The latest updates from spring and summer 2016

The Task Force team has helped create some big changes around grounds. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Beta Bridge clean up success!

Students and staff cleaned up the railroad tracks below Beta Bridge. The haul for the day included: 25 large trash bags, 3 tarps, a burnt couch, a tire, 2 large cans of paint, and and iPhone. All of this garbage was prevented from contaminating Meadow Creek, which is where this area drains.




Clark Nook – before and after.

The space behind Clark Hall was identified by the Task Force as the perfect location for a new BMP on grounds. After two years of planning, the Clark Nook Biofilter has finally been installed. Now all that’s left to do is the planting! Contact us if you are interested in helping out.

Before (February 2014) – Zigzag sidewalk and underutilized space.

After (August 2016) – Ready for planting!

Approval for IRC Biofilter

The Task Force has recently received approval to start work on another project. The group will now begin to plan the installation of a Biofilter in the IRC courtyard as one of this year’s projects.

Upcoming Projects!

The stormwater taskforce will be working on the following projects this fall semester:

1. Hereford Rain Garden.

The taskforce will be collaborating with UVa’s Facilities Management and UVA’s graduate landscape arhictecture students to install a rain garden at Hereford College. The rain garden will be designed to improve drainage and heavy erosion problems on the rocky hillslope.

rain garden

2. Beta Bridge Waste Management

Beta Bridge has become a dumping ground due to the daily painting activities and parties on Rugby Road. Paint, painting equipment, and litter are usually dumped over the bridge. We will be promoting responsible painting at Beta Bridge by installing a paint locker at the site so that painters can store extra paint and brushes for future use. The taskforce also hopes to install much needed trashcans around Beta Bridge.


3. Downspout Disconnects

A downspout is a vertical pipe used to drain rainwater from a roof. To disconnect a downspout, the downspout is cut and an additional piece of pipe is attached and extended toward pervious ground where rainwater can seep into. Disconnecting downspouts helps decrease the amount of polluted runoff that enters our streams and limit stream erosion.

Last spring, three students from the taskforce surveyed all the buildings around the University of Virginia and located where downspouts were and whether they drained to pervious or impervious surface. This summer, two more students continued this work and identified 8 high potential sites that could greatly benefit from disconnected downspouts. The taskforce will continue this project by narrowing down to one or two potential sites, research the possible BMP’s that could be placed in conjunction with the downspouts, and create designs for the sites.












4. Stormwater Monitoring Response Team

A few students from the taskforce will be monitoring the major streams during storm events. They will be collecting water samples and testing them for nitrogen, phosphate, and turbidity. This data will be helpful in understanding how pollutant concentrations change during the course of a storm event and how much pollutant could leave the University during these storm events.

5. Outreach and Education

As an ongoing project, we hope to continue to increase awareness of stormwater issues and provide opportunities for students to get involved in improving the university’s stormwater management as well as their personal stormwater impact.  We hope to communicate through a variety of media such as video, presentations, and paintings at Beta Bridge. We also hope to get students actively involved through stream cleanups and a possible scavenger hunt about stormwater best management practices!



Watch out! The Stormwater Task Force is on a Mission!!!


Bus Ads

During the Spring of 2014, the Stormwater Task Force created several ads to spread awareness of the consequences of littering and provide helpful painting tips for the popular Beta Bridge! These ads were placed on UVA’s UTS buses during the month of April.  We’re hoping to spread awareness through more types of media this year so stay tuned!

Partner ButtsFINAL      faucet final

UmbrellaFINAL     PaintCan_white

drain final


Where does stormwater go?

Most stormwater goes untreated into nearby lakes, rivers, and streams.

Have you ever wondered were stormwater goes? Traditionally, developed areas focus on diverting water off the streets and into storm drains and pipes underground. What most people don’t know, however, is that this water is rarely ever treated and is dumped straight into rivers and lakes along with any litter and pollutants it’s carrying. This has had negative impacts on streams and waterways, where increased flows cause channel erosion and carry pollutants, such as oils and nutrients, from impervious surfaces. This can harm water quality and make our creeks and streams unfit for swimming, fishing and supporting aquatic life. Because storm sewers carry floating debris from streets and parking lots without treatment, we encourage you to be aware of what does (and what shouldn’t) go down storm drains. Even simple things such as cleaning up after painting at Beta Bridge, not throwing Solo cups on the ground, and disposing of your cigarette butts properly can make a huge difference. Please visit our Best Management Practices page to see what you can do to help.