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Industrial Stormwater Management

According to the National Water Quality Inventory, runoff from rain, snow-melt, surface drainage, and other types of drainage is a leading source of water pollution. Stormwater at industrial facilities may come into contact with harmful pollutants including toxic metals, oil, grease, de-icing salts, and other chemicals from rooftops, roads, and parking lots, and from activities such as storage, material handling, and grounds management. Common pollutants such as sand, soil, and fertilizers contribute to algal growth, soil-filled lakes, seasonally closed beaches, and other types of water impairments from these pollutants.


Stormwater potentially containing pollutants is associated with 10 categories of industrial activities that are regulated by federal and state requirements. There are a handful of operations on the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses that fall into these regulated categories:

Industrial stormwater permits are tailored by sector to target specific pollutants and practices that may contribute to the cross-contamination of stormwater. Unless it can be shown there is ?no exposure? of stormwater to an industrial activity, these activities require permit coverage.

Operations covered by the industrial stormwater program are excluded from the scope of municipal permitting to avoid double-regulation.

Controlling Pollutants from Industrial Stormwater

The primary means of controlling cross-contamination of stormwater from industrial activities and to protect downstream water is to implement control measures. To ensure control measures are effective, the permit utilizes the concept of a behavior-driven continuous feedback loop.


Initially, the facility must determine what activities and materials are managed on-site and strategies that the facility is using to meet the permit-required control measures. This assessment is written in the permit-required Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

Activities and Significant Materials

The SWPPP identifies the types of activities performed at the facility, including where waste materials are stored, where and how chemicals and fuels are loaded-in or moved around the facility, and which parts of a process or maintenance are performed outside ? and which pollutants are associated with the activity of material.

Pollutants potentially in contact with stormwater come from:

Select and Plan/Modify

Permit-required control measures must be included in the SWPPP to control the impact of industrial processes on stormwater.

The permit requires the facility to implement a set of control measures at the facility:

Best Management Practices (BMPs)

The SWPPP includes the site-specific strategies that the facility has chosen as control measures required by the permit. These strategies are termed ?Best Management Practices? (BMPs).

Meeting permit requirements may involve making changes to pre-existing maintenance schedules, purchasing equipment and/or supplies, creating SOPs for certain procedures, or conducting training.


After the assessment of the facility activities and materials has been completed and the site-specific strategies have been selected, the SWPPP is implemented at the facility.

The SWPPP is intended to be:


After the SWPPP is implemented, the permit requires verification that the selected BMPs are in place, functional, and adequate to control pollutants in stormwater.

To verify, the permit requires:


Stormwater samples (four or more) are taken and analyzed for sector-specific pollutants to verify that selected practices are quantitatively protective of downstream water.

Sample results are compared to permit-identified sector-specific benchmark values.

Resources and Documents

Industrial Stormwater Talking Points

MPCA Industrial Stormwater Program Information

Fleet Services Facility

UMTC-Fleet Services Facility SWPPP

Inspection Form

Como Recycling Facility

UMTC-Como Recycling Facility SWPPP

Inspection Form

SE Steam Plant

UMTC-SE Steam Plant

Inspection Form

Coleraine Minerals Research Lab

UMD-NRRI Coleraine Minerals Research Lab SWPPP

Inspection Form