Marquette Sustainability installed an underwater stormwater collection system adjacent to the new Athletic and Human Performance Research Center that is currently under construction on the southwest corner of Wells Street and 12th Street.
Brent Ribble, campus sustainability coordinator, said the stormwater collection project is a part of stormwater management, or green infrastructure.
“(Green infrastructure) is about capturing surface runoff during rainfall events and protecting (and) improving water quality in our watershed,” Lora Strigens, vice president for planning and strategy, said.
Strigens said the new system is being funded as a part of the AHPRC project. Strigens added that the stormwater collection system is made of three pipes that are 90 inches in diameter and 128.5 feet in length.
“The system is reducing the peak stormwater discharge rates released from the site by nearly 65 percent, as compared to existing conditions,” Strigens said. “This helps slow down the release of stormwater into the combined sewer system and ultimately reduces peak volumes that helps to conserve valuable storage volume in the Deep Tunnel system.”
To prevent overflow, the deep tunnel system is where excess sewage water is, according to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District webpage.
Strigens said the new stormwater collection system consists of an aluminum corrugated metal pipe with manifold ends. She added that the system has “a concrete outlet control structure with flow-restricting plates.”
“The system will be inspected (from the surface) annually and following heavy rainfall events,” Strigens said.
Ribble said with the green infrastructure approach, future generations will avoid the social, environmental and economic costs that came with previous stormwater management techniques.
“Milwaukee is a water-centric city,” Ribble said. “Marquette thinks of water as a tremendously valuable resource as evidenced by our Water Quality Center, Water Law and Policy Initiative and our tenancy in the Global Water Center.
MU Sustainability tweeted that the stormwater collection system “will protect our rivers and Lake Michigan during rainfall events and alleviate our water treatment burden,” on Oct. 18.
Ribble said that from green infrastructure, students can put what they learn career success and become responsible citizens.
“I think this could really help us as a campus to really utilize the resources available to us,” Melissa Lev, a freshman in the College of Nursing and a member of Students for an Environmentally Active Campus, said.
Although Lev said she believes there is still much to be done environmentally on campus, she said she likes to see that Marquette is following through on these projects.