The feature helps raise the low absorbency rate typical for urban areas. In rural areas nearly 50 percent of stormwater is absorbed through the ground, but the rate is only 15 percent in urban areas.
"Stormwater from developed areas is the second highest source of surface, or drinking, water pollution in the United States," said Julie Price, UAB sustainability coordinator. "Essentially we put water straight from a parking lot into a river instead of letting it move through the ground."
Price said the expanse of impervious surfaces such as roads, parking lots and rooftops contribute to the rush of runoff that enters the stormwater system in urban areas.
“Birmingham and other urban areas in the United States have aging stormwater systems that are often overburdened during periods of heavy rainfall,” Price said. “These underground conveyance systems are massive, complex and expensive to construct and maintain.
Read more at The UAB Reporter...
UAB Becomes a Creative Proving Ground for Sustainability
By Charles Buchanan • Photos by Steve Wood and Julie Price • Infographic by Ron Gamble
Julie Price, Ph.D., will admit that her mind has been in the gutter lately. She’s figuring out how to funnel the abundant rain that falls upon UAB and repurpose it for watering campus green spaces. “It doesn’t make sense to spend time and money to clean water for drinking and then throw it out on the lawn,” says Price (pictured above), appointed UAB’s inaugural sustainability coordinator in 2013. “We’re taking a different stance and treating stormwater like a resource.” She also intends to maximize UAB’s other natural resources—namely, the bright ideas of its students and employees and the power of its research—to make UAB a greener, more efficient university. The results could ripple out into Birmingham as well, inspiring changes that lead to a more livable community for everyone to enjoy.
Read More at UAB Magazine...