Clean Water

Wetland on campusThe Clean Water Act regulates any discharges to water to ensure that water quality standards are maintained. It is illegal for any one to discharge any pollutant into the US waters unless they are permitted to do so. The University of Stony Brook discharges water to both ground water and surface waters.

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Ground Water

Taking sample at discharge point The Clean Water Act regulates any discharges to ground water. Non-contact cooling water used in the East and West Heating plant cooling towers, water used for building air conditioning or water used as process cooling water is discharged to recharge basins on-site.

What are Environmental Health and Safety's responsibilities?

To help protect our ground water and to help Stony Brook University comply with The Clean Water Act, Environmental Health and Safety has the responsibility to oversee Stony Brook University's State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) Permit. Some of the responsibilities include, but are not limited to:Monthly visual check of ground water monitoring

  • Monthly sampling to check discharges to groundwater.
  • Regular inspections of the recharge basins for a visible sheen of oil.
  • Periodic short-term extensive testing when required.
  • Working with facility operations to reduce the discharge of pollutants and recommending the use of secondary containment for any hazard that could discharge to groundwater.
  • Cleaning oil or chemical spills that could reach the storm drains.
  • Keeping information on SPDES permit up-to-date and modifying our permit as required; the Environmental Health and Safety Environmental Coordinator takes monthly SPDES samples.
  • Installing ground water monitoring wells at strategic locations around campus.
  • Overseeing the biannual sampling of ground water monitoring wells by contractor.
  • Monthly visual checks of ground water at monitoring wells.

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