Stormwater Management Overview

  • Image of drain for stormwater management page Stormwater is rainwater or melting snow that washes through our property and streets, taking with it any debris that may be in its path.  This mixture of rain, debris, oil and waste is known as runoff.

    In areas with buildings, roads and parking lots, the water or runoff flows over these surfaces into storm drains.  Storm drains lead to streams, streams to rivers and rivers to the Chesapeake Bay.  Stormwater does not to lead to a wastewater treatment facility.  Anything that goes down a storm drain goes directly to the nearest stream. 

    Stormwater Management controls this polluted runoff by sending it through the storm drainage system and then to ponds/lakes and streams/rivers.  Stormwater Management is incorporated into the design of  school construction projects and the operations of existing campuses  to mitigate any impacts the projects and our campuses may have on the aquatic environment.  Stormwater management practices address two major issues, the quantity or volume of stormwater and the quality of the stormwater.   In the end, responsible and sound stormwater management practices reduce the amount of pollution that reaches the Chesapeake Bay and helps prevent flooding.

    Stafford County Public Schools is committed to establishing sound and responsible stormwater management practices at all of its 34 campuses including 17 Elementary, 8 Middle and 5 High Schools and integrating those practices in our daily execution of the School Division's mission "Teaching our Students Today, to be the Leaders of Tomorrow." 

    Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) - Section 402 of the Clean Water Act established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program to limit pollutant discharges into streams, rivers, and bays. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, DEQ administers the program as the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES). DEQ issues VPDES permits for all point source discharges to surface waters, to dischargers of stormwater from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), and to dischargers of stormwater from Industrial Activities, and Virginia Stormwater Management Permit (VSMP) permits to dischargers of stormwater from Construction Activities. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains authority to review applications and permits for "major" dischargers, a distinction based on discharge quantity and content.

    Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) - Discharges from Phase II (small) MS4 operators (Stafford County Public Schools is considered a small operator) are regulated under the General Permit for the Discharge of Stormwater from Small Municpal Seperate Storm Sewer Systems.

    Under the general permit, small MS4s must develop, implement and enforce a program that includes the following “six minimum control measures":

    • Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts
    • Public involvement and participation
    • Illicit discharge detection and elimination
    • Construction site stormwater runoff control
    • Post-construction stormwater management in new development and redevelopment
    • Pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations

    Similar to the Phase I programs, small MS4 programs must be designed and implemented to control the discharge of pollutants from their storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable in a manner that protects the water quality in nearby streams, rivers, wetlands and bays.

    Stafford County Public Schools annual MS4 Reports can be accessed from links on this pages.  If you have comments or questions on any aspect of the Division's MS4  annual report, please contact the Department of Facilities and Maintenance.