The campus community recognizes that a number of creeks flow through campus properties in the city. Having beautiful waterways close by is an excellent benefit for campus visitors; however, it also requires due diligence to keep these waterways beautiful into the future. Precipitation (rain and/or melting snow) is the only material that should be allowed to go down a storm drain. Storm sewers in Colorado lead directly to surface water bodies without any prior treatment.

The University of Colorado Boulder is required to comply with regulations of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and other regulatory agencies to protect against illicit campus discharges of pollutants to storm and surface water conveyances (such as storm drains, parking lot runoff, gutters, etc.). Illegal discharges include processed/chlorinated water, petroleum residues, chemicals, pesticides, sediment, trash, etc.

The Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) oversees efforts on campus to protect stormwater, 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. A Program Description Document (PDD) documents the campus procedures used to maintain compliance with the MS4 permit. The PDD is available for public review and comment free of charge. Contact EH&S at the phone number and/or email address provided below to receive a copy of the PDD.

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 are stenciled to warn against 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 for campus, providing oversight of 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