUSM is designated as a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4), and has been required to obtain coverage under the State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). As per requirements in the general permit, the University has developed a Stormwater Management Program plan (SWMP), incorporating minimum control measures designed to help the University maintain and improve the quality of the stormwater that is discharged from its conveyance system. One of the minimum control measures in the SWMP focuses on the detection and elimination of illicit discharges to the storm sewer system.
  • What is an “Illicit Discharge?"
    The term “illicit discharge” is defined in the EPA’s Phase II stormwater regulations as “any discharge to a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) that is not comprised entirely of stormwater, except discharges pursuant to an NPDES permit and discharges resulting from fire fighting activities”. Illicit discharges are considered “illicit” because MS4s are not designed to accept, process, or discharge such non-stormwater wastes. Common sources of illicit discharges include, but are not limited to: Sanitary wastewater; Effluent from septic tanks; Sediment from construction sites; Car wash wastewaters; Improper oil disposal; Laundry wastewaters; Improper disposal of automobile and household toxics; Yard waste; Pet waste; and Shop floor drains that are connected to the storm sewer.
  • Why are Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Efforts Important?
    Discharges from MS4s often include wastes and wastewater from non-stormwater sources. In fact, studies have shown that up to one half of the water discharged from some MS4s was not attributable to precipitation runoff. The result is untreated stormwater discharges that contribute high levels of pollutants, including heavy metals, toxics, oil and grease, solvents, nutrients, viruses and bacteria to receiving water bodies. Pollutant levels from these illicit discharges have been shown in EPA studies to be high enough to significantly degrade receiving water quality and threaten aquatic, wildlife, and human health. In order to protect wildlife habitat and public health, CSUSM has a written SWMP to give direction on how to manage stormwater, including a section devoted to the Prohibition of Illicit Discharges.
  • What can I do?
    Students, staff, and faculty can seriously impact the quality of the stormwater discharged from a storm sewer system. By keeping our campus free of litter and properly disposing of any waste, CSUSM can positively affect the local waterways that our stormwater ends up in. If you see or suspect an illicit discharge to our conveyance system, please fill out the Wufoo form and SHS safety specialists with work with Facility Services to inspect and mitigate any illicit discharge.

During normal business hours: e-mail or call (760) 750-4502.

After business hours: Call University Police (760) 750-4567. 

Best Management Practices (BMP's) 

CSUSM has categories of BMPs to prevent potential storm water pollution from campus for outside work activities. Follow BMPs for your work area and activities. Help CSUSM implement the Storm Water Management Program by following Best Management Practices (BMPs)

  • Common pollutants addressed in the BMPs
    • Oil and grease from roadways and parking lots                                                   
    • Wash water from outdoor cleaning activities
    • Sediment from construction sites and erosion
    • Discarded trash such as cigarette butts, paper wrappers, and plastic bottles
    • Metals from roadway runoff (e.g., tires and brake pads)

Best Management Practices References