Stormwater management is challenging in an urbanized environment like a city or town – or a big university campus like UConn’s. Traditional urban stormwater management methods typically involve engineered storm sewer systems designed to convey stormwater to a wetland or surface waterbody. The Storrs campus, alone, has about 700 catch basins.
UConn’s Storrs Campus is mainly located within both the Roberts Brook and Eagleville Brook watersheds, with portions of the northern part of campus draining to the Cedar Swamp Brook watershed. Approximately 420 acres of the campus are within the Eagleville Brook watershed and drain southwest to the Eagleville Brook or its tributaries, ultimately discharging to the Willimantic River upstream of Route 275.
Approximately 580 acres of the Storrs campus lie within the Roberts Brook watershed and drain northeast to Mirror Lake; outflow from Mirror Lake forms Roberts Brook. The brook joins with flows from Swan Lake and portions of the campus east of Route 195 at Valentine Meadow and continues to flow northeast where it eventually discharges into the Fenton River.
A third, comparatively smaller portion of the northern campus drains to the Cedar Swamp Brook watershed.
Eagleville Brook TMDL
Eagleville Brook is considered an impaired waterway according to CT DEEP. In 2007, the CT DEEP issued a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the Eagleville Brook based on impervious cover (roadways, parking lots, rooftops). A TMDL is water quality management tool used to address water quality problems. TMDLs provide the framework for restoring impaired waters by establishing the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive without adverse impact to fish, wildlife, recreation, or other uses. The end result of the TMDL process is a Water Quality Management Plan with quantitative goals to reduce pollutant loadings to the impaired waterbody.
CT DEEP’s TMDL study concluded that the amount of impervious surfaces related directly to the impaired water quality and therefore established a goal to reduce the impact of impervious surfaces within the Eagleville Brook watershed.
To improve the water quality of all campus waterbodies, UConn carefully reviews all construction projects to help identify ways to reduce impervious cover and/or manage stormwater in a more natural manner to reduce the impact of impervious cover on the brook.
The Center for Land Use Education and Research NEMO program has also developed a website devoted to the Eagleville Brook Impervious Cover TMDL .
MS4 General Permit
MS4 stands for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. The CT DEEP developed the MS4 stormwater general permit program in conformance with EPA’s Stormwater Rule. The purpose of the MS4 general permit is to protect waters of the state from urban stormwater runoff
through municipal separate storm sewer systems. UConn’s main campus in Storrs and its Avery Point campus in Groton are both subject to MS4 permit requirements. More information can be found on the DEEP website here:
Flood Management Certificates (FMC)
UConn must comply with CT DEEP regulations that require a certification when construction work takes place in a floodplain or when new development will change stormwater flow patterns and such changes have the potential to increase the risk of flooding on the Storrs campus or downstream of the campus.
There is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between UConn and CT DEEP establishing storm drainage requirements within the Roberts Brook and Eagleville Brook watersheds. A requirement of the MOU is to reduce peak flows from campus to below 1993 levels.
Through the use of computer modelling, UConn created a stormwater master plan FMC for the Eagleville Brook and Robert’s Brook watersheds. These master plan FMCs establish stormwater performance goals for each watershed. Each proposed project is designed and modelled to achieve watershed performance goals. The models are updated after the completion of each project, using as built design and impervious coverage data rather than the assumptions for model input.
Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC)
Oil spills happen! We partner with the UConn community to ensure that spills do not reach water resources.
Federal regulations require that a facility which has oil storage of more than 1,320 gallons aboveground or 42,000 gallons underground is required to put a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan in place to prevent and/or mitigate discharges of oil to the waters of the state. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Oil Pollution Prevention regulations, which were developed because of the Clean Water Act, are contained within Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 112.
UConn’s Storrs Campus, Depot Campus and Avery Point Campus all have oil storage that exceeds the regulatory threshold for SPCC. As such, SPCC Plans are in place for all three campuses. A licensed Professional Engineer (PE) reviews and stamps the plan. UConn Environmental Programs reviews the plans annually for any changes. Regulations require a PE review and stamp every five years or after a major modification to our oil storage facilities. Training is offered through EHS annually for all UConn oil-handling personnel, as required.
The current SPCC Plans are available at the links below:
Please contact EHS Environmental Programs with any questions regarding these plans or SPCC requirements. Inquiries should be made to Jennifer Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org, 860-486-8148) or Paul Ferri (email@example.com, 860-486-9295).
The University owns seven dams at the following locations: Mirror Lake, Swan Lake, Hilltop Detention Pond, Depot Campus Training Ponds (2 dams), Bone Mill Pond (Hydraulics lab), and Plants Pond at Avery Point. Dam Safety Regulations indicate dam inspections are the responsibility of the dam owner. CT General Statute 22a-409(c) requires dam owners to ensure a regulatory inspection is conducted by a professional engineer in accordance with a schedule determined by a dam’s hazard class. A dam’s hazard class is evaluated during each inspection. EHS Environmental Programs manages dam safety compliance for the University.