• Stormwater Management Program

    Storm water runoff occurs when precipitaion from rain or snow melt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like parking lots, sidewalks prevent storm water from naturally soaking into the ground. The storm water flows into storm sewer inlets that are located on and near school property.  

    Polluted storm water can have adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people. Contaminants of concern are sediment, nutrients, debris/trash, and hazardous wastes like insecticides, or motor oil. 


     South Platte River Tubing – Deckers & Denver, CO | Kayaking, Tubing, SUP

    South Platte River 

    Denver Public Schools is committed to managing a proactive Stormwater Program to improve water quality of runoff entering the storm sewer system and receiving streams. The DPS Stormwater Program is regulated by the Clean Water Act through the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) and is administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment(CPDHE). DPS has a partnership with the City and County of Denver (CCD) and has been a leader with CCD in promoting water quality in school education.


    To report a spill, clogged catch basins or water quality concerns, contact Environmental Services via our shared email. You may also contact us at that same email to obtain a copy of the MS4 Program Description Document and any associated documents. 



    DPS facilities are located within the Barr Lake and Milton Reservoir watershed. DPS supports encouraging cooperation, involvement, and awareness in a collaborative effort to improve water quality of the reservoir and the MS4 water quality. Excessive loading of nutrients, primarily phosphorus, is the dominant water quality concern.

    Targeted sources for schools are fertilizers. DPS is working with ground maintenance distributing educational material in Spanish and English on proper management of fertilizers and applications. Additionally, DPS in partnership with City and County of Denver has taught water quality including impacts of nutrients and pathogens and prevention measures that can be implemented, to over 1,000 students in 28 schools in 20-21 and in the 21-22 school years and over 100 student so far in the 22-23 school year.

    Learn how to properly apply fertilizers and protect Colorado water at -  Love Colorado Water website. 

    Applying Lawn Fertilizer


    E. coli

    E.coli are bacteria released into the environmental through the deposition of fecal matter. This bacterium is widely used as an indicator of fecal contamination and the release of pathogens in waterways.

    Sources of E. Coli - 

    • Pet waste
    • Human waste
    • Food products that have not been properly handled
    • Improperly handled water
    • Leaking septic systems
    • Leaking sanitary sewer lines

    What You Can Do to Limit Pathogen Loading

    • Limit pet access to school property
    • Pick up pet waste if animals are brought on school grounds
    • School farm animals should be kept away from waterways and infiltration practices should be untilized onsite to limit conveyance of animal waste to receiving waterways
    • Properly dispose of litter, keeping grounds free of litter 


    DPS Construction and Development

    DPS construction projects follow CCoD Construction Activities Stormwater Manual and Storm Drainage Design &Technical Criteria Manual - CCoD Engineering and Construction Specifications


    Additional Links

    CDPHE Water Quality MS4 Permits

    CCoD Stormwater

    Barr Milton Water Association

    Love Colorado Water - info on nutrients, water wise landscaping, etc. 

    CCoD Water Quality in Lake and Streams

    Mile Hi Flood District E. Coli Info

    USC Health E-Coli Education