The University of Central Florida has a great
watershed that encompass more than 10 artificial
and natural pond systems. These water bodies are
monitored and maintained regularly by UCF Landscape
& Natural Resources (LNR) staff, as well as student
volunteers through the “Adopt-a-Pond” program, to
preserve the health and quality of each pond.
What is Stormwater?
Stormwater, as defined by St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), is rainwater that runs off of impervious surfaces into the nearest body of water. On campus this includes natural lakes, wetlands, and man-made retention ponds. The management of stormwater is important for the health of both developed and undeveloped areas. In developed areas, streets and storm drains are part of the drainage system which protects them from flooding. Proper management of stormwater also protects undeveloped, or more natural areas, by regulating what is allowed down a storm drain. Anything that finds its way into a storm drain will become a part of the local watershed, which is why we must be diligent as a community to keep pollution off of the ground. For these reasons, the UCF stormwater system is managed as a part of the St. John’s River basin and regulated by the SJRWMD. Here at the University, we want to protect our watershed quality according to the UCF master plan and regulatory permits with SJRWMD.
If you feel you have witnessed an inappropriate use of UCF’s stormwater infrastructure or have seen anything at all you would like to report, please send all concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What the permit is:
Created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act, the permit program addresses water pollution by regulating the discharge of stormwater into the water bodies of an area. UCF uses Best Management Practices (BMPs) to prevent/reduce pollution.
Why it is important:
In areas where rainwater can seep into the ground regulation is not necessary, but because of the impervious surfaces on campus such as roads, sidewalks, roofs, etc., UCF has to regulate how the water is discharged.
According to epa.gov, the benefits of effective stormwater management are:
- Protection of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems
- Improved quality of receiving water bodies
- Conservation of water resources
- Protection of public health
- Flood control
UCF holds and participates in many different outreach efforts to make its community aware of the importance of clean stormwater. This includes stormwater tours, tabling events, community clean-ups, and the distribution of educational materials to students, employees, and businesses on campus.
The adopt-a-program allows for groups and organizations on campus to participate in the preservation of UCF’s natural lands. The program includes the adoption and bi-weekly clean up of ponds and roads on campus. Once adopted, it is the organization’s responsibility to ensure the pond/road is kept free of litter. For more information on the adoption process, or which roads and ponds are eligible, visit the arboretum website.
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination System
What is an illicit discharge?
Generally, an illicit discharge is anything other than stormwater that makes its way into a storm drain. These discharges result in high levels of pollutants in the surrounding natural lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams. At UCF, this includes Lake Claire and Lake Lee. Pollutants that end up in these water bodies significantly degrade water quality and threaten aquatic, wildlife, and human health.
The most common sources of illicit discharges are:
- Sanitary wastewater
- Septic tank drainage
- Car wash wastewater
- Detergents in pressure washers or window washing
- Improper oil disposal
- Paint or concrete washout
- Radiator flushing disposal
- Spills from roadway accidents
- Improper disposal of auto and household toxics
Illicit Discharge Reporting Form
Construction Site Compliance
Why do stormwater discharges from construction sites matter?
When it rains, stormwater washes over the loose soil on a construction site, along with other materials being stored outside. This stormwater picks up pollutants from that loose soil and transports them to storm drains on campus. At UCF, these storm drains lead to ponds, lakes, and rivers on and around campus.
The most common pollutants from construction site runoff are:
- Solid and sanitary waste
- Phosphorous (fertilizer)
- Nitrogen (fertilizer)
- Oil and grease
- Concrete truck washout
- Construction chemicals
- Construction debris
The pollutants that are carried off construction sites can affect the physical, chemical, and biological health of those water bodies that receive stormwater. UCF works with the construction site operators on campus to ensure the proper stormwater controls are in place. These controls allow for the protection of natural lands on and off campus.
If you see cloudy water running into a storm drain,
or paint being dumped down a drain,
or anything else of concern, you can report it here.