Stormwater FAQ

George Mason University’s Land Development division within Facilities manages Mason’s stormwater program. This program oversees the stormwater sewer system on Mason’s campuses and permits land disturbance construction projects in compliance with all local, regional, and federal laws and regulations. Please visit the Land Development website on Mason’s Facilities website for more information. For any additional information, please email

There are approximately 23 stormwater BMP facilities on Mason’s campuses to address the campuses’ stormwater needs. The addition of facilities requires the identification of areas with problem and adequate plan and engineering based design to resolve it. Professional engineering design, funding in place, timeline, and maintenance plan are require in order to be evaluated.  Approval and implementation process may take 1 to 2 years.

Please consider helping us to maintain existing facilities. Locations with BMP facilities include the Tidewater and Piedmont Residence Hall buildings area, Potomac Heights, West Campus Parking, Science and Technology Campus, and Point of View in Fairfax County. Ask us how you can to help at

Mason is required to meet a 5 percent reduction in nitrogen, phosphorus and suspended solids by June 30, 2018, and additional 35% reduction of these pollutants by June 30, 2023. More about Mason Chesapeake Bay TMDL Action plan can be found on Land Development website.

Due to regulatory and compliance issues, ongoing maintenance, as well as risks associated with stormwater features, all requests must be reviewed and approved by Mason Facilities. Please email your request to  Engineering design, funding in place, timeline, any risks associated and maintenance plan are required in order to be evaluated.  Access to stormwater features and BMPs facilities will require accompaniment by Facilities staff.  Please also provide options on desired dates and times for your site visit.

There are several past and ongoing stormwater research projects on our campus.

  • The Mason Water Forum is a project created to encourage collaboration and communication on the topics of water science, policy and education between the Mason community, 4-VA members, K-12, other institutions and the public. More about their work can be found on the Mason Water Forum website.
  • Mason Pond and Waterways were used as a test bed for National Stormwater Monitoring Project. More about this project can be found on the GMU National Stormwater Monitoring Project website.
  • Floating Wetlands on Mason Pond was a yearlong project that brought together art and science students and was designed to clean the water as well as to spur ecological awareness. More about the project can be found on the The Rain Project website.
  • Green Roof on Rappahannock project examines different aspects of environmental sustainability in infrastructure. It is led by faculty and students from various departments.
  • The GMU Piedmont Rain Garden is a joint project of George Mason University’s Sustainability LLC, University Sustainability, Office of Facilities Management and Office of Housing. It is a demonstration of how rain gardens can be used to filter stormwater runoff so as to prevent sediment and pollution from running into our streams, rivers and estuaries such as the Chesapeake Bay.

Yes. You can do a stormwater related project as a part of your senior design course, as an Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) scholar, or as a part of a faculty led student team. In addition, Patriot Green Fund (PGF) enables students to conduct research and implement scholarship-related projects that demonstrate environmental leadership and benefit the Mason community and surrounding region. You can apply for PGF funding to support your stormwater related research or infrastructure improvement project. Several RS designated courses also give you an authentic research or creative experience.

There are also ongoing efforts at the Innovation Food Forest to maintain stormwater features and reduce erosion in the walkway there. Volunteers can help clean out drainage trenches and return deposition after rainstorms. Students can propose plans for class projects to improve the design.

The Mason Pond is a major stormwater feature, a tranquil location for enjoyment and relaxation, and occasionally used for research for classes. Mason Pond was built in 1989 with an average depth of 5 feet. It is regularly measured for its chemistry for compliance and research reasons. Please refer to earlier questions to learn more about research work done on Mason Pond.

Part of the Student Apartments area is located within a resource protected area (RPA) next to a stream which drains to Mason Pond. The Student Apartments will be demolished in the near future.  The area will be converted to open space/green area with no building construction expected for the site in the next few years.

Facilities Land Development division hosts at least two stream clean-up events annually. Usually these occur in Fall during the 9/11 Day of Service and in Spring during the Earth Month (April). Please check University Sustainability Facebook page for exact dates or email