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Key Objective: 5.6 Stormwater runoff pollutant reduction

The 2015 iCAP, chapter 5, objective 6, is "Investigate the water quality impacts of stormwater runoff and potential ways to reduce stormwater pollutant discharges by FY18." 

Associated Metric

No metric specified for this objective


The current stormwater management paradigm on campus results in the direct discharge of most stormwater directly to local surface waters.  This process washes a variety of pollutants into the surface water that could otherwise be adsorbed into the landscape, which would avoid the negative impacts of these stormwater pollutant discharges.  For instance, the nutrients in stormwater ultimately drain to the Mississippi River and contribute to a hypoxic “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico that is greater than 5,000 square miles in some years.  The capture of stormwater for infiltration, as described above, is expected to have a significant positive impact on pollutant discharges.  However, the extent of campus stormwater impacts on surface water quality is not well understood at this time.  Thus, the impact of stormwater discharges on water quality could be investigated along with the impact of different strategies for reducing pollutant discharges.  This would include monitoring of infiltration pilot projects and various alternative landscape maintenance strategies (no-mow, no-fertilizer, no-irrigation, etc.).  This investigation could then inform further plans and recommended standards for stormwater management on campus.