Stormwater Management at Western Michigan University

Posted Date: 9/5/2013

Western Michigan University (WMU) was recognized by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (Michigan DEQ) for the university's efforts to manage stormwater runoff through treatment projects and policies.  An article published by Michigan DEQ highlighted several existing stormwater best management practices (BMPs), as well as future plans for additional projects.  K&A has been heavily involved in helping WMU determine how to best address its stormwater runoff.  The Michigan DEQ article summarizes many of the BMPs designed by K&A for WMU.  K&A has worked with the university from the beginning and has "been a tremendous partner in WMU's stormwater projects," said Dr. Patricia Holton, Director of Environmental Safety and Emergency Management at WMU.

WMU partnered with K&A to manage stormwater runoff through treatment projects and policies, as required by the university's stormwater permit.  Multiple BMPs were implemented both on and off campus to address stormwater issues.  One such project involved retrofitting existing infrastructure into a stormwater treatment system.  This system is designed to divert and treat first-flush stormwater runoff generated from approximately 32 acres of WMU's campus.  Another project treats stormwater runoff from 102 acres and restored a portion of streambank to address flooding and other stormwater concerns near the university's power plant.

The university's stormwater management has gone beyond what is required by Michigan DEQ, the state environmental regulatory agency.  In addition, WMU intends to continue implementing BMPs until its campus is "Stormwater NeutralTM".  This goal will be achieved by treating stormwater on campus when possible and addressing the remaining runoff through off-site treatment practices within the watershed.  K&A is working with WMU to implement additional BMPs, including five projects that are currently under construction and scheduled for completion in October 2013.

See the Stormwater NeutralTM webpage for more information on WMU's broader goal for addressing stormwater impacts on water quality.

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