Permeable Parking: A Green Approach to Managing Water Runoff at the University of St. FrancisEPA Grant Number: SU833940
Title: Permeable Parking: A Green Approach to Managing Water Runoff at the University of St. Francis
Investigators: Diab, Salim
Current Investigators: Diab, Salim , Chilton, Randolph , Maier, Don
Institution: University of St. Francis
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: August 15, 2008 through August 14, 2009
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2008) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Challenge Area - Water , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability
The technical challenge our P-3 team faces is to determine the potential for water conservation through the use of holding tanks/cisterns and gray water recycling. Our design involves building a small test parking lot of permeable pavement with an integrated water collection system. The pavement will allow about 70-80% of the annual rainfall to percolate through to the ground underneath; most to replenish the aquifer, and some to enter an integrated collection system. We will test the collected rain water for contaminants and reusability for irrigation purposes. The challenge and proposed design relate to sustainability through the reduction of demand on municipal storm drains and potential re-use of the rain water for irrigation of green spaces (people); replenishment of the ground aquifer (planet) and economic viability of reducing the use of treated and pumped municipal water by replacing it with conserved water on site (prosperity).
Our P-3 team will collect and measure rainfall amounts and test it to determine the extent of chemical and biological contaminants. The levels of contaminants of this runoff will determine if it can be used for hot weather irrigation and landscape beautification. The P-3 project will be used as an educational tool in several natural science courses as well as in business and honors courses with students conducting significant original research. We will expand the USF Greening of Campus website (http://www.stfrancis.edu/green Exit ) to include all phases of the P-3 project. Senior students on the project will present findings at Senior Symposiums. Student project leaders will provide presentations at the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area annual conference; the annual Greening of Campus Conference in Muncie, IN in 2009, and at the Midwest Business Administration Association in spring 2009 on the relationship of environmental stewardship, economic growth, and increased infrastructure.