You Can Play a Role in Protecting Campus Water Resources!

Dump No Waste Drains to Rivers
As an MSU student, faculty or staff member, or a visitor to campus, you are an essential part of the Red Cedar River Watershed, and your actions can help to protect our shared water resources.

You may have noticed labels attached to the storm drains and catch basins around campus. Storm drains, or catch basins are designed to carry rainwater away from developed areas to prevent flooding. The storm water conveyance system is not connected to the sanitary sewer system, and the storm water is never conveyed to the wastewater treatment plant. The storm water flows through a network of drainage pipes until it reaches the Red Cedar River.

As storm water flows, it picks up pollutants from parking lots, roadways, sidewalks and lawn areas before it reaches the river. This type of pollution is known as nonpoint source pollution, which is our nation’s largest remaining water quality problem. If more people become informed about the link between storm drains and our surface waters, we can all help to protect and restore the quality of our waters. Visit our storm water page to learn more. Browse through the tips and resources to learn more about the ways in which you can protect the Red Cedar River Watershed.

For more information about Red Cedar River educational activities, please contact Ruth Kline-Robach at the Institute of Water Research at kliner@msu.edu. Thank you for playing a role in protecting the water in the Red Cedar River!

Volunteer for storm water management activities


On-campus residents, staff members and visitors

  • Report spills! If you notice any unusual discharge(s) into the Red Cedar River, please call MSU Environmental Health and Safety at 517.355.0153.
  • Don’t litter (even cigarette butts)! Take advantage of the trash and recycling bins found in each building on campus. If trash and recyclables are properly disposed of, it will prevent litter from finding its way into the Red Cedar River.
  • Never dump anything down a storm drain, and report it to the Environmental Health and Safety Office if you see someone else doing so.
  • Check your car frequently for leaks and spills. By properly maintaining your car, and making repairs of leaks immediately, you can prevent oil, antifreeze, and other toxic substances from entering the storm drains.
  • Don’t overflow trash receptacles, especially ones that are located outside. If the receptacles are full, contact your building coordinator or the Residential and Hospitality Services Office at 517.355.7457.
  • Refrain from feeding the ducks and other waterfowl that inhabit the Red Cedar River. Feeding them results in unnatural concentrations of waterfowl in one area which can result in high concentrations of bacteria.
  • Participate in on-campus activities that promote the protection of the Red Cedar River and our watershed, such as river clean-ups, storm drain labeling and water quality monitoring activities.
  • Spread the word about protecting our waterways from polluted runoff.

Off-campus residents

  • Report spills! If you notice any unusual discharge(s) into the Red Cedar River, please call MSU Environmental Health and Safety at 517.355.0153.
  • Don’t litter (even cigarette butts)! Take advantage of the trash and recycling bins found in each building on campus. If trash and recyclables are properly disposed of, it will prevent litter from finding its way into the Red Cedar River
  • Never dump anything down a storm drain, and call MSU Environmental Health and Safety if you see someone else doing so.
  • Check your car frequently for leaks and spills. By properly maintaining your car, and making repairs of leaks immediately, you can prevent oil, antifreeze, and other toxic substances from entering the storm drains.
  • Properly store, use and dispose of household hazardous waste, and recycle used motor oil.
  • Keep yard waste, trash, and dirt off the street and out of the gutters.
  • Apply pesticides and fertilizers sparingly, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.
  • Wash your car at a car wash facility instead of in the driveway.
  • If your property borders a stream or lake, consider installing a riparian buffer. This will help protect the water’s edge. Learn more by downloading this brochure.
  • Clean up waste from pets.
  • Volunteer for local river clean-ups, storm drain labeling or other activities that promote the protection of our water resources.
  • Spread the word about protecting our waterways from polluted runoff.
  • Take the time to learn about water resources groups in the Mid-Michigan area. A good starting point is www.pollutionisntpretty.org.

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