The University of Colorado Boulder campus is required to comply with regulations of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and other regulatory agencies in regard to protecting against illicit campus discharges of pollutants to storm and surface water conveyances (such as storm drains, parking lot runoff, gutters, etc., which lead directly to creeks and rivers). Illegal discharges include processed/chlorinated water, petroleum residues, chemicals, pesticides, sediment, trash, etc. The Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) oversees and enforces these efforts on campus, including the administration of a campus-wide Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) Permit. This permit requires documentation and reporting of campus efforts to promote environmental stewardship related to protection of storm conveyances and surface waters in the following categories: Public Education & Outreach; Public Participation & Involvement; Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination, Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control, Post Construction Stormwater Management, and Pollution Prevention & Good Housekeeping.

As part of this effort, everyone on the Boulder campus is responsible for following CU Boulder’s policies regarding proper management and disposal of chemical wastes, which includes that these materials must never be poured down drains or placed in the trash. Such actions are environmentally unsound, prohibited by law, and subject to fines and criminal actions. Storm drains inside and outside of buildings are being stenciled to warn people about discharging any pollutants that could harm our sensitive aquatic ecosystems. All incidents involving the release of hazardous materials to sewer systems or the environment must be reported immediately by calling Campus Police at 911 or 303-492-6666, or to EH&S (during business hours) at 303-492-6025.

EH&S works with Facilities Management to identify areas of concern related to storm drains, and remediate situations that could lead to illicit discharges. This includes re-plumbing of drains in areas that would be more appropriately drained to the sanitary sewer system, updating sewer utility maps utilized on campus, providing appropriate oversight for construction activities, etc. Contractors who are involved with construction projects on campus must comply with all applicable regulations regarding stormwater protection, per current UCB Construction Contract requirements.

Inquiries, comments, or concerns related to the campus stormwater management program can be addressed by calling EH&S at 303-492-6025 or via email at