Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 37.45
Liaison Kristina Hughes
Submission Date May 10, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Nebraska at Omaha
OP-27: Rainwater Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Patrick Wheeler
Environmental Advocate/Sustainability Champion
EHS
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

In keeping with the Clean Water Act requirements and sound engineering practices, in partnership with the City of Omaha, UNO constructed a bioretention garden to demonstrate how low impact development could also be aesthetically pleasing and could help greatly reduce costs for stormwater infrastructure by reducing size and volume requirements.


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? :
Yes

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

In addition to the above, bioswales are used to sequester rainwater on campus as much as possible without increasing the need for stormwater infrastructure.


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

At Mammel Hall:
The Bioretention Garden commonly referred to a a rain garden, is a shallow depression with amended soils and a sub drain system to collect stormwater runoff, allowing for increased infiltration, and convey excess water slowly to the nearest outflow or channel. The capture keeps the stormwater from directly flowing into storm drains and surface waters, which creates potential for erosion, water pollution, flooding, and diminished groundwater replenishment. It reduces the amount of pollution reaching creeks and streams by up to 30%. The word “garden” is important.

In most locations, Bioretention Gardens are noticeable parts of the landscape, so they have a design component for an aesthetic appeal. These gardens encourage wildlife and biodiversity and contribute to urban habitats for native butteries, birds, and benecial insects. But it is the Bioretention Garden’s function that is most important. The functionality depends on careful, combined management of water, soil and plants.

Native plants are typically used in Bioretention Gardens, and are not only preferred for Bioretention Gardens, they are essential for their success. Native plants have roots that extend deep into the soil (up to 15 or more feet). These roots open up the soil pores, improve soil structure and quality, and enhance water infiltration. A typical Bioretention Garden might have the following cross-section.


Rainwater harvested directly and stored/used by the institution, performance year:
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A brief description of any rainwater filtering systems employed by the institution to treat water prior to release:
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A brief description of any living or vegetated roofs on campus:
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A brief description of any porous (i.e. permeable) paving employed by the institution:
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A brief description of any downspout disconnection employed by the institution:
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A brief description of any rain gardens on campus:

The UNO Bioretention Garden functions as a stormwater best management practice that captures landscape and roof rainwater after each storm event and infiltrates the runoff into the soil within 12‐24 hours. It is similar to a rain garden, but since it handles significant volumes of water, it is designed with a valved underdrain trench and pipe that ensures good drainage prior to plant growth. Over time, the plants will establish deep root systems that will help infiltrate water into the soil and no runoff to the adjacent parking lot is expected to occur except during extreme rain events.
The plants have been selected for their adaptability to local climate and soil conditions, and most are native to the region. They are placed in the garden based upon their seasonal beauty, height, complementary combinations with adjacent plants, and relative tolerance for wet soils (frequent inundation in the garden bottom, never inundated outside of the garden ponding areas).
The garden is also designed to be an inviting “front door” to the UNO Welcome Center and it provides a comfortable campus space for students, faculty/staff, and campus visitors.


A brief description of any stormwater retention and/or detention ponds employed by the institution:
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A brief description of any bioswales on campus (vegetated, compost or stone):

The Bioretention Garden commonly referred to a a rain garden, is a shallow depression with amended soils and a sub drain system to collect stormwater runoff, allowing for increased infiltration, and convey excess water slowly to the nearest outflow or channel. The capture keeps the stormwater from directly flowing into storm drains and surface waters, which creates potential for erosion, water pollution, flooding, and diminished groundwater replenishment. It reduces the amount of pollution reaching creeks and streams by up to 30%. The word “garden” is important.

In most locations, Bioretention Gardens are noticeable parts of the landscape, so they have a design component for an aesthetic appeal. These gardens encourage wildlife and biodiversity and contribute to urban habitats for native butteries, birds, and benecial insects. But it is the Bioretention Garden’s function that is most important. The functionality depends on careful, combined management of water, soil and plants.

Native plants are typically used in Bioretention Gardens, and are not only preferred for Bioretention Gardens, they are essential for their success. Native plants have roots that extend deep into the soil (up to 15 or more feet). These roots open up the soil pores, improve soil structure and quality, and enhance water infiltration. A typical Bioretention Garden might have the following cross-section.


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