Stormwater Management-Environment at CMU - Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh Regional Stormwater Management

The Pittsburgh region's frequent rainfall brings an underground, out-of-sight problem into clear view. As little as one-tenth of an inch of rain—an average Pittsburgh rainfall is one-quarter inch—can cause raw sewage to overflow into our rivers and streams. Melting snow can cause the same effect.  Untreated sewage streams into waterways, overflows from manholes or backs up into homeowners' basements.  Nationally, stormwater runoff is our most common cause of water pollution.

During dry weather, the combined storm and sewage collection system, which transports wastewater from thousands of homes to the wastewater treatment plant, operates effectively.

Carnegie Mellon has sustained millions of dollars of damage from stormwater in recent years and have taken some steps to capture or divert rainwater during storm events.  Below are some of the practices we utilize. To learn more about regional stormwater management issues go to the 3 Rivers Wet Weather web site.

CUC Rain Garden Pool

Carnegie Mellon Stormwater Management

Jared L. Cohon University Center
The 62,000 sq. ft. addition captures 100% of the rainfall from the roof and drains into three rain gardens.

Buildings on the Mall Rainwater Collection
Rain water collection - 280,000 gallon capacity used for chiller make up water.
Building downspouts surrounding the Mall directed to underground tank.

Gates Hillman Computer Science Complex
Rain water collection - 10,000 gallon tank, water used  for toilets.
Vegetated swales,  tree plantings to slow flow down.

Collaborative Innovation Center (CIC)
Rain water collection - 6,000 gallon tank, water used for toilets & irrigation.

Morewood Gardens Parking Lot
Dry well installed for parking lot run-off, retention pond and dam.

Purnell Center for the Arts
A 10,000 gallon underground baffled stormwater cistern to slow water flow down.
Carnegie Mellon also has over a dozen buildings with Green Roofs (living or vegetated roofs).