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Stormwater Management

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Stormwater runoff from land modified by human activities can harm surface water and change natural hydrologic patterns, accelerate natural stream flows, destroy aquatic habitat, and elevate pollutant concentrations. Such runoff is said to contain non-point source pollutants, which include sediment, suspended solids, nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen), heavy metals, pathogens, toxins, oxygen-demanding substances, and floating material. Southern Miss operates its own stormwater system under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit. The Southern Miss stormwater system is composed of underground pipe, open ditches, outfalls and several hundred catch basins that discharge primarily to the City of Hattiesburg’s storm sewer system and to Gordon’s Creek and eventually to the Leaf River, which is part of the Pascagoula River Basin.


Stormwater Management Program

In response to new rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, Southern Miss has developed a stormwater management program designed to prevent harmful pollutants from being washed by stormwater runoff into the MS4 (or from being dumped directly into the MS4) and then discharged from the MS4 into local water bodies.  Southern Miss activities with potential to impact the stormwater system include:

  • General maintenance of buildings, grounds, and roads
  • General maintenance of park and open space areas, including the seasonal application of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to landscaped areas
  • Construction projects more than one acre in size
  • Spills and leaks primarily from passenger vehicles parked on campus



The Southern Miss Stormwater Management Program consists of six minimum measures that, when fully implemented, are expected to result in an overall reduction of non-point source pollutants discharged into the local watershed. These six minimum measures include

  • Public Education and Outreach
  • Public Participation / Public Involvement
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Construction Site Runoff Controls
  • Post-Construction Runoff Controls
  • Pollution Prevention / Good Housekeeping


What Can you Do?

Southern Miss lies within the Pascagoula River Basin, which drains directly to the Gulf of Mexico. Our students, staff, faculty, vendors and visitors both on campus and in all parts of our community need to be concerned about stormwater and water quality. In order to protect and preserve our ecological resources, be sure to take the following preventive measures:

On Campus:

There are many things that students, faculty and staff can do to protect water quality on campus:

    • Volunteer and participate in the many student activities offered by the Office of Sustainability 
    • Participate in campus, neighborhood and community cleanup activities
    • Write or call your elected representatives to inform them about your concerns and encourage legislation to protect water resources
    • Promote and participate in environmental education
    • Encourage university organizations to get involved in water quality and environmental issues
    • Notify university officials if you see conditions or activities that could contribute to stormwater pollution
    • Do your part to keep the campus clean by picking up litter in and around campus
    • Clean up pet droppings and dispose of them properly
    • Discourage littering on campus
    • DO NOT
      • Drop packaging or cigarette butts on the ground, or
      • Leave trash and garbage around overly full containers.


Other Ways to Help

    • Southern Miss maintains a beautiful urban campus and part of the aesthetic appeal is the presence of natural systems within the urban environment. Each activity, even routine daily activities, can have cumulative impacts not only on water quality but also on the general aesthetics of campus. Other ways to help maintain a beautiful campus include:
    • Take advantage of the natural surroundings by parking around the perimeter of campus and walking to class
    • Use opportunities for alternate modes of transportation including cycling
    • Utilize and participate in the university recycling program
    • Take the time to further educate yourself on the comprehensive impacts of water quality impairment and stormwater pollution
    • Minimize the use of flyers; use websites and e-mail to advertise your organization’s events


For more information about the Phase II Stormwater Program on both the State and Federal levels, please visit the following websites:

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality

United States Environmental Protection Agency

If you wish to make a stormwater complaint, notice improper dumping or non-stormwater discharges on University property, immediately contact Physical Plant Assistant Director, Clint Atkins at 601.266.5748 or email


Contact Us

Physical Plant
118 College Drive, #5058
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
3105 West 4th Street

Hattiesburg Campus

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