The University of Montana, along with Missoula City and County, Montana DOT, and the Missoula Water Quality District, has applied for a storm water permit to protect the surface waters of the Clark Fork River from contamination.
This permit puts certain requirements on UM to ensure that the potential for pollution is minimized. Some of these requirements are as follows:
• Storm drain cleaning as needed.
• Parking lot and street cleaning as needed.
• Maintain a used oil recycling program.
• Spill prevention plan for the UM with spill response personnel on campus
• Hazardous material storage, management, and disposal program.
• Stenciling storm drains.
• Education of campus community on storm water issues.
• Monitor for fuel release at fueling sites.
• Public participation.
• Ground truthing system so no illicit discharge will occur.
STORM WATER ISSUES
Pollution of surface waters due to storm water runoff is of great concern. As rainwater drains off the land and into the storm water system, it picks up various pollutants and contaminants. These pollutants icause problems for waterways and aquatic organisms. Included are:
Automotive fluids - often contain toxic chemicals, metals, and organic hydrocarbons
Sediment and silt - can adversely affect the natural habitat of aquatic life
Landscaping chemicals - can contain chemicals toxic to aquatic life and nutrients which contribute to the reduction of available oxygen in water
Pet wastes - can contribute to the reduction of available oxygen
Litter - macro pollutant which has many adverse effects
Yard waste - potential impacts including macro pollutants, and reducing oxygen as they decompose. Decomposition products can also be toxic to aquatic life