Crews will rip up asphalt and replace it with a permeable concrete on top of a foot of crushed stone that stores and cleans stormwater.
Staunton and Mary Baldwin College are cashing in on a $75,000 federal grant to fund Stormwater upgrades downtown and on campus. Both are investing even more on top of that free money.
Just last month, Mary Baldwin students planted grass and built a buffer to filter run-off flowing from the city owned parking lot into Lewis Creek. Now the college is partnering with the city again to clean up even more stormwater.
Brent Douglass is the Director of Facilities Management at Mary Baldwin College. He points to where crews will replace these aging stormwater drains with new ones that cleanup polluted runoff from the college's Frederick Street parking lot.
Douglass said, "It's filled with filter material, which is bio-filter material along with sand and gravel and that sort of thing." It's one of a pair of projects paid for by a $75,000 federal grant.
Mary Baldwin and the city of Staunton will chip in an additional $50,000 worth of work and materials. Douglass said, "I think it's incumbent on us to use the resources we have and the resources we're able to get in order to improve that water quality."
The other stormwater upgrade is downhill from the college in the city's RMA parking lot. Crews will rip up asphalt and replace it with a permeable concrete on top of a foot of crushed stone that stores and cleans stormwater.
Staunton Stormwater Engineer George Staber said, "That's enough to be able to remove phosphorous and nitrogen from the rainwater and other pollutants." Mary Baldwin students are taking the stormwater message to the streets.
They're using part of the funds to create a campaign to show downtown property owners how to retrofit their buildings for better stormwater management. Engineers say the benefits are long lasting for projects that will only take a month or two to build.
Staber said, "In a lot of ways, it'll be a demonstration for all the property owners." The city and college are the two biggest, so Douglass says expect to see even more stormwater partnerships to clean up the Lewis Creek Watershed.
Douglass said, "It's an opportunity for the city and the college to work together on a problem that affects us both." Mary Baldwin hopes to get another grant to do similar stormwater improvements on a second parking lot on campus. The college and city just found out they're getting this grant, but both say the projects will be done by the end of next year.