Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.65
Liaison John Gardner
Submission Date Nov. 27, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
OP-23: Rainwater Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 John Gardner
Sustainability Planning & Policy Analyst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Which of the following best describes the institution’s approach to rainwater management?:
Comprehensive policies, plans or guidelines that require LID practices for all new projects

A brief description of the institution’s green infrastructure and LID practices:

Green infrastructure practices are written into numerous layers of policy and practices at UWM, as stormwater is a major environmental concern for the combined sewer area of Milwaukee. In 2006, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District funded a stormwater masterplan for campus with the goal of bringing UWM’s urban campus to a 100-year/ zero-discharge’ standard for stormwater runoff. Numerous green infrastructure facilities have been built on campus as part of the masterplan. The Spiral Garden and cisterns at the Heat Plant were the first pieces of the "Campus as a Zero-Discharge Zone" project. Additional projects have had beginnings as student projects (The Sandburg rain garden system drains roughly 97,000 square feet or area through a series of bioswales into a 5,000-gallon cistern that is used for watering campus gardens; The Physics Cistern was built to capture roof drainage for use in watering campus gardens; a number of bioswales were developed along the west side of KIRC; bioswales line Greenfield Avenue at the School of Freshwater Sciences; LEED Platinum ND design guidelines at the School of Public Health feature roof drainage through a series of contained bioswales and pipes).

In addition, State policies that dictate Low Impact Development practices for stormwater control on construction sites for any state-controlled land include the Deprtment of Administration/Division Facilities Development - Erosion Control master, Department of Administration/Division of Facilities Development - Civil and Sitework Guidelines, and State of Wisconsin Administrative Code, University of Wisconsin System, Chapter 18: Conduct on University Lands, Design a sediment and erosion control plan, specific to the site that conforms to the requirements of NR 216 or COMM 61.115, NR 151 and any local construction site erosion control ordinances. The plan shall meet the following objectives: prevent loss of soil during construction by stormwater runoff and/or wind erosion, including protecting topsoil by stockpiling for reuse, prevent sedimentation of storm sewer or receiving streams, and prevent polluting the air with dust and particulate matter.

Stormwater is dictated through State of Wisconsin Statues NR 151: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/nr/100/151

Lastly, site development requirements were integrated into the State of Wisconsin's Sustainable Facilities Standards, which are currently being updated.


A copy of the institution’s rainwater management policy, plan, and/or guidelines:
A brief description of the institution’s rainwater management policy, plan, and/or guidelines that supports the responses above:

In 2006 Jim Wasley, Associate Professor in the School of Architecture of UWM, completed the "UWM as a Zero-Discharge Zone: A Stormwater Masterplan for the UWM Campus," with the assistance of graduate students and an interdisciplinary academic team. The Pavilion Gateway Demonstration Project, a more detailed project which is part of the Zero Discharge Zone, encompasses 4 acres of campus and is currently under construction. In addition, in the summer of 2006, Norris & Associates developed a Stormwater Management Plan to serve as a guide for UWM staff to use in UWM facility planning. Both plans were incorporated into the UWM Master Plan compiled in 2010 which has objectives to "Engineer and landscape for zero-stormwater discharge from the campus by 2020 at the roof top and ground level."


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Numerous project reports to MMSD (Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage System) and synopses of projects built on campus can be found online by searching "UWM Campus as a Zero Discharge Zone."

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