Green Stormwater Infrastructure

aerial view of the east side of campus in fall emphasizing Walter Netsch's

UIC must reduce flooding and runoff water pollution caused by rain events using on-site water retention like rain barrels and changing the pavement to allow for water infiltration. In urban environments, impervious surfaces in the form of buildings, roads, parking areas, and walkways interrupt the natural hydrologic cycle by preventing the infiltration of rainwater into the soil. The resulting stormwater runoff can collect surface pollutants and can contribute to combined sewer overflow (CSO) events, as well as causing damaging and costly flooding events.

A team of  UIC students won the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Campus RainWorks Challenge design competition with their plan to install more green infrastructure on the east side of campus. They proved that UIC could reduce stormwater runoff by 10% by 2020 and 25% by 2030. Now, UIC is taking their plan one step farther and creating a comprehensive plan for the entire campus.