Have you ever asked yourself, where does rainwater go during a rainstorm? Well, in most cities, excess rainwater enters storm drains located along street curbs, parking lots, etc. You need these drains because they help to reduce flooding. Excess rainwater is diverted away from where we live and work.
Here on the Cal Poly campus, the storm drain system enters directly into the local water bodies where fish and other wildlife live. Storm drains located in the campus core lead directly to Stenner or Brizzolara Creeks and ultimately to the ocean.
For many years it was common practice to wash down sidewalks and driveways, rinse out various containers, or wash down equipment and vehicles directly into the storm drains. You may have done this without thinking about what you were doing, where the water was going or the possible consequences. Well it all drains to the creek!
You may be asking, why all of a sudden is it important to be aware of what goes into a storm drain? First, we all should be concerned with protecting our environment. Secondly, federal and state governments have developed regulations that require cities and campuses to eliminate discharge of polluted storm water to creeks, rivers or lakes. These regulations are intended to protect the wildlife that live in and around these waterways, as well as maintain the quality of the water you use for drinking and recreation.
Since everything that goes into the campus storm water conveyance system might eventually be discharged to Stenner or Brizzolara Creek without any treatment, the campus community has a responsibility to help keep pollutants from entering our local streams, rivers and estuaries.
Maybe some of you have already seen storm drains on campus labeled “Dump no waste”….”Drains to Creek”.
These are to help you remember not to dump materials into campus storm drains.
The Environmental Health & Safety Office encourages all members of the campus community to take an active role in eliminating non-storm water pollutants from entering the campus storm water conveyance system.
Help the campus by cleaning up spills and debris so when it rains the material will not be transported to the storm drain and creek. This will help to ensure the campus stays in compliance with both federal and state regulations, and will also help to protect the environment.
If you want more information regarding campus storm water issues or need to report a discharge of material into the campus storm water system, please contact EH&S at: 756–6665
Or visit our website at: www.afd.calpoly.edu/ehs