Only rain in the storm drain! Prevent pollution of UBC’s storm sewer system and facilitate compliance with environmental requirements by following the approved procedures and guidelines.
What are the regulatory requirements for stormwater?
Discharges to the storm sewer must comply with the following regulations and guidelines:
- Fisheries Act
- BC Hazardous Waste Regulation, Schedule 1.2 – “Standard for discharges to the Environment or to Storm Sewers”
- BC Contaminated Sites Regulations, Schedule 6 – “Generic Numerical Water Standards”
- CCME Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life
- BC Approved Water Quality Guidelines
- Metro Vancouver’s Municipal Water Use Guidelines (PDF)
Why is stormwater management important at UBC?
UBC operates a separated sewer system, whereby the stormwater and sanitary systems and flows remain separate through distinct piping infrastructure.
Stormwater is water that originates during precipitation events and snow/ice melt. When stormwater is absorbed into the ground, it is filtered and ultimately replenishes aquifers. Stormwater runoff is water from excess rain or melting snow that “runs off” across the land instead of seeping into the ground. This runoff is not treated in any way and usually flows into the nearest stream, creek, river, lake or ocean.
Surface runoff at UBC could be a significant source of water pollution. It includes all flows discharged from the University’s land uses into the stormwater conveyance systems, and may carry a variety of materials that have potential negative impacts on water quality. It may include sediment, excess nutrients, metals and trace elements, organic contaminants, floatable materials, oxygen demanding materials, oil and grease, and harmful bacteria and viruses. Most of these materials also have a negative impact on the survival of fish, either through toxicity or degradation of habitat.
There are four stormwater catchments, which drain surface water runoff from the UBC Vancouver Campus:
- North catchment, which drains the northern campus area, west of Wesbrook Mall & north of Agronomy.
- 16th Ave catchment, which drains an area along 16th Ave, near SW Marine Drive
- Trail 7 catchment, which includes, Hawthorn Place, Totem Park Residence and UBC Botanical Garden, and
- South catchment, which drains southern areas of campus including Thunderbird Park, Acadia Park, Hampton Place and all south campus.
The North catchment discharges directly into the marine environment at Spanish Banks, via a large diameter vertical pipe. All other catchments enter small streams which flow into steep ravines in the Pacific Spirit Regional Park and eventually into the Musqueam Marsh, an area of estuarine marsh and mudflats on the North Arm of the Fraser River. Refer to the UBC Drainage Map.
To report a non-compliant discharge contact
- Building Operations Service Center: 604-822-2173
- UBC Safety & Risk Services Main Office: 604-822-2029
What are the UBC stormwater pollution prevention guidelines?
Depositing or permitting the deposit of any substance which is likely to be rendered deleterious to aquatic habitat (e.g. fish, organisms, plants, etc) is prohibited.
Several UBC operations and activities may have a negative impact on our storm water if not managed properly. SRS Environmental Protection works with staff, faculty and students to ensure proper management practices are in place to prevent stormwater contamination and the potential impact on aquatic habitats. Follow UBC’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Guidelines
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