Water

Mason Pond, one of Mason’s stormwater retention ponds

At Mason, we are doing our best to protect and conserve our water. Mason is located within the valuable Chesapeake Bay watershed and as such is required to follow strict regulations for its protection.  Mason manages its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit with approval from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).  Mason submitted two Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Action Plans so far that demonstrated how Mason intended to meet three milestones: a 5% reduction in nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended solids by 2018, an additional 35% by 2023, and the final 60% by 2023. For more information, check out Mason’s Land Development website.

Stormwater management is an integral component of the design, construction, maintenance, and management of Mason’s facilities and campuses. The stormwater management program at Mason minimizes the impacts of runoff by providing water quantity and quality control associated with land disturbance such as flooding, erosion, and water pollution. Additionally, as construction activities take place, the university incorporates measures that protect and improve natural areas during and after construction.

Within its buildings, Mason uses faucet aerators, motion sensors, and waterless urinals. On the Fairfax campus, our irrigation system has sensors that register when there is rainfall; thus water less if at all, while at the Science and Technology campus, the irrigation system evaluates local weather data. Additionally, the campus strives to create more vegetated regions, such as our green roof, vegetated gardens and swales. We also aim to increase pervious areas, and design additional dry and wet retention ponds to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution in our waterways.

Check out our Sustainability Map to see a few of the stormwater features on Mason’s campus!

Mason complies with several stormwater management laws:

  • Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Law (§1O.1-560 et. seq.),
  • Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations (4VAC50-30 et. seq.),
  • Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Certification Regulations (4VAC50-50 et. seq.),
  • Virginia Stormwater Management Act (§1O.1-603 et. seq.),
  • Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Permit Regulations (4VAC50-60 et. seq.) as related to municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS-4) and regulated construction activities