It’s raining, it’s pouring…..We all know how the rest of this song goes. Runoff from stormwater can do more damage than just dampen our plans for the day.  The University of Southern Maine takes stormwater seriously because, like any college campus, we have a USM a significant amount of non-permeable surfaces, such as parking lots, plazas and walkways.  Runoff has the ability to pick up any and everything that is discarded or discharged on the ground and carry it into our surrounding water sources that we use for recreation, swimming and drinking.  Debris and spills from items like pesticides, fertilizers, trash, pet waste and more would flow straight into places like Tannery Brook which lies along the perimeter of our Gorham campus and eventually drains into the Presumpscot River and then Casco Bay. 

USM has been actively managing this challenge for many years.  Our 5 year USM storm water management plan for the Gorham campus will soon be replaced with a new plan, serving both the Portland and Gorham campuses. Both the old and the new comply with the Department of Environmental Protection’s requirements and includes mitigation efforts such as planting to reduce runoff, creative storm water drain stencils, making it easy to report incidents, and integrating storm water education into the USM course curriculum. 

Read USM’s Stormwater Management Plan through 2022 for the Gorham Campus here

Read USM’s Stormwater Management Plan for 2022 and beyond for the Gorham & Portland Campus here

To educate yourself on stormwater, check out the links below:

Click here for our Notice of Intent to Comply with General Permit for the Discharge of Stormwater from Small Municipal Storm Sewer Systems.

If you notice something fishy going on with someone dumping an unknown substance into a storm drain or notice a substance leaking from a piece of equipment, please notify Facilities Management. They can be reached at 207-780-4160 or via email at Reporting these instances can help us prevent pollution from entering local waterways.

A rainwater filtration system among rip rap rocks, surrounded by shrubs.

To participate in stormwater mitigation and outreach efforts in our area, please attend the Interlocal Stormwater Working Group (ISWG) Meetings. Information about the meetings can be found here. Upcoming meeting dates include:

  • May, 2024 at the Westbrook Housing Authority or online (details TBD)

The Urban Runoff will not be taking place this coming Spring of 2024. However, the University will be co-hosting two clean-up events focused on stormwater education. The first will be on the Gorham campus on April 21st from 8 am- 11 am. The second will be on the Portland campus on April 22nd (Earth Day) from 1 pm- 4 pm. Come help us pick up trash to keep our waterways clean and to learn about stormwater initiatives at the University.