VHCC Stormwater Program Overview
Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC) owns and operates a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). The college’s MS4 consists of features such as curb and gutter, drop inlets, ditches, and stormwater management facilities to convey, treat, and ultimately discharge stormwater runoff to surface waters. The discharge of runoff from the MS4 is regulated under the Clean Water Act, as amended and pursuant to the State Water Control Law and regulations adopted pursuant thereto. VHCC is authorized to discharge stormwater runoff from the Abingdon campus’s MS4 under the Virginia Stormwater Management Program regulations, Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Regulations (VPDES), and the Virginia State Water Control Law.
VHCC has been issued permit coverage to discharge stormwater by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and in accordance with the General VPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Small MS4s (General Permit). Compliance with the General Permit requires VHCC to develop, implement, and enforce an MS4 program. The guidance document that describes how the college will maintain compliance with the General Permit is the VHCC MS4 Program Plan. The Program Plan is required to include a description of the best management practices to address permit-specific requirements for the following minimum control measures (MCMs):
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Involvement and Participation
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
- Post-construction Stormwater Management
- Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping
The VHCC MS4 Program Plan incorporates the following program-supporting stormwater program documents by reference:
- VHCC MS4 General Permit Coverage Letter
- VHCC MS4 Program Plan
- Virginia Community College System’s Annual Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management
- Regulated Construction Site SWPPP Template
- VHCC Staff Handbook of Good Housekeeping and Pollution Prevention (including post-construction inspection/maintenance procedures for stormwater management facilities)
- VHCC MS4 mapping
VHCC demonstrates continued compliance to the MS4 General Permit with annual reporting. Annual reports for each year of the current permit cycle
- MS4 Program Plan: November 1, 2018 through October 31, 2023
- MS4 Program Plan: July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017
Illicit Discharges are prohibited on Campus
An illicit discharge is anything that goes “down the drain” (curb inlet, drainage ditch, directly discharged to a stream, etc.) that is not entirely composed of stormwater. When source pollutants are introduced and mix with the stormwater, you then have an illicit discharge to the storm sewer system – which drains directly to our surface waters. Stormwater is not treated before entering our local surface waters such as creeks and streams. An illicit discharge can occur as a result of improper disposal and spills of potential pollutant sources and pollution from land disturbance. Common pollutant sources associated with illicit discharge are listed below.
|Automotive fluids (oil, fuel, antifreeze)||Paints|
|Animal carcasses (bacteria)||Pet waste (bacteria)|
|Cooking oil and grease||Solvents (i.e. acetone, ethanol)|
|Chemical cleansers (e.g. detergents, soaps)||Salt and other deicing agents|
|Dumpster leachate||Sanitary sewer overflows|
|Misuse of fertilizer||Sediment (i.e. stockpiles, erosion)|
|Misuse of pesticides & herbicides||Trash|
|Landscaping waste (i.e. grass clippings)||Vehicle/equipment washwater|
VHCC policy prohibits non-stormwater (illicit) discharges, including illegal dumping, into the college’s storm sewer system. Elimination of any sources of an illicit discharge and enforcement of the prohibition is implemented utilizing language within the Standards of Conduct for VHCC employees and Student Handbook for VHCC students. Disciplinary action, including restitution, can be taken by the college in cases of negligent, willful or continued cause of illicit discharge.
Exempt discharges not typically considered as sources of an illicit discharge.
|Water line flushing||Air conditioning condensation|
|Landscape irrigation||Irrigation water|
|Diverted stream flows||Springs|
|Rising ground waters||Water from crawl space pumps|
|Uncontaminated ground water infiltration||Footing drains|
|Uncontaminated pumped ground water||Lawn watering|
|Discharges from potable water sources||Individual residential car washing|
|Foundation drains||Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands|
|Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges||Street wash water|
Please share your suggestions to us keep our waterways clean!
Reporting a pollution concern or an illicit discharge
We can all help to keep pollution out of our local creeks and streams. If you observe an illicit discharge or a potential pollutant source such as an animal carcass, open dumpster, sediment from a construction site or other type of pollutant that could be exposed to stormwater, please call or email to report to VHCC using the information below:
Pollution Hotline: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (276)739-2510
When reporting, please provide the:
- Date of the observed potential or occurring illicit discharge
- Location of the observed potential or occurring illicit discharge; and
- Pollutant source, if known (i.e. spilled paint, trash, etc.)
The VHCC MS4 Program Plan is provided on this webpage. VHCC encourages our students, faculty and staff to review the plan and provide any input by emailing email@example.com or calling (276)739-2510.