Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.88
Liaison Laura Young
Submission Date Feb. 11, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Michigan State University
OP-27: Rainwater Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Ruth Kline-Robach
Dept. of Community Sustainability
"---" 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:

A Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) was was completed for the MSU campus in 2013. The SWMP addresses both storm water quantity and quality, and includes a Public Education Plan, Illicit Discharge Elimination Plan, Post Construction Stormwater Controls for areas of new development and redevelopment, Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control and Pollution Prevention, and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations. The program is currently being implemented by a team of staff members representing several MSU service units and departments. As part of this effort, Stormwater Design Standards are being followed for all new development projects. The standards focus on LID practices for stormwater management.

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:

For all new development or areas of significant redevelopment, projects must submit a plan for source control of stormwater using green infrastructure. Projects must treat the first inch of runoff from the entire site and also treat for the 2-year, 24-hour rain event. If onsite control is not feasible, a formal stormwater review committee determines if offsite control of stormwater using a regional approach is warranted.

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

A rainwater collection system is installed at the Surplus Store & Recycling Center, which provides 60 percent of filtered gray water for toilets, urinals and power washers at the facility. Brody Hall also has cisterns in place. However, currently these systems are not functioning.

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:

15 cyclone and hydrodynamic separators treat storm water runoff from parking lots and structures. A nutrient-separating baffle box that treats 27 acres of campus. It is designed to collect sediment, organic matter and debris/trash, and treat water for inputs such as hydrocarbons. In addition, an underground, proprietary filtration system has been installed at the Transportation Services facility.

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

Five vegetated roofs are in place on the MSU main campus, including two portions of Wells Hall, two portions of the Plant and Soil Sciences Building and Brody Hall.


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

MSU has installed porous pavement at a number of locations throughout the campus, including Recycling/Surplus, three sites at IM West Parking, two sites at Cowles House/Landon Parking, Demonstration Hall parking, Berkey Hall, and the Engineering Research Complex.

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


A brief description of any rain gardens on campus:

Nine Rain Gardens are in place on the MSU campus. These include Landscape Services, Old College Field, Plant and Soil Sciences, two sites at Recycling / Surplus, Erickson Hall, Old College Field, Farm Lane MSUFCU and south of Buildings 209 & 210.

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

Detention is in place at TB Simon PP - Coal Pile Yard, Farm Lane SW of CSX Rail, Farm Lane and Service Rd, Recycling Surplus - South Side, Eand mulitple locations at Lot 89. A large bio-retention facility has been installed at the Farm Lane Underpass. MSU Faculty members and graduate students are conducting research at the Farm Lane Underpass to assess the efficacy of various plant materials in removing storm water pollutants. Bioretention ponds are located at Farm Lane and Trowbridge Roads.

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

Vegetated swales are in place to treat storm water runoff from the Farm Lane Underpass, the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health and the Demmer Center.

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

A program to minimize pollutants entering the storm drainage system, including regular street sweeping, appropriate snow and ice removal pratices and regular catch basin and inlet cleaning. Low mow and Grow Zones have been identified and are managed accordingly campus-wide.

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

A walking tour guide of MSU's Sustainable Stormwater Management systems on campus is available at http://msu-water.msu.edu/stormwater-walking-tour/.

Also see http://ipf.msu.edu/green/water/protection.html.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.