Improvements to SIU’s Engineering Campus Parking and Walkways along Campus Lake

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Understanding the performance of natural and engineered infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff is important in selection of management options. One of the many ways used to reduce or redirect storm water runoff is by introducing rain gardens/bioretention basins and/or pervious pavements. This study describes the results of a theoretical experiment conducted around Southern Illinois University—Carbondale’s (SIUC) College of Engineering parking lots. The project areas, approximately seven acres, includes parking for visitors and staff and some walking paths with green space. The location has been prone to flooding in the past. The study investigated the cost and feasibility of introducing rain gardens and pervious pavements around the lots to reduce storm water runoff and limit its impact on the surrounding area. Storm event data for the area were referenced to recreate specific design conditions, and GIS in combination with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Storm Water Management Model (EPA SWMM) were used for analysis. With the introduction of pervious pavements and retention areas, the goal of this study was reducing flooding around building access points and walkways frequented by students. Pervious pavements were introduced in the design to decrease initial runoff volumes and distribute excess runoff to retention areas. Overall, the study focused on reducing the volume of runoff, through pervious pavements and collection areas, on two sites at SIUC’s Campus.

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