Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.29
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date March 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Colorado State University
OP-27: Rainwater Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Carol Dollard
Energy Engineer
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution use Low Impact Development (LID) practices as a matter of policy or standard practice to reduce rainwater/stormwater runoff volume and improve outgoing water quality for new construction, major renovation, and other projects?:

A brief description of the institution’s Low Impact Development (LID) practices:

CSU’s Low Impact Development (LID) practices include incorporating permanent best management practices (BMPs), detention and treatment for stormwater pollution prevention in each project to the maximum extent practicable. Although Colorado water law imposes restrictions on the amount of LID we can incorporate (rainwater harvesting is illegal in Colorado except where a residential parcel has a domestic water well, or a legal water augmentation plan is established), CSU incorporates LID methods that infiltrate stormwater whenever a site is redeveloped (e.g. a building is constructed in an former parking lot location), and whenever a new building is constructed in a formerly undeveloped area. Our landscape architects design surface drainage features that are pleasing, convey stormwater through native plantings and enhance infiltration. New buildings typically incorporate swales, and plantings that receive and use the stormwater, rather than connecting roof drains directly to subsurface storm sewers. Where feasible, landscaping and hardscape are configured to minimize directly connected impervious areas; this helps reduce unnecessary impervious areas and routes stormwater from impervious surfaces over permeable areas to slow runoff and increase infiltration.

CSU has an MS4 permit issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the plan for which includes a provision to review and incorporate permanent BMPs with new and redeveloped parcels.

Examples of CSU’s LID implementation at its Fort Collins campuses include the following:

• At least 29 detention/extended detention ponds
• More than 26,000 square feet of permeable pavers
• At least 10 bioswales
• Several constructed wetlands
• A green roof
• A 3,700 square feet BMP demonstration area with five different LID features including rain gardens and permeable surfaces

Has the institution adopted a rainwater/stormwater management policy, plan, or strategies that mitigate the rainwater runoff impacts of ongoing campus operations through the use of green infrastructure? :

A brief description of the institution’s rainwater/stormwater management policy, plan, and/or strategies for ongoing campus operations:

CSU has a storm water permit that regulates what measures the university must take and what is to be done to minimize storm water pollution. It is structured with six "Minimum Measures," each of which has multiple goals and requirements. Discharges of processed waste water or contaminated water are not allowed to go to storm drains. In some cases, a specific discharge permit can be obtained to allow discharge of waste water. However, these permits may require monitoring, reporting and treatment to meet the discharge limits. CSU's storm water and surface water discharges are regulated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

A brief description of any rainwater harvesting employed by the institution:

In Colorado, rainwater harvesting is only allowed for a very narrowly defined group of residential applications. In general, it is prohibited for commercial buildings under current Colorado water law.

Rainwater harvested directly and stored/used by the institution, performance year:

A brief description of any rainwater filtering systems employed by the institution to treat water prior to release:

A brief description of any living or vegetated roofs on campus:

Colorado State University has a vegetative roof on the roof of the Microbiology study lounge. Approximately 400 square feet of the study lounge is covered with vegetation. This reduces the storm water runoff and helps buffer the space from outside temperature extremes. For several years this roof was used for research purposes where twenty percent of the vegetation grown on this roof was part of an experiment, coordinated by Jennifer Bousselot, a PhD Horticulture student. Her research was looking at green roof plant species to determine which western alpine plant species are most useful.

A brief description of any porous (i.e. permeable) paving employed by the institution:

To increase storm water recharge while conserving a significant amount of space, Colorado State University has begun to implement porous paving in construction. Currently, the Industrial Science building’s surrounding areas are built of porous paving. Also, the newly constructed Behavioral Science building incorporates porous paving in its nearby walkways and plazas.

CSU is also experimenting with permeable asphalt.

A brief description of any downspout disconnection employed by the institution:

A brief description of any rain gardens on campus:

A brief description of any stormwater retention and/or detention ponds employed by the institution:

Retention ponds in Colorado are illegal. However, CSU currently has seven detention ponds. These ponds are strategically placed in parking lots and close to buildings to not only limit runoff and flooding but also to remove water pollutants.

A brief description of any bioswales on campus (vegetated, compost or stone):

CSU uses three stone swales on the Main Campus. These swales filter water through stones and a layer of peat ensuring a cleaner storm water returns to the soil.

A brief description of any other rainwater management technologies or strategies employed by the institution:

Biofilters, snouts, vegetative buffers, and filters are all also used in storm water management at CSU. Also, a wetland was constructed in 2003 on campus through the cooperation of students and a landscape architect. There is also a rain garden in the Construction Management Building.

The website URL where information about the institution’s rainwater management initiatives, plan or policy is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.