The Stroud Water Research Moorhead Environmental Education Center, a LEED Platinum facility, was designed to “get the water right” by designing a system that would restore a natural (wooded) water balance to the site through an integrated rainwater management system. The new building includes a stream buffer, a restored and naturalized landscape, nine (9) rain gardens, three (3) level spreaders, an infiltration trench, a green roof, porous pavers, and a rain water capture/reuse cistern. The facility also includes a wetland wastewater treatment system that returns treated wastewater to the soil that is lower in nitrate than the water withdrawn from the well. Stroud is currently using captured rainwater for toilet flushing and research experiments, but has recently negotiated an MOU with EPA to reuse captured rainwater for drinking water purposes.
The stormwater is designed as a system, with many interconnected BMPs that manage water close to the source. There is no increase in the 2-year volume of runoff (compared to a natural system), and the landscape has been restored to increase capture and evapotranspiration (and improve soils). The “point discharge” that formerly flowed directly to the stream has been converted to level spreaders at three overland locations to disperse water and prevent temperature impacts. The building was located outside of the stream buffer.
The construction and grading of interconnected BMPs is critical to system performance, and the construction of “green infrastructure” BMPs requires the same level of meticulous construction and adherence to specifications as any other type of infrastructure (i.e., roads, water lines, etc.). Landscape based BMPs must be considered infrastructure and constructed with the same level of care. Specifications are essential to system performance.
Watershed: Red-White Creek
The Stroud Water Research Moorhead Environmental Education Center is located in Avondale in Chester County, PA., in the White Clay Creek Watershed.
$477,000 (all site costs)
Meliora Environmental Design, LLC, President/Water Resources Engineer
100 N. Bank Street
Phoenixville, PA 19460