Reduce Pollutants in Runoff

Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) are activities, procedures, and other management practices that prevent, eliminate, or reduce pollution of creeks, rivers, estuaries, and ultimately, the ocean.  Urban runoff, such as landscape irrigation, hydrant flushing, and trash, contributes to water pollution.  Federal, state, and local programs help reduce pollutants in stormwater discharges.

UC Berkeley is permitted by the California State Water Resources Control Board as a NonTraditional Small MS4 ("Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System") and follows BMPs developed by the California Stormwater Quality Association.

Examples of BMPs used on campus include:

  • Labelling storm drains with "No Dumping" curb markers
  • Using dry cleaning methods whenever practical for surface cleaning activities
  • Discouraging littering by providing trash cans and posting "No Littering" signs
  • Promptly cleaning up spills with as little water as possible
  • Utilizing dechlor tablets in the event of a water main break or other accidental release of drinking water (chloroamines are present in the drinking water supplied to UC Berkeley by EBMUD)
  • Constructing vegetated swales and buffer strips, which slow the flow of runoff and treat runoff through filtering by the vegetation and underlying soils