Client: Office of the University Architect
Location: West Lafayette, IN
Meliora recently led a multi-firm team in the development of a new Sustainable Stormwater Plan for Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. Purdue is entirely dependent on groundwater for its water supply and the campus stormwater system discharges to a former gravel pit that is hydraulically connected to the groundwater aquifer. Portions of the campus are also served by a combined storm-sanitary sewer system with overflows to the Wabash River. With an increasing awareness of the issues of sustainability, and a growing recognition that groundwater, rainfall, and stormwater runoff are all interrelated components of the same water resource, Purdue elected to develop and implement a regenerative water management approach in which green infrastructure techniques will manage runoff at its source when construction and funding opportunities arise. This represents an important change in thinking and policy from an "end-of-pipe stormwater management system" towards a long-term, sustainable approach to the Campus' water resources that will restore the natural water balance. Critical components of this plan include a focus on rainwater as a resource, the importance of small storms and groundwater recharge, and enhancing the campus landscape.