From left to right: Nick Keegstra, Jake Parks, Lukas Vander Linden
Topographic map of the nature preserve
We don't have any more pictures at the moment, so here is a bug.

Project History

The project originated from Professor Van Horn in the Biology Department. He brought to our attention a few problems associated with the student parking lot east of the Beltline. All the rainfall that is captured by this parking lot runs off and washes out a nearby path in the nature preserve. The rainwater then flows into a tributary of Whiskey Creek, carrying with it all the pollution swept away on the parking lot and the path.
As this problem was analyzed, it became clear that there were many problem associated with Whiskey Creek, including flooding, pollution, and erosion. So instead of dealing with only one problem area, the East Beltline parking lot, the team decided to increase the scope of the problem to include the portion of whiskey creek that flows through campus.

Project Steps

The first step in this project is to create a hydrologic model of the Whiskey Creek drainage basin on campus. This involves analyzing topographic maps, and investigating storm drains to determine the drainage basin, create a design storm based on previous storms, and using the program EPA SWMM to analyze the system.

This is no simple task because, while everybody knows generally where Whiskey Creek is, nobody can follow its path on a map. Whiskey Creek originates in the Nature Preserve, enters a pipe, flows under the East Beltline, and is lost. It turns out that Whiskey Creek is piped under the Fine Arts Center parking lot, discharges to a series of swales just southeast of the parking lot, enters the seminary pond, and outlets under Burton St.

Based on the EPA SWIMM output and outside consultation, the team will highlight problem areas. These areas could be areas of high pollution, erosion, flooding, or high maintenance.

Finally, the team will design solutions to the problem areas. These solutions will be designed such that they could be applied to similar problems in other locations. This would allow other institutions, business, or individuals to adapt our solutions for similar problems they are having.


Thus far, the team has completed the hydrologic model of the Whiskey Creek drainage basin on campus. The team analyzed topographic maps, and storm drains to determine the drainage basin, and also created an EPA SWMM model to aid with design.
The team has also selected BMPs to implement on campus, and has located them. Currently, the team is testing infiltration rates to determine sizing of various BMPs, and is also working on designing the BMPs.