Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership Hosts Biennial Symposium

by Daniel Fetsko ’19 CE

Dr. Robert Traver, director of the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership, delivered the Symposium’s plenary welcome.
Dr. Robert Traver, director of the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership, delivered the Symposium’s plenary welcome.

Since 1998, the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership (VUSP) has hosted the biennial VUSP PA Stormwater Management Symposium with a mission to “Advance the knowledge and understanding of sustainable stormwater management for those dealing in all aspects of planning, design, construction, maintenance, operations and regulatory compliance.” This year, more than 300 attendees from the public sector and private practice enjoyed presentations, breakout sessions and campus tours with a focus on “Resilient Stormwater Systems.” Following the Municipal Stormwater Workshop on October 10, the two-day symposium kicked off on October 11.

VUSP director Robert Traver, PhD, PE, D.WRE, F.EWRI, F.ASCE, began the symposium by presenting lessons learned from current VUSP research, as well as a look at what the future holds. He was followed by Lee Murphy, chief of the MS4 section of the PaDEP Bureau of Clean Water, who updated attendees on Pennsylvania’s MS4 Pollutant Reduction Plans. Aneca Atkinson, chief of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Construction and Erosion and Sediment Control, spoke on Chapter 102 Construction Stormwater.  Finally, Elaine Elbich, PennDot’s I-95 portfolio manager, with AECOM’s Edwina Lam, discussed the agency’s approach to stormwater for the highway project.

The afternoon consisted of breakout sessions, where attendees heard from researchers, consultants and the public sector, and the day concluded with an evening poster session and networking reception.

Day two of the symposium was highlighted by a Philadelphia Water Department presentation on the Green City Clean Waters Program, as well as additional breakout sessions. Each attendee also was given an opportunity to participate in a tour of VUSP-related sites, both onsite and off-campus.

Overall a resounding success, the symposium offered a chance for working professionals to receive first-hand advice from the research side of the industry. As Dr. Wadzuk explains, “The goal of the symposium is to bring research to the public and implement it. We work with local engineers to use the most modern thought and tools available for design.”

A variety of vendors presented their services to the event’s attendees.
A variety of vendors presented their services to the event’s attendees.
Participants toured Villanova University Stormwater Management sites and William Penn Foundation research sites.
Participants toured Villanova University Stormwater Management sites and William Penn Foundation research sites.