Dalhousie is slowing down storm water using the natural environment and innovative building practices
Stormwater is the water that flows across impervious surfaces (e.g. streets, sidewalks, rooftops) without percolating into the ground. Stormwater is commonly directed into pipes and eventually into waterways. Stormwater runoff is recognized as a significant polluter of water bodies. Water quality and water quantity are of concern in Nova Scotia with increasingly severe weather events.
Developing ways to retain, filter, infiltrate, and re-use stormwater is something Dalhousie University has been implementing as part of new development and renovation projects. Plant material plays a large role in filtering pollutants, slowing the flow of water, and removing water through the process of evaporation.
Examples of campus stormwater management include:
- A rain garden at the corner of Coburg and Oxford;
- Vegetative swale on River Road (AC);
- A rain garden and permeable bike corral in the Killam Loop;
- A vegetative swale at the Ocean Sciences Building;
- Permeable concrete at the SOSB;
- Commercial building rain cisterns (rain water collection for resuse in washrooms) in the Mona Campbell Building, Lemarchant Place, and Richard Murrary Design Building;
- Green roofs, examples include the Mona Campbell, Henry Hicks, Chemistry, Dentistry, Life Science Centre, Wallace McCain Learning Commons, Marion McCain Arts & Social Sciences, LeMarchant Place, and Richard Murrary Design Building;
- Community engagement and brainstorming with students and community;
- Stormwater management planning guidelines in the Natural Environment Policy and guidelines document (No. 20 Landscape);
- Stormwater management mapping;
- Permeable pavers and vegetative swales as part of the Green Corridor on Sexton Campus;
- Ongoing stormwater management research.