Storm Water Management

The Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act of 1972 was enacted to prevent water pollution through a series of regulatory programs. The regulations originally focused on point sources of pollution such as wastewater treatment plants and industrial discharges. However, in recent years new regulations have been established to control pollution from non-point sources.  Non-point sources of water are widely varied, and can become polluted when water from storm events or other runoff come in contact with pollution sources.  Polluted surface waters may eventually find their way into washes, rivers, or even groundwater.

Storm Water Management Plan

The University has developed a Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP) to comply with these regulations, and to ensure that campus activities are not a source of pollution for surface water that flows through the campus. View the Storm Water Management Plan in full (PDF format – excluding Appendix B) and Appendix B (PDF format). Appendices A-R can be found below.

The University's main and AHSC campus are classified as a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. The regulatory requirements for MS4s are established in the Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Discharge from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4s) to Waters of the United States. The University's SWMP is written to comply with these requirements.

The SWMP describes university operations, identifies potential sources of storm water pollution, and adopts Best Management Practices (BMPs) or pollution control measures to reduce the discharge of pollutants in storm water run-off. Implementation of the BMPs identified in the SWMP greatly reduces the potential for pollutants to enter storm water from campus operations.

The University of Arizona welcomes constructive comment on the SWMP and also encourages volunteer participation. Please contact Herb Wagner at or 520-621-7691 for more information.

Campus has many areas of grass and vegetation, but more than 73 percent of the campus is covered by buildings, parking lots, sidewalks and streets that do not soak up rainfall, and therefore create runoff when it rains. Storm water runoff from the campus flows on these surfaces until it drains into city streets and drainage systems that surround and flow through the campus. The City of Tucson is also designated as an MS4 and has developed a SWMP for runoff from city streets and operations.


A required component of the University's Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP) is training and education of the campus community about the Plan's requirements.  RMS has developed an online training module to provide basic information about Storm Water Management at the University, and the adopted Best Management Practices (described in Section 5.6.4 of the Plan).

To access the training module, visit the Storm Water Management Plan Training in EDGE Learning.

To View the BMP Schedule, click on: University BMP Schedule.

Report Illicit Discharge

To report illicit discharges that may affect storm water quality on the UA campus, please contact Risk Management Services at 520-621-1790 or Herb Wagner at or 520-621-7691.