Analysis Of Drake University 's ' The Des Moines River ' Essay

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Drake University is a private, mid-sized, co-educational college located in Des Moines, Iowa. The campus is on a 150-acre property that has 84 buildings, 35 associated parking lots and is interspersed with multiple green spaces and commons. Drake University’s enrollment is increasing yearly and is continuing to incorporate new programs, which has sparked the need for new buildings and renovations. As development occurs, stormwater management has become an increasing concern in the minds of students, staff and the Facilities Planning and Management team in regards to the increasing amount of impermeable surfaces present on campus. Stormwater runoff from campus eventually reaches the Des Moines River, a tributary of the Mississippi River. To minimize the potential impacts of stormwater runoff on the Des Moines River, an Environmental Science Capstone student proposes to develop and install a bioswale on campus. The role of the bioswale is expected to reduce the peak rate and total volume of stormwater runoff and to reduce total suspended solids and pollutants in stormwater runoff exiting the site. A bioswale is a low-gradient, open channel that possesses a dense cover of vegetation through which runoff is directed during storm events (Gillard 2011). Studies have shown that bioswales decrease the speed of flows, act as a stormwater detention facility, and allows for suspended solids to settle out (Xiao & McPherson 2011). Moreover, the vegetation plays a vital…

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