Promoting and Adopting Low Impact Development in Local Communities

EPA Grant Number: SU834769
Title: Promoting and Adopting Low Impact Development in Local Communities
Investigators: Engel, Bernard A. , Birt, Lindsey , Chen, Yan , Gall, Heather , Galloza, Magda
Current Investigators: Engel, Bernard A. , Gall, Heather , Galloza, Magda , Murphy, Christina
Institution: Purdue University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2010 through August 14, 2011
Project Amount: $9,989
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Water , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Both the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff are of particular concern in the Midwestern United States. Therefore, the object of this project is to educate local residents about Low Impact Development (LID) Best Management Practices (BMPs) and to provide rain barrels to residents that live in a “critical subwatershed” in West Lafayette, Indiana.


Geographic Information Systems analyses will be used to identify a “critical subwatershed” in West Lafayette, Indiana that will benefit the most from the implementation of LID BMPs. Because combined sewer overflows (CSOs) are a major problem in West Lafayette, IN, the critical subwatershed is likely to be one that has the greatest potential to reduce the negative environmental impact of CSOs. After identifying the critical subwatershed, residents will be surveyed to gauge their interest in maintaining LID technology on their property. A workshop will then be held to educate the Greater Lafayette community on LID BMPs, teach all workshop attendees how to make rain barrels, and provide workshop attendees from the critical subwatershed with the materials to make the rain barrels during the workshop. Students from Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), a Purdue University service oriented undergraduate engineering program, will be present at the workshop to assist people as they build their rain barrels, particularly those who are elderly or handicapped. After the workshop, the project team along with the EPICS students will assist with the installation of the rain barrels in the critical subwatershed to ensure the installation is done properly. The project team will teach the residents how to maintain the rain barrels so that they continue to work properly.

Expected Results:

The major expected result of this project is the installation of 100 rain barrels at residential locations in a “critical subwatershed”. With respect to “people”, this project is expected to greatly increase public awareness of LID BMPs and increase their adoption in the Greater Lafayette Community. With respect to “prosperity”, the expected result is decreased water costs for homeowners, decreased treatment costs for the water treatment plant, and increased profits to local nurseries and home improvement who begin to sell rain barrel kits or pre-made rain barrels and/or provide rain barrel installation. With respect to “planet”, the reduction of stormwater quantity will be calculated and the reduction of nutrient export (nitrogen and phosphorus) will be estimated using the Long-Term Hydrological Impact Assessment (L-THIA) model.

Supplemental Keywords:

hydrologic modeling, community outreach, Mississippi River Basin,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report