What is stormwater?

Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snow melt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground.

Why is stormwater runoff a problem?

Stormwater can pickup debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and carry them into a storm sewer system, directly to a lake, stream, river, or wetland. Primary concerns for the campus community involve trash that makes its way to storm drains, then on to fresh water sources, and erosion due to construction, which carry or track mud onto roads and sidewalks.

The Effects of Pollution
Polluted stormwater runoff can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.

  • Sediment can cloud water.
  • Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms.
  • Bacteria and other pathogens can wash into swimming areas.
  • Debris - plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles, and cigarette butts - washed into waterways can choke, suffocate, or disable wildlife.


How can you help?

Everyone can help make a difference. Here are some things that you can do to make an impact.

  • Inform EHS if you see a problem with waste, erosion or chemicals.
  • Carry a litter bag in your car to collect waste.
  • Dispose of litter in proper containers.
  • Recycle motor oil. Maintain your car to prevent leaks.
  • Wash your car at the car wash or on the lawn instead of the driveway.
  • Do not use storm drains to dispose of liquid waste.
  • During landscaping cover bare soil with mulch or hay and plant early.
  • Do not clear cut vegetation on or near stream banks.
  • Place rocks or shrubs on slopes to slow water and prevent erosion.


Stormwater Program Information

The University of Memphis Stormwater Program is administered by Physical Plant. The primary point of contact is the Sustainability Manager, Amelia Mayahi. Her contact information is below:

Amelia Mayahi
Sustainability Manager, Physical Plant

The University of Memphis
201 Ray Herzog Building
Memphis, TN 38152


More information on the University of Memphis Stormwater Program can be found at this link: Stormwater Program