Stormwater Management/MS4 Plan

The University of Mary Washington strives for Storm Water Management permit compliance through application of its Stormwater Master Plan (approved April 2009). Calculations done as a part of the Master Plan study indicate the University is required to remove 19 Ibs of phosphorus annually. Currently the Fredericksburg campus exceeds the removal requirements by 3.3 lb annually.

The current MS4 report is available.

Mary Washington’s storm water management plan is an extensive study of how storm water running off of our campus affects the world around us. Use these tips to minimize hard runoff from your property.

Improving your soil

If your land has soils that have been altered from their natural state, native plants may not grow as well in them. To determine this, you should test your soil every three years. Soil tests can be obtained from the the Virginia Cooperative Extension agent.

Preventing Soil erosion

Soil erosion occurs when soil particles are carried off by wind or water. In addition to the soil, runoff can wash fertilizer and pollutants along with it. Nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers carried off by runoff have been associated with many environmental problems including benthic hypoxia and euthrophication. There are several steps you can take to minimize soil erosion on your property:

1. Fix bare spots on your lawn or property

2. Avoid soil splashes on windows or outside walls

3. Rid your lawn of dirt puddles

4. Remove small rills or gullies on slopes


By examining how your land drains, you could minimize runoff of potentially hazardous materials. Here are some helpful tips for improving your drainage situation.

1) Runoff- Water runs off faster around your house than it would in a natural area. To minimize ‘hard’ runoff install rain barrels and consider a green roof or green paving.

2) Aerate your lawn. It will improve drainage and help your grass grow better.


Choose the right plant for the right place! Your best bet is to find a local nursery with a knowledgeable staff. Native plants usually grow faster and fit better into the natural landscape.