Stormwater Management

Welcome to Thomas Nelson Community College’s Stormwater Management Program information page provided by the Plant Services Department. Here you will find information about the College’s stormwater management program, stormwater management regulations, and general information on stormwater related issues. You will also find suggestions and actions you can take to help prevent stormwater pollution.

The goal of the College’s stormwater management program is to ensure that stormwater generated on College’s two campuses does not adversely affect the surface or groundwaters on campus, in the community and in the state of Virginia.

Stormwater Overview

Stormwater management is now an integral part of our interaction with our environment. As students, faculty and staff, our most common daily activities can have an unhealthy impact on Virginia’s waterways. Every time that it rains, everything we leave on the streets, parking lots and lawns washes through our ditches and storm drains into our streams, rivers, lakes and other waterways. What the rain washes away (known as stormwater runoff) can pick up chemicals, dirt, debris and other pollutants that flow in the College’s storm sewer system.

Polluted stormwater runoff effects the environment we live in through the following pathways:

  • Sediment – sediment clouds the water and makes it difficult or impossible for aquatic plants to grow.
  • Bacteria (and other pathogens) – bacteria and other harmful microorganisms can wash into swimming areas and create health hazards, often resulting in beach closures.
  • Debris – debris such as plastic bags, bottles and cigarette butts that are washed into bodies of water can choke, suffocate or disable aquatic life.
  • Hazardous Waste – hazardous waste such as insecticides, pesticides, motor oil and anti-freeze can poison aquatic life. Land animals and people can become sick from eating diseased fish and shellfish or ingesting polluted water.

For developed areas, like Thomas Nelson's campuses, natural conditions are changed by creating large areas of impermeable surfaces, such as roads, buildings, and parking lots. The water that normally would infiltrate into the ground from the impervious areas runs off and enters storm sewers, streams or other surface waterbodies. If we are not mindful of what we leave behind on pervious (i.e. lawns, meadows and woodlands) and impervious surfaces, pollutants such as automobile oil, grease, sediment from construction sites, bacteria from animal waste, excess lawn care fertilizers and pesticides will be discharged into our storm sewer system and the waterbodies we use for drinking water, swimming and fishing.

Stormwater Regulations

Stormwater draining from our Hampton campus is collected by an individual storm sewer system that functions independently of each campus’ respective city system. These systems are regulated as small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Pursuant to the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) and Stormwater Management Act; the College is registered to obtain coverage under the General Permit for Stormwater Discharges of Stormwater from Small Municipal Separate Stormwater Systems. The general MS4 permit authorized Thomas Nelson’s storm sewer system to discharge into surface waters within Virginia state boundaries.

Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control

Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) is required to develop, implement and enforce a program to reduce the discharge of pollutants associated with construction activity into their municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4).  Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) and Stormwater Management (SWM) Programs are integral components of all design, construction maintenance, and management of facilities. Public concern and input associated with runoff from construction activity is received by email at or by calling the Buildings and Grounds Department at (757) 825-3694.

For more information, refer to the EPA’s factsheet on Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control.

Contact Information

For more information about stormwater management at Thomas Nelson or to report stormwater issues on your campus please contact:

John Mason
(757) 825-3694