Since the early 1990’s the field of stormwater management has undergone a dramatic shift from a myopic flood-prevention approach to a more sustainable view that embraces both water quality and quantity. A new suite of mitigation measures termed Stormwater Control Measures (also known as Best Management Practices) was developed to treat various forms of urban stormwater impacts including pollution, runoff volume and erosive flows. Recognizing the need for research and public education, the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership (VUSP) was launched in 2002 as the product of a partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), private industry, and Villanova University’s (VU) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
The VUSP's mission is to advance the evolving field of sustainable stormwater management and to foster the development of public and private partnerships through research.
Since its inception, the VUSP has traversed a long and successful path. At present, it has several partners and members from both the private and public sectors who contribute to the direction and growth of the VUSP research.
The VUSP’s Stormwater Control Measure (SCM) Research and Demonstration Park includes several types of SCMs to include a stormwater wetland, bio-infiltration and bio-retention rain gardens and swales, pervious concrete / porous asphalt installations, infiltration trenches, and a green roof. In the Fall of 2009, the VUSP also became one of the five research clusters that constitute the Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering (VCASE).
The goals of VU’s SCM Research and Demonstration Park are to:
Educational signage has been installed at each SCM site to enhance the learning experience in addition to providing many details on this website. The experiences gained through the construction, operation, monitoring, and evaluation of these sites form the basis for the outreach and education component of the Research and Demonstration Park.
The VUSP operations are supported by the Fluid Mechanics Lab, Soils Testing Lab and the Water Resources Teaching and Research Laboratory (WRTRL). These labs support research into the hydrologic and environmental performance of numerous on campus SCMs. Some of the tests that are carried out in the water resources lab include nitrogen, chloride and phosphorus analysis, heavy metals analysis, total dissolved and suspended solids, pH and conductivity.
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