Eastern Michigan University

Environmental Health & Safety

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About Us


Who we are:

Developed in ----, the EMU Stormwater team is a division within Eastern Michigan University's Physical Plant that is comprised of volunteers and employees that share a passion and/or professional skill sets related to stormwater and environmental health. Such backgrounds allow us to properly maintain Eastern Michigan University and the surrounding campus community's portion of the Middle Huron (Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Metropolitan Area) River Watershed.


What is the Huron River and it's watershed:

The Huron River, named after a band of Wyandot Native Americans or "Hurons", extends over 130 miles long, flowing from Northern Oakland County all the way to Lake Erie between the Counties of Wayne and Monroe. The 908 square miles the river drains –known as the watershed- passes through the cities of Ann Arbor, Belleville, Dexter, Flat Rock, Rockwood and Ypsilanti, playing an important role in the drainage of our communities. If it weren't for the watershed, our community's natural water supply would not be as fresh or filtered, and soil erosion might ensue over time.


What is stormwater:

Stormwater is water that originates from the precipitation of a storm. In an urban setting, the precipitation does not drain into the earth as it normally would because of manmade structures such as industrial and residential buildings, public works, etc. These constructions can cause the stormwater to run back into the earth in improper and unnatural patterns that bring about possible stormwater runoff and collection problems. Such issues can result in water and soil contamination as well as erosion.


Stormwater runoff and collections problems also coincide with filtration problems:

As water flows back into or over the earth, it filters various natural and synthetic elements that water collects on its journey from evaporation back to the ground. But with urban interference, the water can become harmful and even toxic to humans and nature alike. As it can acquire various toxins and move surrounding elements unnaturally, it can also become harmful, causing damage to both our immediate EMU environment as well as the surrounding communities.


What we do:

The EMU Stormwater team provides proper maintenance of the Middle Huron River Watershed. Proper maintenance is fulfilled through a wide variety of actions, such as education, awareness, training, documentation and the implementation of protective measures. Through such measures EMU can ensure the discharge of stormwater pollutants to the community's surface waters are reduced to the maximum extent practicable, and that the campus community complies with safety and environmental regulations.