Water Protection: BAS0010
Effective Date: July 1, 2010
Last Revision Date: May 22, 2019

Water Protection

(Policy BAS-0010)

I. Purpose of the Policy

A. Environmental and Health Issues

The campus storm drain system discharges storm water into the natural environment; it is important to protect water quality.

The Campus sanitary sewers transport wastewater to Municipal wastewater treatment plants for treatment. The Municipal plants are limited in the type of contamination they can successfully remove. Hazardous, toxic, and exotic contaminants in wastewater can cause hazards for workers, issues with the biologic treatment systems, and pass untreated into the local Bay.

This policy describes how the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) protects local water quality and complies with applicable federal, state, and local environmental laws, regulations, and ordinances. The following requirements ensure campus storm water quality is maintained and campus sanitary sewer discharges can be safely and effectively treated by the Municipal wastewater treatment plant.

II. Definitions

Storm Drain System: The infrastructure that collects storm water runoff from streets, parking lots, loading docks, roofs, and other exterior surfaces. The UCSC storm drain system conveys water into the natural environment.

Storm Water: Any surface flow, runoff, and drainage consisting entirely of water from any form of natural precipitation, and resulting from such precipitation.

Sanitary Sewer: Sanitary sewers collect wastewater generated from buildings and transport it through the campus sewer system to the Municipal wastewater treatment plant. The Plant regulates what can be discharged to the sanitary sewer, to make sure they can properly treat it before discharging it to the Bay.

Wastewater: Campus wastewater is generated from restrooms, sinks, laboratories, dark rooms, art studios, shops, and dining hall kitchens.

UCSC Controlled Property: All University property operated as part of the UCSC Campus, including campus buildings, residential facilities, structures and facilities, parking structures and surface lots, and grounds, including undeveloped areas; and b) all off campus University owned or leased property or facilities operated by UCSC staff or academics in support of UCSC administrative, teaching, research or other public service functions. This includes buildings, athletic and entertainment facilities (both indoors and outdoors), sidewalks, roadways, parking lots, and grounds. This applies to all housing and residential facilities including Provost/College houses and employee-owned housing. Leased facilities include those properties where the University has a 100% ownership interest or an exclusive lease interest.

III. Detailed Policy Statement

A. Regulatory Requirements

Protection of water quality is mandated by the federal Clean Water Act, the state Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, and other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances. There are several regulatory documents detailing requirements specific to the campus. The UCSC Storm Water Guidance Documents approved by the Regional Water Quality Control Board as part of our Phase II Municipal Storm Water Permit covers UCSC controlled property in urbanized areas.

The UCSC Storm Water Guidance Documents detail the campuses policies and procedures related to:
  • Legal Authority
  • Education and Outreach
  • Public Involvement and Participation
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Construction Site Runoff Control
  • Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Permittee Operations
  • Post Construction Storm Water Management

B. Campus Requirements

  1. The storm drain system may collect only storm water. Exceptions are permitted only with the written approval of Environmental Health & Safety or if included in the conditions of a water permit such as the Storm Water Management Program Guidance Documents.
  2. The UCSC Storm Water Management Program Guidance Documents are required to be implemented. For further information, refer to the Storm Water Management Program Guidance Documents, which can be found at http://cleanwater.ucsc.edu/Background/SWMPGuidanceDocs06_2014%20.pdf
  3. Sinks, floor drains, toilets, and other fixtures connected to sanitary sewers may be used only for disposal of materials that do not pose a threat to campus sewer systems and can be fully treated by the Municipal wastewater treatment plant.
  4. To determine if a material can be disposed through the sewer system, contact Environmental Health & Safety, 459-2553.
  5. Accidental discharges of inappropriate materials to drains (wastewater or storm water) must be reported immediately to Environmental Health & Safety, 459-2553.
  6. Persons observing potentially harmful discharges into a storm drain or sewer drain should contact Environmental Health & Safety or the University Police immediately.

C. Prohibitions

The following are prohibited by this policy:

  1. Any discharge to the storm drain system that is not composed entirely of storm water; is not a discharge from fire-fighting activities; or has not been granted a written exception by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, in a separate water permit, or from the Environmental Health & Safety Office.
  2. Any piped connection that discharges to the storm drain system and has not been documented in approved plans.
  3. Any sanitary sewer discharge that is not compliant with the local Municipal Sewer System Ordinance.

IV. Responsibilities 

The UC Santa Cruz campus community has a responsibility to be good stewards of our environment and protect the quality of our local waterways.

Environmental Health & Safety Office:

Environmental Health & Safety Office develops, coordinates, and monitors the implementation of campus water protection programs in collaboration with UCSC campus units that have direct responsibility for executing and managing the programs. The Environmental Health & Safety Office acts as a liaison to regulatory agencies and facilitates monitoring, training, reporting and outreach activities.

Managers, Supervisors, and Principal Investigators:

  1. Evaluate activities and facilities under their supervision that may negatively impact wastewater or storm water quality and ensure appropriate controls are in place. A partial list of such activities and facilities includes: research and teaching laboratories; photography laboratories; food service operations; campus operation and maintenance; custodial activities; and construction.
  2. Ensure that individuals under their supervision who conduct activities with potential impact on wastewater or storm water quality receive training in the campus drain disposal guidelines, the Storm Water Management Program, and any other applicable requirements, as appropriate to the activity.
  3. Curtail or stop activities if they reasonably believe the activity is not in compliance with this policy or laws and regulations. If the situation cannot be corrected immediately, notify the Environmental Health & Safety Office.

Students, Faculty, Staff, Visitors, Outside Contractors, and Guests:

Each member of the UCSC community, including students, faculty, staff, visitors, contractors, and guests are responsible for observing and adhering to this and other campus policies and programs that protect the campus. For information on related responsibilities refer to the Regents Policy, “University of California Policy on Management of Health, Safety, and the Environment” at http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/3500506/MgmtHealthSafetyandEnvironment

V. Enforcement

Upon discovery, any piped connection that discharges to the storm drain system and has not been documented in approved plans will be eliminated by Physical Planning, and Development Operations.

A violation of this policy, which results in a violation of state or federal law, may subject the responsible party (person or department) to possible legal, criminal and/or civil penalties.

IV. Getting Help

The campus Environmental Health & Safety Office provides training and assistance to campus units (including help with completing forms, carrying out procedures, or interpreting policy).


If you need help with ...  Contact ...
…questions about this policy. …the Environmental Programs Manager, Justin Delemus, 459-4840, jdelemus@ucsc.edu
…emergencies involving storm water or wastewater concerns. …9-1-1.
…storm drain and sanitary sewer malfunctions. …the campus Work Order desk, 459-4444.
…determining whether a particular drain connects to the storm drain or to the sanitary sewer system. …the Environmental Programs Manager, Courtney Trask, 459-4520, trask@ucsc.edu
…a storm water concern. …the Environmental Health & Safety Office, 459-2553, or web link to
“report a concern” http://cleanwater.ucsc.edu/report-aconcern/index.html

…a wastewater concern. …the Environmental Programs Manager, 459-4840, or the web
link to “report a concern”
…construction requirements. …the Environmental Programs Manager, Courtney Trask, 459-4520, trask@ucsc.edu.
…implementation of Storm Water Best Management Best Practices. …the Environmental Programs Manager, Courtney Trask, 459-4520, trask@ucsc.edu.

…training or other education on water quality protection.

…the Environmental Programs Manager, Courtney Trask, 459-4520, trask@ucsc.edu.
…determining if a material can be disposed through the sanitary sewers. …the Environmental Programs Manager, Justin Delemus, 459-4840, jdelemus@ucsc.edu

V. Applicability and Authority

The Water Protection policy applies to all UCSC Controlled Property.

This policy supersedes the UCSC Campus Water Protection Policy, dated July 1, 2010, and any campus practices in existence prior to its effective date.

The Vice Chancellor for the Division of Finance, Operations and Administration (FOA) is the campus authority for the Water Protection policy with implementation authority delegated to the Executive Director of Environmental Health & Safety and the Office of Emergency Services.

This policy was reviewed and approved by Interim Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor, Lori Kletzer on July 11, 2019. This policy will be reviewed every five years.

VI. Related Policies/References for More Information

Related Policies and Procedures

University of California Policy on Management of Health, Safety, and the Environment: http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/3500506/MgmtHealthSafetyandEnviron

UCSC Storm Water Management Program Guidance Documents: http://cleanwater.ucsc.edu/Background/SWMPGuidanceDocs06_2014%20.pdf

UCSC Waste Determination Guidelines: http://ehs.ucsc.edu/programs/wastemanagement/documents/hw-guide1.pdf

Campus Standards Handbook, Office of Physical Planning & Construction: http://ppc.ucsc.edu/consultants/standards.html


Environmental Health & Safety Environmental Programs: http://ehs.ucsc.edu/programs/environmental/index.html

City of Santa Cruz Sewer System Ordinance: http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/government/city-departments/publicworks/wastewater-treatment-facility/wastewater-and-storm-water-collections/sanitarysewer-

United States Clean Water Act: https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-cleanwater-act

State of California Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/laws_regulations/docs/portercologne.pdf

IX. Revision History

May 17, 2019: BAS-0010 Water Protection Policy 
Minor updates include: revised definitions, added definition for UCSC Controlled Property, and fixed links. Substantial updates include removal of the reference to the Storm Water Management Plan in accordance with changes in regulatory requirements and the added reference to the Storm Water Management Program Guidance Documents.

July 1, 2010: EHS-0015 UCSC Campus Water Protection Policy
New policy.

UC Santa Cruz Policy

Environmental Health & Safety                                                                                                                                ehs@ucsc.edu; (831) 459-2553