Soccer fields, volleyball courts, and vegetation around campus might be doing more than providing recreation and greenery: these landscape features, such as the courts on Sand Hill (pictured) can serve as detention basins for collecting and reducing stormwater runoff. Per federal and county regulations, Stanford has installed over 100 facilities around campus to collect, treat, and infiltrate stormwater, which can then be used to augment non-potable irrigation water supplies. In 2016, for example, Santa Teresa Street was retrofitted with a vegetated depression (called a bioretention cell) that filters runoff from the road. These infrastructure additions help to treat stormwater by removing contaminants prior to discharge into the storm drain system.
Stanford is broadening its stormwater management this winter with the addition of two pumping stations that will send runoff into the University’s non-potable irrigation water system, used for watering lawns and landscaping around campus. The two pumps should provide roughly 90-100 acre-feet of water each year - about 10% of the non-potable irrigation water system’s annual usage, and enough to fill a pool at the Avery Aquatic Center about 80 times. Help contribute to non-potable irrigation water resources on campus by properly disposing of waste, using Bay-Friendly gardening principles, and volunteering to restore habitat. Learn more about stormwater management, as well as topics like water conservation and drinking water, by visiting Stanford’s Water Resources website.