Stormwater runoff is precipitation, such as rain or snowmelt, that flows across impervious surfaces, such as pavement, sidewalks, parking lots and driveways, rather than being absorbed naturally by the ground.
Stormwater runoff picks up pollutants in its path as it flows across impervious surfaces before draining directly into a nearby body of water. Pollutants can& include debris and litter (e.g. cigarette butts, road salts, sediment, fertilizer, etc.) and automotive fluids (e.g. oil, grease, brake fluid, transmission fluid, etc.). On campus, stormwater runoff drains to Gross' Branch and subsequently to the Appomattox River, which flows into the James River and then into the Chesapeake Bay.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed, which includes the Appomattox River, a tributary of the James River, is a region or area of land that is drained by a river or other body of water.
Chesapeake Bay watershed:
The Chesapeake Bay is North America's largest estuary, a body of water formed where freshwater from rivers and streams flows into the ocean, mixing with salt water. Compared to other estuaries worldwide, the Chesapeake Bay has the highest land-to-water ratio in the world.
Protect Virginia's rivers and streams and the community's water supply by properly disposing of litter and other pollutants.
The turf field at Lancer Park and the field hockey and soccer fields on Johnston Drive are both equipped with stormwater harvesting systems. Stormwater runoff from the fields is collected in an underground storage tank and reused to irrigate the fields, instead of using potable water. The turf field at Lancer Park has a 179,000 gallon tank and the fields on Johnston Drive have a 44,000 gallons tank.
The stormwater management wetland at the corner of Race and Franklin Streets is designed to collect stormwater runoff from 69 acres of residential area adjacent to campus. The water conveyed to the wetland is stored to reduce erosion, sedimentation and flooding; plants reduce the amount of pollutants infiltrating into groundwater or flowing into Gross Branch.
Water conservation is the utilization of strategies and best practices to use potable water more efficiently to decrease consumption, reduce costs and extend the useful life of the existing water supply.
The Landscaping and Grounds Department installed an automated sprinkler control system to improve the efficiency of the irrigation system, thus reducing the use of potable water for irrigation.