Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.39
Liaison Phil Valko
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Washington University in St. Louis
OP-22: Rainwater Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Ed Barry
Director, Utility Operations
Utility Operations
"---" 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:

The St. Louis region has historically had a combined sanitary and storm water system that leads to the release of untreated sewage into regional riverways during major rain events. As a result of legislative efforts, our local sewer district has strict limitations on storm water run off. Washington University has embraced significant storm water management strategies from landscape to constructed storm water management to ensure that every project is balanced with storm water mitigation and retention so that we do not exceed our prescribed amount of run off. Every project that impacts impervious surface must have a net-neutral impact to storm water run off. Our diverse strategies include:

-In conjunction with new construction, separate sanitary and stormwater lines are built and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans are put in place.
-Pervious pavers are regularly used for hardscapes in bicycle parking nodes and along a growing number of campus pathways.
-Soil amendments are added on a regular basis, soil aeration occurs annually, as well as adding compost, which increases the soil's ability to retain water.
-Washington University has six green roofs: South 40 House, McMillan Addition, Hope Plaza, Lofts of Washington University, East End parking garage, and Danforth University Center north plaza.
-In the last five years, a number of existing turf areas have been replaced with rain gardens including south of Eads Hall, edges of the South 40 recreational field ("the swamp"), adjacent to "McLeod's Way", and others.
-Rain gardens have recently been added adjacent to a number of parking lots and roads including throughout the Simon Hall parking lot, north of Olympian Way, and North of Throop Drive near the Knight Center.
-Large bioswales were built as part of recent projects: 4515 McKinley, Hillman Hall south landscape, Village East apartments, and the Lofts apartments.
-The University has built several stormwater detention and retention cisterns, including four underground water storage tanks at the School of Medicine, a cistern at the Lofts, cisterns at Tyson Research Center, a 30,000 gallon cistern installed in 2020 in the new East End underground parking garage, and a 285,000 gallon stormwater detention tank installed as part of the East End Transformation. The East End Transformation project also resulted in a net reduction of impervious surface by replacing nearly 1,000 surface parking spaces with a new 800-space underground parking garage covered with a major green roof and cistern (mentioned above) large enough to provide water for one full irrigation cycle.

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:

Washington University's Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations includes a section on Landscape that includes guidelines and commitments related to rainwater management:

WashU also commissioned a Stormwater Master Plan for the Danforth and S40 Campuses, which is updated regularly (most recently in August 2021). The Plan outlines how we will comply with MSD regulations, which dictate that we do not have a net increase in storm water runoff as a result from any development within the boundary of campus. The plan is an internal document.

Website URL where information about the institution’s green infrastructure and LID practices is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.